A Supervisor’s Job Is Difficult and Challenging

Posted by on Sep 8, 2019 in Continuous Improvement, Decision Making, Efficiency, human resource utilization, Organizational Goals, safety, Training Effectiveness | 0 comments

Supervisors have a challenging job and have to juggle a lot of things in order to keep things going in the right direction for their organization.  They have to show leadership, promote safety, schedule and prioritize work assignments, improve efficiency, train new employees, continuously improve their operation, and settle employee squabbles. There are two main functions that every supervisor is tasked with.  They are producing the quantity required and providing quality assurance.  They have to make sure every employee is trained so they...

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Lean Implementation: Insights from Henry Ford and Taiichi Ohno

Posted by on Sep 1, 2019 in Lean, overproduction | 0 comments

  Henry Ford and Taiichi Ohno were pioneers in Lean implementation.  But with all their success, why is it that less than 20% of manufactures are able to successfully implement Lean?  This article will try to show how you must take the basic concepts of lean and apply them to each specific environment to be successful. Both Ford and Ohno were obsessed with creating flow.  The reason being that improving flow contributed to more revenue, better cash flow, and more profitability.  Neither were obsessed with cost savings.  In their...

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Increase Profitability Utilizing Lean And Theory of Constraints

Posted by on Aug 25, 2019 in Lean, Theory of Constraints | 0 comments

The goal of every company is to make money.  In order for that to happen companies must increase net profit, while simultaneously increasing return on investment and cash flow. In Eliyahu Goldratt’s book, The Goal, he states there are three measurements that express the goal of making money: throughput, inventory, and operational expense.  Throughput is the rate at which the system generates money through sales.  Inventory is all the money that the system has invested in purchasing things it intends to sell.  And, operational expense...

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Solve Problems Faster By Improving Your Problem Statement

Posted by on Aug 18, 2019 in Continuous Improvement, Problem Solving | 0 comments

Over the years I’ve seen many organizations struggle with solving problems.  They often lose focus and get side-tracked.  Sometimes because of someone’s opinion, they even go down the wrong path and they never get to the root cause. A problem statement should be a concise description of an issue to be addressed or a condition to be improved upon.  It should identify a gap that exists between the current (problem) state and the desired (goal) state of a process or product.  It should always focus on the facts. It is important...

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Ten Steps To Analyze And Improve A Product Or Service Using A Value Stream Map

Posted by on Aug 4, 2019 in Continuous Improvement, Kaizen, Lean, Value Stream Map | 0 comments

Many processes suffer from inefficiency, mistakes, errors, defects, downtime and late delivery due to the waste inherent in them.  The waste I’m referring to are: Transportation Inventory Motion Waiting Over-processing Over-production Defects Safety These waste exists because most of the time it’s the way the process has always been done and no one questions it or looks for the reason why. These wastes create obstructions to flow in people, products, services, information and materials.  If any of these issues plague your...

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Use Value Stream Maps to Understand Process, Information, and Material Flow

Posted by on Jul 28, 2019 in Lean, Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

  Value stream maps are very useful in analyzing processes because they help identify ways to improve flow and eliminate waste and non-value-added (NVA) activities.  Value stream mapping can also help you achieve other objectives: Establish a baseline for improvement Determine where bottlenecks occur in the process Measurement of key metrics, such as cycle time, downtime, yield, changeover time, etc. A value stream map is a drawing that illustrates the process flow, information flow, and flow of material from the time a customer...

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Use Lean to Provide More Value For Your Customer

Posted by on Jul 21, 2019 in Lean | 0 comments

  The value an organization provides can be defined in several different ways.  It is the worth place on something and is usually defined as anything your customer is willing to pay for.  Customers determine value and although this seems pretty straightforward, understanding how value is created is more difficult. For something to add value it must change the form or function of a product or service and be done correctly the first time.  This is how lean helps us scrutinize every activity of a process to determine whether that...

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Striving For Perfection Is The Essence Of Lean Thinking!

Posted by on Jul 14, 2019 in Kaizen, Lean | 0 comments

Perfection in lean terms means the total elimination of waste in an enterprise so that all activities in a value stream create value.  What makes striving for perfection so difficult for most of us is that we live and work in the short term whereas perfection only seems plausible in the long term. There are two paths to perfection, an incremental path, kaizen, and a radical path, kaikaku.  Continuous incremental improvements are achieved through kaizen, where you try to eliminate waste and improve something everyday.  Kaikaku, on the other...

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An Organizational Roadmap For Lean Six Sigma Deployment

Posted by on Jul 6, 2019 in Lean Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma Deployment | 0 comments

Just as project teams use DMAIC as their improvement roadmap, organizations must use a roadmap to build the essential foundation that will support and sustain their Lean Six Sigma deployment.  A simple five step roadmap was developed by Pande, Neuman and Cavanagh and discussed in their book The Six Sigma Way, How GE, Motorola, and Other Top Companies are Honing Their Performance, McGraw-Hill, 2000.  These five steps they say are the “core competencies” for a successful 21st century organization and include: Identify core...

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3 Reasons Lean Six Sigma May Not Be Right For Your Organization?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many organizations have implemented and are benefiting from Lean Six Sigma.  But is there a time when Lean Six Sigma is not right for your organization? I’ve written about the benefits of Lean Six Sigma and how it takes a dedicated infrastructure, execution, and strong management support and oversight.  Lean Six Sigma is not for the faint of heart and will change the culture and direction of the organization. There are basically three different circumstances when an organization might not consider adopting Lean Six Sigma: The...

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