Lean

Six Rules To Ensure Your Kanban System Is Effective

A kanban is a signboard or card, and the word also refers to the system of utilizing standard containers, each of which has a card designating what and when to produce.  Toyota uses kanban to make what they need when it is needed and in the quantity. Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, stated that it is not an overstatement to say that kanban controls the flow of goods at...

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The Value of Flow and Improving Cash Flow

The beginning of lean can be traced back to Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company from about 1910 to about 1915.  It was not so much Ford himself, but his leadership and sponsoring of projects that led to their mass production accomplishments.  Ford created the environment that drove many on his team to dream up and implement those projects. Just about every change in the flow came from the...

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Flow and Pull Systems Explained

  Continuous flow is defined as producing and moving one item at a time, or a small and consistent batch of items, through a series of processing steps as continuously as possible, with each step making just what is requested by the next step.  Other names for continuous flow are one-piece flow, single-piece flow, and make one, move one.  Flow supports lean by focusing on producing...

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Improvement Methodologies: PM, Six Sigma, DFSS, Lean – Choosing the Right One

  Organizations have a variety of tools and methods available to improve their products, services, and processes.  Deciding on which methodology to use can often become confusing because management does not understand how these methodologies are separated or used.  In this article, I’ll try to alleviate some of this confusion by providing you some examples of when it is appropriate...

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Healthcare Can Benefit Greatly Using Lean Techniques

In recent years healthcare has been under enormous pressure to reduce cost and improve customer satisfaction.  Hospitals getting squeezed on all sides and seeing rising costs are having to improve everything they do or risk going out of business.  Hospitals have looked at what manufacturing has done to reduce cost and many have started to implement Lean Six Sigma as a way to analyze and improve...

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A Lean Strategy Requires Lean To Be the Foundational Core For Everything You Do

Many companies think they can implement lean by simply laying it on top of what they already do or delegating it to their operations folks.  This simply won’t work!  In order for you to be successful, lean must be a strategic approach that effects everything you do. As an organization, you need to evaluate all your processes to determine the value-add you provide your customers.  Customers...

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