Can Lean Manufacturing Put an End to Sweatshops? | G. Distelhorst | HBR

Can Lean Manufacturing Put an End to Sweatshops? | Greg Distelhorst | Harvard Business Review“Producers in less-developed countries compete by keeping costs low. Conventional wisdom holds that improving working conditions (which typically costs money)  would undermine the competitive advantage these firms enjoy. Our research suggests an alternative to this race to the bottom. It involves replacing traditional mass manufacturing with ‘lean manufacturing’ principles.”

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

In 2014, three academics from Oxford, Stanford and Brown researched the impact of Lean Manufacturing on working conditions in the Nike supply chain. The conclusions in the HBR article are less nuanced than in their original paper in Management Science, which concluded: “Using difference-in-differences estimates from a panel of over three hundred factories, we find that lean adoption was associated with a 15 percentage point reduction in noncompliance with labor standards that primarily reflect factory wage and work hour practices. However, we find a null effect on factory health and safety standards.”

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Death Of An Outstanding Plant Manager On EgyptAir flight MS804 | Bustle.com

Ahmed Helal, Plant Manager, hosting the Economy Minister

Ahmed Helal, Plant Manager, hosting the French Economy Minister on April 6, 2016

One of the passengers who died in the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804 was Ahmed Helal, the 40-year-old manager of a Procter & Gamble plant in Amiens, France. He was a Frenchman from Egypt, on his way to visit his father, and the outpouring of grief from his employees in the plant, his managers at corporate, the city council of Amiens and many elected officials clearly indicates that he was no ordinary plant manager.

The workers interviews on the French BFM TV network has this to say about him:

  • Worker 1: “Very, very close. It wasn’t just a handshake; it was an embrace. It always came from the heart. It started with ‘you are my family.’
  • Worker 2: “When we had something to ask of him, he was listening to everybody.”
  • Workers 3 and 4: “Always smiling, always listening to the employees. He did a lot for the employees, since he arrived, and for the plant too.”
  • Pascal Grimaud, union representative: “We are crushed. As a plant manager, he has brought us so much. Ahmed, for us, was a friend. He called us his family. He treated everybody the same. We are very sad. I can’t find the words. I was on the phone with him two hours before he took off. All the employees at the Amiens site, we are all orphans.”

The Vice President and General Manager of P&G for France and the Benelux, Christophe Duron expressed his sadness for the loss of Ahmed Helal, and said, “Ahmed wasn’t just a brilliant site director, Ahmed was above all an exceptional human being. He was the boss of the Amiens plant.”

Michel Baudin‘s comments:
I never met Ahmed Helal, and actually never heard of him in his lifetime, but I have had the privilege of working with plant managers who, like him, could successfully lead their work force, deliver for the company, and make the plant a valued corporate citizen in the local community.

See the story on Bustle.com

The Internet of Things in Toyota Operations | Laura Putre | Industry Week

toyota-logo“… Trever White, divisional information officer, noted that his team is regularly on the plant floor, building good relationships so team members can articulate what their challenges are. One challenge they recently identified was the need to build a containment system to more quickly identify and contain a quality issue when it emerges…”

Sourced through Scoop.it

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

As described in this article, advanced IT for Manufacturing, at Toyota, starts from the needs of the shop floor and works its way up. First, you build systems that take root because they help in daily operations, Then you extract and summarized data from these systems for the benefit of managers and engineers.

ERP, on the other hand, starts from the needs of management and works its way down, and I think it is the key reason why ERP success stories are so hard to find.

Three Ways Big Data Helps Manufacturers Think Bigger | Industry Week

“Here are three ways Big Data is helping manufacturers think bigger than ever before:

  1. Monitoring Product Quality Proactively
  2. Seeing the Future—and Changing It
  3. Getting Customers into the Data-Collection Game”
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.industryweek.com

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

Manufacturers already collect data by the gigabyte, including metadata, plans and schedules, status, and history. It’s not big data. It’s tiny when compared to the daily terabytes generated by transactions on Amazon or eBay, but it is still ample fodder for analysis, that is woefully underutilized.

The current databases contain information about trends, cyclical variations, product mix, and quality issues that most manufacturers do not currently extract. In such a context, I see an effort at improving analytics on existing data as a more relevant challenge than multiplying the quantity of collected data.

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Booze, bonks and bodies | The Economist

The various Bonds are more different than you think

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.economist.com

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

Once hailed by Edward Tufte as purveyor of the most sophisticated graphics in the press, Britain’s “The Economist” has apparently surrendered to the dictatorship of the stacked-bars.

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Unilever’s new program for WCM | business-improvement.eu | Jan van Ede

“Unilever changed their approach in 2012. Within Fiat they discovered a balanced WCM-program, developed by professor emeritus Hajime Yamashima. He integrated Lean and Six Sigma from the start in the TPM management pillars. The result: more focus, better opportunities for cross-departmental improvement, and more attention to the role of the people.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: business-improvement.eu

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

In the late 1980s, as part of Kei Abe’s MTJ team, I went to Unilever facilities in the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, and the US to help them implement what had yet to be called “Lean.” Unilever was impressive as an organization in that, in markets including detergents, processed foods, mass-market toiletries and prestige cosmetics, they were afraid of nobody, anywhere.

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The Internet of Things in Lean Manufacturing | SME |F. L. Thomas

“[…]Within the context of Lean manufacturing, focused on elimination of waste and continual process improvement, the Internet of Things can lead to huge efficiency gains … some people see it as Lean on steroids. Tools and equipment will automatically collect, share and interact with other data and processes, opening up a whole new realm of achievements attainable under Lean initiatives.[…]”

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sme.org

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

Even though the article is a marketing pitch, and the Internet of Things (IoT) so far has been focused on systems embedded in finished goods rather than production processes, it is a topic that manufacturing professionals and Lean implementers should pay attention to.

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What’s Next after Lean? | Industry Week | Larry Fast

“[…]What’s Next? The short answer is nothing. Don’t wait on anything new that is of a game-changing variety.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.industryweek.com

 

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

The emergence of Toyota and its production system (TPS) caught the manufacturing world by surprise. The first reaction was denial that it was new, followed by blind adoption of a few of its most visible features, and the development of something different, called “Lean,” which borrowed Toyota’s credibility but doesn’t have much left in common with TPS.

Unlike Larry Fast, I am sure there will be another game changer in Manufacturing. It will come from an unexpected place, as post-war Japan was, and I have no idea what it will consist of. In the past 250 years we have had revolution after revolution in the art of making things, and I think it is presumptuous to assume that there won’t be anymore.

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Applying Lean to Engineering | ENGINEERING.com

“[…]Applying lean concepts to engineering is a complex task, but as Dearborn Mid-West Company discovered the increased efficiencies are well worth the effort. To manage that complexity Dearborn focused on five key areas:

  • Eliminating wasted work
  • Defining common communication protocols
  • Adopting a common technology platform
  • Building core knowledge in a scalable small team and tools
  • Scaling the team and tools to meet short-term bursts in demand.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.engineering.com

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