Don’t waste time on Strategy Deployment (Hoshin Kanri) | David Bovis

“Where people put the effort into it and understand the principles and why they work fully, Hoshin Kanri can unlock enormous potential throughout an organisation.”

Source: www.linkedin.com

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

Great article. As a condition for success in implementing Hoshin Planning, at least in Manufacturing, I would add timing. The organization must be ready for it, and it is, for example, after a number of successful, local improvement projects have led people to say “These are great, but what do they add up to? And where do they lead us?” Hoshin Planning can then help them figure out their own answers and provide a structure for moving forward.

In the list of failure causes for Hoshin Planning, I would also add the lingering influence of Management-By-Objectives (MBO), which keeps managers obsessed with gaming metrics instead of doing the work. I think it is what you mean when you say that Hoshins should not be formulated in terms of metrics, but it should be made clear that Hoshin Planning replaces MBO; it is not an add-on to it.

See on Scoop.itlean manufacturing

Renault: An international school of Lean Manufacturing opens at Flins | Automotive World

See on Scoop.itlean manufacturing
“Jose-Vicente de Los Mozos, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Supply Chain, of the Renault Group, inaugurated the International School of Lean Manufacturing yesterday.”

 

 

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

When I visited this plant in 1994, I never imagined that it would be the site of an international school of Lean 20 years later.

We were working at the time on Lean implementation with CIADEA, the Renault licensee in Argentina. It had originally been a subsidiary, was sold to local entrepreneur Manuel Antelo in 1992, and was repurchased by Renault in 1997.

At the time, my hosts in Flins thought that Lean was just a way to cut heads and that implementing 5S would cause production to drop.

Times change.

See on www.automotiveworld.com

Using videos to improve operations | Part 7 – Detailed review of process segments

Asenta 2011-03 Roberto Cortés

Roberto Cortés

Asenta Juan Ortega head shot

Juan Ortega

This post was co-written with Asenta’s Roberto Cortés and Juan Ortega, based on a joint project in Spain in October, 2013. A detailed analysis of the video recordings on two operations was key to generating improvement ideas that the plant has implemented since. The company had shot some videos of operations before, but not used them this way before, and it was a learn-by-doing experience for the participants. 

The demand for the company’s products is growing, and it is struggling to keep up. Its core technology is a fabrication process, and engineering has focused its attention on it to increase capacity. After fabrication, however, the product needs several assembly operations. From direct observation, it was clear that the operators were working at a pace that could not be sustained for a whole shift. The manager confirmed that the pace slackened and the quality dropped towards the end of the shift.

The challenge was therefore to change the assembly process so that the operator could complete the tasks within the takt time of about 60 seconds, at a steady, sustainable pace, without running ragged or getting exhausted. While on site, we focused on two operations, shot videos as recommended in earlier posts — from an elevated position and focusing on the operator’s hands — and coached the plant team on reviewing the videos, with the goal of enabling them to do it on their own for the other operations.

1. Preparation

The detailed review breaks the operation down into its smallest identifiable steps  to discover improvement opportunities for each. If you are going to do this on a regular basis, you should probably invest in software to collect timestamps from videos, categorize the steps, and record improvement ideas, like Timer Pro or Dartfish.  Timer Pro was developed specifically for Manufacturing; Dartfish, for sports, but it has also been used in Manufacturing.

For the first time, it is best to do it on short operations, and you can make do with an Excel spreadsheet on which you manually record the timestamps. It needs the following columns:

  • Step number
  • End time
  • Step duration, calculated from the timestamps.
  • Cumulative time, aggregated from step durations.
  • Operation Description
  • Operation Category
  • Improvement Ideas

Sufficient time has to be allowed for the detailed review. It is customary to allow between 3 and 5 times the length of the recording and even more if the recording is very short. It is recommended to have a sample of the product and components at hand where the review is being held.

Asenta----Product-sample-in-conference-room

Product sample in conference room

2. Review

The video is analysed and the spreadsheet completed step by step. For short steps, you can play the video in slow motion  to give time to observe details. Because you are going to be adding times, you need record the timestamps at a higher precision than you are really interested in. For example, to analyze time in second, you need to record the timestamps to one tenth of a second. The video and the form are shown on the screen at the same time.

Asenta----Video-and-analysis-form-on-same-screen

Video and analysis form on the same screen

While conducting the analysis, do the following:

  • Describe each step with an action verb and a single object. If you find you can’t, break it down further until you can.
  • Do not criticize ideas. Write them down for later evaluation.
  • Aim to eliminate unnecessary steps (muda), reduce the variability in how the steps are carried out (mura) and their inconvenience (muri).
  • Assign a category to each step so that you can aggregate times by category.

You can generate your own categories as you go along and standardize them as you reach conclusions. There must not be too many (5 better than 10) and they are usually of the following type:

  • Pick up/put down
  • Walk
  • Assemble
  • Inspect or test
  • Wait
  • Adjust
  • Rework
  • ….

If there are large differences in how different operators perform the operation, several videos can be screened at the same time, with the same task carried out by different operators. It is essential to carry out this detailed review with the operators in the videos. They know things that nobody else knows, and have ideas that you want to use.

Asenta -- Operators participating in analysis

Operators participating in the analysis of their own work

3. Conclusions

When you analyze operations for the first time, it is common to discover that about 40% of the time is spent on activities other than assembly or test. This is due to a combination of wrong sequencing, redundant steps, multiple handling, inadequate fixtures, inconveniently located tools or parts, etc.

Of course, not all of these can be eliminated easily. Some can be, by redesigning or retrofitting the work station; others can be taken out of the assembly flow and performed in parallel so that, for example, the operator does not have to prepare a part while the product waits. The net productivity increase that can usually be accomplished is on the order of 30%, without overburdening the operator. In our client’s case, this means making the assembly jobs sustainable while absorbing a higher demand.

Once the summary of times by category has shown the “gold in the mine” — that is, the improvement potential, the team fleshes out the ideas generated during the review of the video, tries them out as much as possible immediately, and turns them into proposals. The following pictures shows the flip chart with sketches of the proposals generated in our sessions, and a snapshot of try-storming.

The team then turns the  improvement proposals into a detailed action plan for the short, medium-, and long term.

Once the improvements are implemented, the team shoots another video of the operation, for the following purposes:

  • Validating the improvements.
  • Standardizing the sequence of operations
  • Training other operators

Top misconceptions of the Lean movement, according to Jim Womack | Financial Post

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“Misconception 1: ‘Lean is a cost-cutting exercise.’

Misconception 2: ‘It is about factories.’

Misconception 3: ‘Lean is a within-the-walls activity to fix your company.’

Misconception 4: ‘Lean is an improvement process production people can do — management doesn’t have to do anything.'”

 

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

I agree with points 1 and 4, but I have issues with 2 and 3. “The Machine that Changed the World” was a book about factories, and it was based on a worldwide benchmarking study of the car industry sponsored by the Sloan foundation.

Mission accomplishedLean is proven in Manufacturing, by the success of Toyota and a  few other manufacturing companies. That Lean is applicable outside of Manufacturing is possible, and plausible, but not proven. Even in Manufacturing, it is far too early to proclaim “mission accomplished,” as most attempted implementations in factories have yet to deliver the expected results.

As for expanding beyond the walls of your company into the supply chain, yes, you should do it but not before you have your own house in order. Toyota itself didn’t do it until the late 1970s.

Going to suppliers before you have  transformed your internal operations is not a recipe for success. Womack does not claim it is, but branding a focus on internal operations a “misconception” is an encouragement for managers to shift their focus to suppliers too early.

See on business.financialpost.com

Where do “Value Stream Maps” come from?

I have been wondering where this tool actually comes from. In the introduction to Learning to See, Mike Rother describes it as a minor tool known within Toyota as “Material and Information Flow” mapping. I have many books about TPS in English and Japanese, of vintages ranging from 1978 to 2009. They contain all sorts of charts and flow maps, but nothing that resembles a VSM. I found the following in my library:

  1. In Monden’s 1993 “Toyota Production System” book, there is a diagram on p. 59 about the circulation of supplier kanbans with symbols that resemble the VSM’s.
  2. The 2005 Nikkan Kogyo book about the Nissan Production Way ( 日産生産方式キーワード25) on pp. 20-21 has a material and information flow diagram of the entire car manufacturing process with numbered captions that point to sections of the book with details on each. It uses 3D pictograms specific to car making.
  3. Mikiharu Aoki’s 2012 “All about car plants” (自動車工場のすべて) uses a similar approach to the Nissan book, with simpler graphics.
  4. The June, 2007 issue of the Kojo Kanri magazine (工場管理. or Factory Management) has a series of articles on the application of TPS in process industries, and includes a material and information flow diagram on p. 24.
  5. On the  Toyota Global website John Gore found an Illustration of the Toyota Production System that works as a road map to more detailed information, like the diagram in the Nissan book.

The pictures are in the following gallery (Please click to see them in full size):

None of these examples have the purpose, focus, or ambition of VSM. Their purpose is to explain, not to document a current state or design ideal and future states. They don’t use a standard graphic language, and are not bound by the strictures of VSM. For example, having a double timeline at the bottom constrains you to showing all operations as a sequence. People often struggle with this, because real material flows usually involve merging and branching, and it don’t fit above a single line.

All the examples above make full use of the two dimensions of the page and don’t attempt to show a timeline. To look further, I googled “物と情報の流れ” (Materials and Information Flow)  for Japanese images, and found, again, all sorts of other charts, but also a couple of Japanese sites containing VSMs, such as ITmedia   and Monoist where they are called “Value Stream Maps” (バリューストリームマップ), and the references given are Japanese translations of American books, mostly from the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI).

I found this puzzling. Were these charts a Toyota trade secret that Rother and Shook leaked, or were they actually invented in the US and attributed to Toyota? Assume a celebrity went from overweight to lean and athletic in 90 days, and an approach or product is being marketed as what this person used to do it. The truth of this claim matters if you consider buying it. VSM is marketed as a basic tool of Lean, and just about everybody assumes it means that it was developed within Toyota and is widely used in its operations.

This belief is essential to the credibility of VSM to many managers who may not even know how to read one. If it is not really from Toyota, it can still be a great tool, but you cannot invoke Toyota’s authority to promote it. It must stand on its own merits. To get to the bottom of this, I asked members of the TPS Principles and Practice discussion group on LinkedIn, and received many enlightening answers from Bryan CoatsErik StordahlFrederick Stimson HarrimanZane FerryJerry O’DwyerPeter Winton, Chet MarchwinskiBret BakensztosPaul ToddSalvador D. Sanchez, and Gary Stewart. In addition to their personal inputs, they also provided links to publications on this topic by Hajime Ohba, Mike Rother, and Art Smalley. I have organized their inputs as follows:

Comments are welcome on any point that I missed or did not present accurately and completely.

1. Origin in Toyota’s Operations Management Consulting Division (OMCD)

The Toyota alumni confirmed that you rarely see a Materials and Information Flow diagram (VSM) within  Toyota, and explained that the tool was developed at Toyota’s Operations Management Consulting Division (OMCD), for selective use with suppliers — that is, wherever the main issue is with flows of materials and information related to these flows.

The OMCD, whose Japanese name actually means “Production Investigation Division” (生産調査部). As far as I know, this is a group of 55 to 65 high-level TPS experts supporting a company of >350,000 employees. The technique was brought to the US by the Toyota Supplier Support Center (TSSC). In parallel to TSSC, according to both Frederick Stimson Harriman and Zane Ferry  it was also introduced by consultants from Shingijutsu, who also used it selectively and never used the term “value stream.” The Lean Enterprise Institute‘s Chet Marchwinski added the following details and corrections:

“According to John Shook, Materials and Information flow diagrams were created by Toyota’s OMCD group. They were introduced to the U.S. by TSSC, not Shingijutsu, and ultimately made their way to the Lean Enterprise Institute. Here’s how.

Jim Womack and Dan Jones introduced the concept of “value stream” and in Lean Thinking told readers to map them. While the book had an example and descriptions, the process wasn’t laid out. At that time, Mike Rother had just become very interested in Toyota’s M&I flow mapping so John introduced him to Jim and Dan. He said Dan was especially interested in M&I mapping too.

Mike was the lead author (John is co-author) of the workbook Learning to See and developed the mapping workshop. Dan came up with the title Learning to See. Jim and Dan coined the term “value stream” and “value-stream mapping.” More importantly perhaps, the reason why there are little or no references to the tool in Toyota materials is that Toyota never taught it widely.

John said it was and still is used by the select group of TPS experts, mostly in the OMCD organization. (I think it is now Operations Management and Development Division.) So, the tool came to LEI in a roundabout way from TSSC, according to John.”

It is clear from Learning to See itself that the authors just thought of it as a useful tool and did not intend to oversell it. Their introduction says it all:

 “John (Shook), has known about the “tool” for over ten years, but never thought of it as important in its own right. As john worked with Toyota, mapping was almost an afterthought — a simple means of communication used by individuals who learn their craft through hands-on experience. At Toyota, the method-called ‘Value Stream Mapping’ in this workbook isn’t used as a training method, or as a means to ‘Learn to See.’ It is used by Toyota Production System practitioners to depict current and future, or “ideal” states in the process of developing implementation plans to install lean systems. At Toyota, while the phrase ‘value stream’ is rarely heard, infinite attention is given to establishing flow, eliminating waste, and adding value.”

That Rother and Shook never intended to make VSM a standard tool that every Lean implementation team is mandated to use as a starting point is  further documented in interactions some discussion participants had with them. Bret Bakensztos, for example, reports explaining to Mike Rother how his team had abandoned certain concepts described in Learning to See in order to make the tool provide the information we needed.

Mike Rother’s response had been “Cool!” I am not surprised by this reaction. The people who develop or even introduce a tool are usually open to other people’s adaptations or enhancements. They understand their own tools too well to want to turn them into rigidly enforced, creativity stifling “standards,” as bureaucracies are wont to do.

2. Materials and Information Flow Analysis at TSSC

TSSC still teaches Materiasl and Information Flow analysis. I found the following announcement on their website:

“Material & Information Flow: day in classroom designed to develop the skill to document the current condition and locate the process bottleneck. 1 day shop floor focused on grasping the current condition and finding the bottleneck in an actual shop floor setting.Length: 1.5 days”

The announcement does not paint it as a universal tool to be applied first in every plant as a means of identifying waste removal opportunities. According to Erik Stordahl:

“Materials and Information Flow diagramming was never, ever intended to be the first step in implementing TPS. In fact, in Toyota, I’ve always seen it as nearly a last step, well after tooling diagrams, machine design, standardized work, job instruction, and many, many other documents.”

That this tool is not universally applied even in supplier development is also documented in the Stanford Business School case study of Johnson Controls that Bret Bakensztos pointed out. Paul Todd provided a link to a presentation by the first leader of TSSC, Hajime Ohba at the 2002 AME Conference, in which he explicitly recommends against using VSM as a starting point.

Paraphrasing him in a different vocabulary, what he saying is that you should start at the micro level — machines, cells, workstations, tooling, fixtures, operator job design, etc. — not at the macro level — lines, departments, suppliers, customers, etc. His reasoning is that you need to develop skills before you can address macro level issues. And he is saying that you should not start with VSM because it is a macro level tool. What Ohba does not say in his presentation is how you find out where in the plant you should start at the micro level. To me, an appropriate pilot project must meet the following conditions:

  1. It must provide an opportunity for tangible, short-term performance improvements.
  2. Both management and the work force in charge of the target process must be willing and able.
  3. The target process must have at least one more year of economic life.

To identify such opportunities, you need to observe operations directly, interact with operators, managers and engineers, and analyze data. VSM is one of the tools that are useful in doing this, but it is not the only one, and it is not always needed. NUMMI and TSSC alumnus Salvador D. Sanchez  recounts his personal experience with this tool as follows:

“The first time I saw MIFD (Materials and Information Flow Diagrams) was when I started working at NUMMI in 1990. I was working with a Toyota coordinator. who was a team leader. He was explaining to me as a team member how a truck was built. He couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak Japanese but we communicated using this tool. After that I did not see another one till 9 years later when I started a 3 year assignment at TSSC. I was working with Cindy and Ohba-san at the time and we were working with a supplier.

During my time there I used this tool many times but only when I needed to. During that time we were also training Toyota Managers by taking them to suppliers and did a hands-on activity which involved one week of process kaizen and one week of system kaizen. During that week we used MIFD. Later on they started using it more and more in the plants only when needed.”

3.  The “Value Stream Mapping” Label

“Materials and Information Flow” accurately describes what the technique is about, and is almost self-explanatory. I say “almost” because there are plenty of information flowing in  manufacturing operations that does not appear on a VSM, such as providing and updating work instructions, downloading process programs, uploading sensor readings and measurements, etc. The only information flows that appear on a VSM are for Production Control: orders, forecasts, schedules, kanbans, etc.

According to  Gary Stewart, a 23-years Toyota veteran:

“The VSM process was known internally simply as “process mapping” – (or occasionally later as MIFD – but that was more specific to OMCD ) – it is only one of a suite of tools that should be used together to understand the process from high level to great detail. I think today the term VSM and the use by consultants of the term VSM is much more a response to creating a branding difference in both Marketing and Consulting. In Marketing “process mapping” does not sound very sexy – nor could you different yourself from every other consultant. But with Value Stream Mapping – you have a major brand differentiator.

I say this because I find that many Toyota techniques that internally have no “official” name – or a very simple name or descriptor – have mysteriously developed new “brand names” when they appear outside of the Toyota world. […] Today I use “process mapping” and VSM interchangeably – personally I have no problem with the rebranding of Toyota’s simple name words and descriptors into more recognisable “brand names”. In the end it is not what they are called – but how you use them that matters. The actual form is completely unimportant –  it is the use of the philosophy behind the format ( and the name) that is important.”

Unquestionably, Jim Womack is an outstanding marketer. “Process Mapping,” “Materials and Information Flow Analysis,” are all terms that, at best, appeal to engineers. Any phrase with “value” in it, on the other hand, resonates with executives and MBAs.

They readily latch on to a concept called “Value Stream Mapping,” even though their eyes would glaze over at the sight of an actual map. While this confusingly abstract vocabulary can be frustrating to engineers, it does serve the vital purpose of getting top management on board. The trick is to know when to use it — in the board room — and when not to — on the shop floor.

4. Art Smalley’s perspective on VSM

With permission from Art Smalley, here is what he wrote about VSM in his 2005 article:

“Value stream mapping, for instance, is perhaps the most widely used tool in lean programs today. The prevailing assumption in virtually every plant is that a value stream map must be drawn for each product family, a value stream manager anointed, and that it will somehow magically reveal all of the plant’s problems. This practice has become a sort of litmus test for Lean.

If there is no value stream map and an associated tracking center, then the company is not pursuing true Lean manufacturing. But there were no value steam maps in the Toyota facility in West Virginia, nor are there value stream managers. And this is hardly because Toyota employees are so smart they all carry the value stream maps around in their heads.

The reason there are no value stream maps in most Toyota plants is very simple in hindsight. It was a tool developed primarily as an analytical aid to look at material and information flow problems in certain processes. In fact, the actual name of the tool at Toyota is “material and information flow analysis” – not value stream mapping.

A third dimension, human motion, is often added to the mix for consideration as well at Toyota. As TPS evolved internally and was rolled out to supplier companies externally a consistent problem was insufficient investigation into the details of material flow, information flow, and human motion in the process.

A typical layout drawing, for example, simply does not emphasize these aspects clearly enough to bring problems to the surface. Once production starts, it is too late or costly to fix some of these items. In response a creative countermeasure was developed that became a requirement for engineers and others in charge of manufacturing processes and line conversion work at suppliers.

The emphasis was to draw both detailed standardized work charts depicting operator motion, and flow charts depicting material storage locations, scheduling points, and operator work sequence before the start of production. In other cases, this tool was used externally to find ways to convert lines to more efficient ones.

The key point is that the tool was created to analyze and solve a specific category of problems Toyota faced in new production lines and in helping suppliers implement lean. From this fairly specific local origin in Toyota, the tool was slightly modified (the human motion emphasis was reduced) and popularized in the U.S. by my good friend and former Toyota colleague John Shook, and his co-author Mike Rother, in their insightful, best selling workbook “Learning to See”.

The title of the work I think is important. Originally the authors had considered titling the workbook Material and Information Flow Analysis for Lead Time Improvement and Work Place Kaizen. This name, which would have been truer to the original intent of the material, was changed for marketing reasons to “Learning To See”. The workbook went on to sell over 125,000 copies, and has affected the direction of lean efforts in the U.S. more than any single publication.

Unfortunately the object of what the workbook urges the reader to see is not as clearly communicated in the catchier title – and here is where the law of unintended consequences kicks in. The book is about learning to see what is primarily a material and information flow problem, or essentially elements of the JIT pillar of Toyota’s production system (flow, takt time, level, and pull production).

By design it doesn’t even attempt to address the topic of Jidoka for example which Toyota considers an equally if not more important support pillar than JIT or equipment stability. The technique used in the workbook simply measures the overall manufacturing lead-time versus production value add time. Everything non-value adding (i.e. the waste) is to be eliminated and answering seven specific questions outlined in the workbook will help you accomplish some of this goal.

Overall, however, when the 4M’s of manufacturing (man, machine, material, and method) are considered you’ll realize that this tool mainly considers the material (and information) flow component. The other 3M’s are much less emphasized and one other important M – metrics – is expressed chiefly in terms of lead-time and value-add time.

This is fine for Toyota. Internally they well know the limits of the tool and understood that the it was never intended as the best way to see and analyze every waste or every problem related to quality, downtime, personnel development, cross training related issues, capacity bottlenecks, or anything to do with profits, safety, metrics or morale, etc.

No one tool can do all of that. For surfacing these issues other tools are much more widely and effectively used. Unfortunately, the average user of the workbook tends to copy the pattern expressed in value stream mapping regardless of the nature of their manufacturing problems.

The unintended consequence of the success of the method has been to convince many people that it is a universal tool for identifying all problems in manufacturing operations. Marketing hype helps reinforce this notion. “Just draw a value stream map and it will show you all your problems to work on” is a popular refrain that I hear quoted in companies attempting lean.

This guidance however biases companies with major quality, downtime, or factor productivity problems to deemphasize them since those items are not surfaced well using the method and questions outlined in value stream mapping. The tool just does not frame these problems well by design. Couple this effect with the fact that most lean efforts already have a disproportionate bias towards the concept of “flow”, and there is a recipe for inherent danger.

For example instead of learning to see what is truly broken in their processes companies wind up typically focusing on a particular subset of operational problems chiefly that of flow and lead-time related issues.”

5. Materials and Information Flow Mapping in My Own Work

The idea of Manufacturing as a three-layered flow system of materials, information, and money occurred to me when I was writing my first book, Manufacturing Systems Analysis,  in the late 1980s, and I thought it important enough to put the following diagram on the cover:

Materials-Data-Funds flows

What VSM does is show the production control part of the bottom two layers on the same diagram, which I only did in cases where the two are tightly coupled, for example  in the dual-card Kanban system. The following is on pp. 312 and 314:

I used a simpler and more abstract graphic notation than VSM, and complemented the flow diagram with a state-transition diagram focused on what happens to a Kanban through the cycle. Working at the time on software development for Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), I had found a formal similarity between the ASME symbols for process mapping and Tom DeMarco’s for data flow diagramming.

Materials and information, however, do not flow the same way. For example, once you retrieve materials from a warehouse, they are no longer there, and the inventory needs to be updated accordingly; on the other hand, no matter how many times the same data is read from a database, it is still there. When showing both types of flows on the same chart, it is therefore vital to use symbols that let the reader tell them apart, and VSMs do.

6. An Example from 1918

A few year ago, Bryan Lund pointed out to me a 1918 book by Charles E. Knoeppel entitled Installing Efficiency Methods, and I managed to buy a used copy from the Iowa State University Library that had last been returned on August 5, 1939. In the chapter on Diagnosis, I found the two following charts, respectively showing flows of materials and information in a factory. These are the earliest examples I know.

The Term “Lean Production” is 25 Years Old – Some Thoughts on the Original John Krafcik Article | Mark Graban

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Krafcik article front page“The term “lean production” arguably was first used in a MIT Sloan Management Review article by John Krafcik that was published 25 years ago this fall (Fall 1988), titled “Triumph of the Lean Production System.” In the 1980s, Krafcik, who worked with The Lean Enterprise Institute’s Jim Womack in the MIT International Motor Vehicle Program is now president and CEO of Hyundai North America.”

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

Mark Graban’s throughts on the article that first used the term “Lean.”

See on www.leanblog.org

‘Lean’ Manufacturing Takes Root in U.S. | Fox News

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It’s called “lean” manufacturing, and analysts say it enables managers to reduce redundancy, increase output and save capital that can be used to hire more workers.

 

 

 

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

This article in from April 29, 2011, but I just found it today. The facts are approximate, as you would expect from Fox News, but the video includes a good segment on a raku-raku seat in action and an interview of Jeffrey Liker.

Toyota dealership carsThe article presents the Toyota Production System are being strictly make-to-order, which makes you wonder where the new Toyotas for sale at your local dealership come from.

Toyota’s system is also presented as centered on collocating designers, suppliers, sales and marketing by project, which says nothing about production… Incidentally, no one who has actually researched Toyota’s approach to product development describes it as collocating everybody.

Even the Liker quote about Toyota’s not having laid off anybody during the financial crisis, while formally accurate, does not take into account what happened with temporary workers. These workers do not have the tenured status of permanent employees, but some work for the company continuously for years.

See on www.foxnews.com

GE Appliance Plant Survival Credited to Lean | Chattanooga Times Free Press

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“Appliance maker Roper Corp. to expand in LaFayette, Ga. […] Scott Ossewaarde, president of Roper, credited the plant’s location and lean manufacturing methods with its survival through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

See on timesfreepress.com

Lantech, early adopter of Lean, still going strong | Manufacturing Business Technology

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“To drive its production efficiency and quality, Lantech looks to Lean as a way to not just solve its own production problems but also those of its customers. “Lean is really a business philosophy,” says Lancaster, “it’s an important leg of the stool that’s kept us successful for so long.”

What sets Lantech apart from the competition is the fact that its employees are spending 30 to 40 percent of their creative energy problems solving, says Lancaster, and the rest of their energy is spent on making Lantech’s products better — safer, higher quality, lower cost, quicker. “They go home feeling like they really made a difference, rather than go home frustrated that they had to use all their energy to solve the same problem today that they did last week.”

See on www.mbtmag.com