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Most Recent Articles

Practicing What We Preach – Meet Jason Williams, Operations Director

Over the years you’ve seen a lot of material coming from us about using “Lean” Manufacturing and using Lean techniques in other areas like distribution and logistics. As a manufacturer ourselves, we have always strived to take our own advice, but like many of you, we also learned in the process that while the reward is great, the work to get there can be HARD.

Topics: Manufacturing Lean Manufacturing Efficiency

Water Spider: Tiny Insect or Production Floor Game Changer?

With heightened competition from the global economy, a dwindling workforce as a result of the labor shortage and increasing demands from customers—it’s never been more important for manufacturing facilities to focus on efficiency. Of course, many operations managers turn to lean techniques in an effort to streamline and increase production, but how can facilities take things a step further? 

Topics: Manufacturing Lean Manufacturing Process Improvement

How to Reduce Turnover and Improve Productivity on the Manufacturing Floor

There’s no doubt—manufacturing is a tough industry to work in. With tight turnaround times, increasing shipping demands and the need for immaculate quality, it’s a challenging space for a business to grow and thrive. To further complicate things—administrators are finding it difficult to attract and retain talent.

Topics: Manufacturing Lean Manufacturing Mobile Power Process Improvement Staffing

Water Spider or Whirligig? The Entomology of Lean Manufacturing

Lean practitioners are probably aware of the “Water Spider” which is an important role on the floor of the manufacturing shop. And you may also know that it, like many other lean terms like “Kanban,” “Gemba” and “Kaizen,” it originates from the Japanese language, where lean got its start.

Topics: Manufacturing Lean Manufacturing Process Improvement Efficiency

If Lean is so Great, Why Doesn't Everyone Do It?

 

Most people, regardless of the industry they are in, are fearful of two prospects. They are change and staying the same. A paradox of sorts, and confusing to management who have developed a growth mindset.

When presented with the idea of a lean operation, rather than the status quo, most team members, and some members of management, recoil from the notion. They are afraid of the change, yet they are quick to point out the flaws in the current workflow. See, this is the paradox.

Topics: Lean Manufacturing Lean

How to Run a Warehouse Audit

The perception that many have of the simplicity of warehouse operations merits consideration. How simple is it? We receive goods, put them away, pick them upon order, ship, and then maintain the overall operation. On it’s face it appears simple. Yet, let a novice manager in training step into the shoes of an existing warehouse manager and they may soon find themselves overwhelmed. 

Topics: Warehouse Management Lean Manufacturing Warehouse

10 Quick Tips to Improve Your Warehouse

Orders to be pulled. Orders to be put away. Vendors backed up at the docks. The electrician is over there working on a problem with one of the charging stations. The life of a manager in a warehouse is one that requires the ability to wear many different hats at any given point in time. If only we could operate at a higher level of efficiency, you begin to say to yourself, most of these problems would not occur with such frequency. 

Topics: Productivity Warehouse Management Lean Manufacturing

18 Lean Manufacturing Quotes (#5 is Amazing)

1. “Why not make the work easier and more interesting so that people do not have to sweat?  The Toyota style is not to create results by working hard. It is a system that says there is no limit to people’s creativity.  People don’t go to Toyota to ‘work’ they go there to ‘think’” – Taiichi Ohno

2. “The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.” – Shigeo Shingo

Shigeo Shingo (新郷 重夫 Shingō Shigeo?, 1909 - 1990),  born in Saga City, Japan, was a Japanese industrial  engineer who is considered as the world’s leading  expert on manufacturing practices  and the Toyota production System.

3. "Many good American companies have respect for individuals, and practice Kaizen and other TPS {Toyota Production System} tools.  But what is important is having all of the elements together as a system.  It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner–not in spurts–in a concrete way on the shop floor."  - Fujio Cho, President, Toyota Motor Corporatio

Topics: Lean Manufacturing

What You May Not Know About Lean Thinking

The term lean thinking was coined by James P. Womack and Daniel T.Jones to capture the essence of their in-depth study of Toyotaʼs fabled Toyota Production System. 

Lean thinking is a new way of thinking any activity and seeing the waste inadvertently generated by the way the process is organized by focusing on the concepts of:

  1. Value
  2. Value streams
  3. Flow
  4. Pull
  5. Perfection

The complete details can read in

The Essentials of Lean Manufacturing eBook.

Lean thinking was born out of studying the rise of Toyota Motor Company from a bankrupt Japanese automaker in the early 1950s to todayʼs dominant global player. At every stage of its expansion, Toyota remained a puzzle by being capturing new markets with products deemed relatively unattractive and with systematically lower costs while not following any of the usual management dictates. 

 

"Lean thinking was born out of studying the rise of Toyota Motor Company from a bankrupt Japanese automaker in the early 1950s to todayʼs dominant global player."


Topics: Lean Manufacturing Lean History

Five New Trends in Lean Manufacturing You Will Want to Know About

While it’s important for lean consultants to stay on top of current trends in lean manufacturing, it is difficult to keep up with advances in technology and new opportunities. Here are five new trends in lean manufacturing we believe you will want to know about:

Get the free "NEW TRENDS IN LEAN MANUFACTURING THAT
WILL IMPACT THE FUTURE" White Paper Here.

1. Strength-Based Lean Thinking

Most applications of lean thinking begin with an assumption that there is a theoretical “perfect state” for each organizational process and that the current state deviates from the perfect state due to inefficiencies and waste.

The strength-based approach to lean has a different focus. Instead of focusing on what is not working and inefficient, it teaches how to identify what is already working efficiently and generates value in existing processes and systems (this is called “strength focus”).

The strength-based approach to lean is more natural to work with and more sustainable in the long term.

Leveraging current or past knowledge, and accessing experiences and successes from within the system, are great resources for the next generation of improvement initiatives. They also provide motivation for everyone to face the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Topics: Lean Manufacturing Trends IoT Green Manufacturing