One of the most under-appreciated items in the Lean tool bag is the Table of Production Capacity by Process (TPCBP, also known as Process Capacity Table). This one-pager can define the theoretical maximum output of any process by taking into account manual time, cycle time, changeover time, etc. The formula
Month: July 2004
Recent examples from clients struggling with non-Lean scheduling methods reminded me of the importance of a fundamental principle of Lean – “do today’s work today”. This means no late deliveries, capacity equal to demand, and no overproduction. It’s really a basic philosophy of business but it’s harder than it seems.
During a recent Lean Office seminar, audience members were interested in the question of how to sustain office kaizen results. As in any type of kaizen, a lot of things have to go right before results achieved during one week of intense improvement activity will sustain over the long haul.
There’s an often-cited Harvard Business Review statistic that goes something like “Developing a new client relationship costs between six to eight times more than maintaining an existing relationship”. Spending six times more on customer retention does not sound Lean. For review, Lean can be boiled down to three rules: #1:
And the third question on Lean applied to engineering… 3) When a process is very detailed, what is the best way to map the process so that it does not get too complicated with too much detail? There is detail and there is complexity. Detail means that there are many
Second in the series of questions on implementing Lean in engineering… 2) How do we run to a variable Takt time, and are there other ways to pace or level load work flow? If Takt time varies due to variation in demand, there are several things you can do to
We received several good questions from a manager of System and Process Improvement attempting to do kaizen in engineering. She saw the tremendous wastes (Lean opportunities) in the engineering department, but was having limited success getting the engineers to adopt Lean thinking. Some of here challenges include: Question #1: How
During a kaizen workshop the kaizen team identified the lack of value-added content in a final inspection process. This lead to an interesting comparison of quality systems that do not practice Lean manufacturing principles, with the American criminal justice system. In Lean thinking, final inspection is bad. You find the
During a dinner meeting I had the chance to exchange views on the progress of the Lean effort at a client company with the President. They are early in the process, having trained all employees and having done two kaizens and are on their third. I felt things were progressing
The team leader of a kaizen project, we’ll call him Tim, was very disappointed in the weeks immediately after a kaizen. Tim was the supervisor of the area, and when he checked in on the machine operators he found that there was inventory building up again and some of the