TPS Benchmarking

Lean Manufacturing with a Temporary Workforce

By Jon Miller Published on April 21st, 2005

One of the companies we visited in Japan in our Japan Benchmarking Trips (Japan Kaikaku Experience) employed a large percentage of temporary labor to help make their labor costs truly variable. One of the questions asked to them from our group was “How do you do Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing with a largely temporary workforce with high turnover? Isn’t training them in Kaizen a waste in itself?”
The manager replied that they only ask three things from their temporary employees which does help with the Kaizen effort.
1. What is hard to do?
2. What do you have to do over?
3. What do you have to constantly concentrate on?
By getting this feedback, the full-time employees along with the temporary employees can help eliminate muda or waste in the system. Also, it allows the full-time employees a chance to explain Kaizen, 5S, and Lean Manufacturing to the temps thus making them understand it better.

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