Month: October 2005

Total 18 Posts

Design Process Around People

The issue of policing the time people spend on bathroom breaks at Ford sparked discussions online and in forums this week. The Lean Manufacturing Blog and the Superfactory blog both posted thoughtful commentary. Ford management reported that workers are taking more than their allotted 48 minutes per shift on bathroom

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Toyota Loves France!

Or so the full page ad taken out by the French government in the Otober 31, 2005 issue of BusinessWeek would have you believe. The ad takes no chances that the reader might not get the point, using the tag line “The New France. Where the Smart Money Goes.” With

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Toyota is No Friend of the Earth, Say Greens

Last week I praised Toyota’s environmental efforts but a new and sharply critical ad campaign is making me reconsider. Even as Toyota continues its advertising campaign to promote its Hybrid Synergy Drive technology with the “what if…” series, criticism comes from the green group Bluewater Network, a division of Friends

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Tune into NUMMI Tour Tales

Today Mark Graban posted his first trip report from his visit to NUMMI, the GM / Toyota joint venture in California. I won’t give away the details, but it’s a good reminder to “abandon fixed ideas” and do what’s right rather than keep up appearances. Visit the Lean Manufacturing Blog

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Kaizen Mindset at the Head of Chrysler

The October 24, 2005 Wall Street Journal article At Chrysler, Profits Don’t Keep Chief From Cutting Costs has a funny title. Why would profit keep you from cutting costs? Not everyone thinks like Taiichi Ohno, who gave chapter 14 of his book Gemba Keiei (Workplace Management in English) the title

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How Not to Spend $453 Million

Listening to the radio on my commute last week I heard a perfect example of the opposite of Lean government. I’m always bothered by waste but this was truly disturbing. In the highway bill signed this summer there is what is known as “the Bridge to Nowhere” connecting Alaska’s Gravina

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No Pushing

It always horrified me to see perfectly good products being sold at a discount because they were no longer in season or in style. Why fill a dealer lot full of cars, only to sell last year’s models at a discount? Why design and produce perfectly good shoes and then

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