Lean Manufacturing

Not Trying to Coin A New Buzzword, But…

By Jon Miller Published on October 6th, 2006

I’m thinking of phrases to replace the one we are avoiding this month…
Contiunously Improving Operation, Rational Manufacturing, Intelligent Operations, Smart Production, Holistic Production, Adaptive Manufacturing, Non-local Optimization, Nimble Manufacturing, Organic Manufacturing, Demand Supply Execution, Flow Production, Customer Vectored Operation, Sane Management, Clear Stream System, Visualized Production, Operational Synchronization, Flexible Yet Rigorous Operations, People Process System, Streamlined Production, Harmonious Manufacturing, Full Day’s Work, Linked Reflex System, Dynamic Positive Operation, Superlative Production System
…and this is probably a hollow exercise since all words are descriptions from a point of view, and all points of views are partial by nature.
So for now we will have to make do with the pair of “respect for people” and the 6-letter word “kaizen” which insures that whatever system you are describing it will be better than the last time you viewed it.

  1. Karen Wilhelm

    October 7, 2006 - 10:42 am

    “World class manufacturing” was not a bad term, used by Schonberger, I think, in the early eighties. By the way, when can we quit capitalizing all these terms? Retype the paragraph above without all the capitalization and see which is easier to scan, read and absorb. Unnecessary capitalization (which is most of the capitalization I see) interrupts flow.

  2. Jon Miller

    October 7, 2006 - 5:56 pm

    World Class Manufacturing is not bad but it is not qualitative (describing the qualities of WCM). This label also begs the question “what is world class?” since if the best manufacturer in the world produced in large batches and inspected-in quality…
    I suppose bullets would have made the paragraph more readable. As far as capitalization, if they are proper nouns or noun phrases (as in a product name or name of a scientific theory) I believe the rule is to capitalize.

  3. Jim Sady

    October 8, 2006 - 8:18 pm

    If your suggestion holds true then ‘”blank” Manufacturing’ should be capitalized. I distinctly remember your blog not capitalizing both words even though it is a proper noun phase. Even if we are now debating how vague you may have been in defining ‘it’ I think it is a little disingenuous to Karen. And now, I find us coming up with more vague terms to replace a vague term. This does not provide substance to the discussion.

  4. Jon Miller

    October 8, 2006 - 8:27 pm

    You are right. I have not been consistent in capitalization. I too make errors.
    As far as failing to provide substance to the discussion, this month is an experiment. Some experiments fail.

  5. Chris

    October 9, 2006 - 5:29 am

    Why don’t we all go to the Gemba and do Kaizen rather than continue the debate on what word or phrase we use to call the unmentionable. By the way thank you for the previous blog entry as I will now not only horizontally-deploy* good Kaizen but also improve upon it in the process.
    (*Horizontal-deployment is what we call copying improvements here at Ricoh and this is very strange as we make copiers)
    Best Wishes and keep entertaining us

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