Lean Manufacturing

Building a Lean Video Library

By Jon Miller Published on February 11th, 2007

Our clients often ask us to help them with building a Lean video library. They want us to recommend 5 or 10 videos on Lean manufacturing that will help their people learn first the general concepts, then the more in-depth tools and systems.
The Four Hour House video is a good one, teaching teamwork and TQM. For anyone building anything complex, this can be a nice eye opener.
Then there is the so-called Mercury Marine video. Made in the late 1980s, I believe, the 5-minute clip I have shows a series of stills, set to carnival music, of a very wasteful traditional manufacturing process. If anyone knows whether this is commercially available, do let us know.
The Charlie Chaplin DVD Modern Times has several good illustrations of how not to manufacture in modern times, as well as good examples of the seven types of waste.
The video on Genie Industries’ website titled Genie’s Continuous Improvement Journey is quite a nice one for a PR piece, though it takes a quick eye to catch many of the details.
The 5S at Boeing series looks a bit dated, but the content is not bad.
Of course the folks at Productivity Press, AME and SME have a wealth of videos, though I haven’t viewed them all.
We are in the early stages of acquiring some video titles on kaizen and Lean processes, so look for more news on that in future posts.
Which ones are your favorite Lean videos? Do you have a top 5 list? Let us know, and hopefully we can create a Lean video library catalog for everyone to share.

  1. John Hunter

    February 12, 2007 - 5:45 am

    Recently I watched a DVD of Modern Times that included some interesting government movies from about that time on improving manufacturing. They discussed ideas like wasting the minds of workers by not engaging those minds to improve performance of the organization. I found the understanding much greater than was common in management circles recently. While I believe that management has improved the general understanding in this area over the last 2 decades much more improvement is needed.

  2. Mark Graban

    February 12, 2007 - 8:45 am

    The DVD “Good News… How Hospitals Heal Themselves” is outstanding for hospitals/healthcare, but might also be good for factory folks to view, since it really conceptualizes lean and systems thinking in what might be a mind stretching way.
    “Toast Kaizen” is a very good video and I’ve developed exercises for using it to train teams on doing operator observation and analysis and product flow analysis.

  3. Ron

    February 12, 2007 - 1:52 pm

    I like the video: Modern Marvels: Assembly Line. It talks to the history of the assembly line (Taylor, Ford, etc.) and then touches on Toyota. John Shook is in it and talks about Toyota. I have run into problems outside America though as the video touches on topics like WWII which can be a bit ackward with folks from other countries. Also, it is long and I usually stop it right after the Toyota stuff.

  4. Robert Mattice

    January 23, 2008 - 12:40 pm

    Does anyone know if the ‘Mercury Marine’ video is available as a download online? I seen it a few years ago and loved it. I would like to share it with our employees, thanks.

  5. Yvon BRIERE

    May 9, 2009 - 10:03 am

    I keep viewing the Modern Times again and again, I still cannot find these supposed “good examples of the seven types of waste”…for instance, I have not seen a single piece of inventory nor over-processing…Unless you gain benefit from the sales of the movie, the advice is pure waste for all of us. Unless you make me change my mind, I would not recommend your website. Sorry.

  6. Jon Miller

    May 11, 2009 - 9:47 am

    Apologies for wasting your time, Yvon.
    If I am not mistaken, there are scenes early in the film showing Charlie Chaplin working in a factory in a rather inefficient and comical way.
    There may not have been examples of each and every one of the 7 wastes.

  7. Graham Ross

    May 15, 2010 - 12:45 am

    A great clip covering many of the Seven Wastes is an episode called Lucy,Lucy,Lucy from the Lucille Ball Show from the 1950s.It always makes me smile.You can search for it on You Tube.

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