Month: September 2007

Total 31 Posts

Work is Love Made Visible

In his 1923 book The Prophet, Lebanese American poet and artist and visionary Kahlil Gibran wrote Work is love made visible. What if love is not visible in work? What if you do not love what you do? Perhaps according to Kahlil Gibran, this is not work. It may be

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Why Flow Counter Clockwise?

When designing a u-shaped cell it is often recommened that material flow in a counter clockwise direction. Why is this? It’s about the right hand Research shows that most people are right handed. I have heard that as many as 85% to 90% are right handed.  Why does this matter

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Liquor Stores and Churches

They say there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Here’s an example of why this is sadly true in many cases. It’s been proven that there is a strong correlation between the number of churches and liquor stores in a community. Some conclude then that the key to keeping the

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Top 10 Success Factors for 5S

We took a quick poll today during a training class for Lean facilitators on their common experiences with barriers and struggles in sustaining 5S efforts as part of a Lean manufacturing implementation. The top 10 success factors for 5S that we agreed on can be grouped as below: Purpose for

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11 Ways to Improve Customer Service

Marcie MacRae posted an excellent article about customer service titled 10 ways to improve customer service based on her deep experience in that area and the 10 Commandments of Kaizen, which are rephrased here: 1. Let go of your fixed ideas and be open to new ones 2. Rather than

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The Bridge Builder

I recently heard this poem.  While I am not a big poem kind of fellow I must admit this one resonated with me.  It summarizes why I love what I do… which is to find better ways to do things better.  Put another way my goal in life is to

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Something Lacking in the TPS House

People point out from time to time that there is something lacking in the TPS house used to explain the Toyota Production System. Typically it is represented with the two pillars of just in time and jidoka, with a foundation of kaizen, standardized work and heijnka. Although the wording differs

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A New Lean Metric: ROI LT

When teaching value stream mapping one of the hardest metrics for people to grasp is production lead time (PLT) which is also commonly referred to as throughput time.  Here is a quick summary of how PLT works.  Say there are 3 processes A, B, and C.  Let’s also say there

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We Live in a Pull Universe

Lean manufacturing works, and this has been proven through decades of practice. Yet decades are admittedly not much when measured against geologic time. Some aspects of TPS such building in quality, getting ideas from people who actually do the work, and creating systems to make problems visible border on the

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