I think the purpose of lean is to get better at choosing good over evil. Most of us understand that lean requires us to choose value over waste, good over bad, and better over good. But to what end? How do we judge what is value and what is waste?
Month: July 2010
A little while ago P Cunningham asked: “What is a storefront and how can it help my lean manufacturing system be more flexible?” I haven’t found a reference to a “storefront” as such in any lean sources. Storefronts are the interface between the customer and the producer. That fact makes
If you are reading this via email or RSS, you may need to click through to the website to see the video.
Vaibhav, a reader of Gemba Academy’s blog, emailed us the following question. Can you please help me understand the definitions for the following terms? 1) Cycle Time 2) Manufacturing Lead Time 3) TAKT Time 4) Inventory Turns Your help to clear the definitions & formulas for the above is highly
Quick question for you… what’s the true purpose of 5S (or 6S)? Go ahead and answer in your head or out loud. Now, if you’re close enough to some colleagues ask them the same question. Go on, I’ll wait. Great. Now that we have some “data” let’s see how your
Some say “lean reduces waste, six sigma reduces variation” but this is a misconception. Both aim to reduce waste and both rely on a variety of common sense tools and sophisticated statistical methods to improve quality and reliability. In fact the Toyota Production System was built on a very
Tony asked in a comment to an article about how to calculate standard work in process (standard WIP): Can I ask you a question: Standard WIP = One piece flow? No Tony, the two are not the same. The minimum necessary amount of stock to keep flowing one piece at
There is a stereotype of the creative person who chafes at standards related to how their work is performed, to the point of eschewing any sort of process-driven continuous improvement approach. This creative person can be a designer, a marketing professional, a sales person, a machinist, or a doctor. “Work
What do you get when you mix 1,000 engineers, four weeks of additional product development lead time and reduced reliance on outsourced engineering by 67%? In most product development departments this would get a decision maker quickly fired. Not so for Executive VP Takeshi Uchiyamada, a chief engineer at
One of the simplest and most powerful visual controls is the horizontal line. Placed strategically above a stack of inventory, across a graph plotting daily quality performance or even to indicate a safe height clearance for vehicles, the horizontal line can give us information of great value for relatively little