Ask Gemba

27 Articles

Batch Answers to Reader Questions

By Jon Miller - November 23rd, 2011

I haven’t kept up so well with reader questions over the past few months so here is a batch of answers. Better late than never, hopefully. A question posted to Quick changeover and SMED for the office: in point “1. Separate

Cross Training in a One Piece Flow Cell

By Jon Miller - November 28th, 2009

I am working through the backlog of Ask Gemba questions. Bas asked: In a one piece flow cell that is fully loaded with customer demand, how can new people be trained, without creating significant flow problems? Operators are moving wit

How to Stop and Fix in a Stationary Process

By Jon Miller - November 24th, 2009

Graham asked: My background is high volume automotive production like Ford. I am now involved with static build production of HVAC units. How do I best apply stop the line methods with static builds? ie no line to stop. Thanks for the

Why Should I Mark My Cupboards!?

By Jon Miller - August 17th, 2009

Ronak has been successful with 5S in the factory but is facing challenges with 5S in the office. He said in a follow up to the post on 5S guidelines for the office: Only problem is in personalized cabins, where there is lots of argumen

One Point Lesson: Takt Image

By Jon Miller - August 10th, 2009

John asked: What is the difference between Takt Time and Takt Image? Takt time is the calculated pace of production based on the average speed at which the customer is buying a product or service. The formula is net available time to p

What Can Lean Do for the Healthcare Business Office?

By Jon Miller - August 6th, 2009

Daisy asked, What can lean do for the Healthcare business office? The billers, the insurance follow up staff? Lean can do a great things for the healthcare business office. I have asked Chris Schrandt to answer this one. Chris has been

One Point Lesson: Kamishibai

By Jon Miller - July 6th, 2009

Prof. Jeffrey Liker has uploaded an excellent slideshow from 2005 titled The Toyota Way: A Sociotechnical Learning Organization in Action. The image above is from this presentation in which Liker touches briefly on the kamishibai board

Seeking: Checklist for a Sense of Urgency

By Jon Miller - June 25th, 2009

  “The most important factors for success are patience, a focus on long term rather than short-term results, reinvestment in people, product, and plant, and an unforgiving commitment to quality.” This is a quote from R

How to Engage People in Kaizen

By Jon Miller - June 9th, 2009

As always, thank you for your questions, comments and improvement suggestions. Today one of our readers shared via email a challenge with getting people engaged in kaizen. Whether it is an improvement suggestion system, a software syst

Ask Gemba: Nuts and Bolts of the Andon System

By Jon Miller - April 12th, 2009

Bas Timmerman asked: We are in the process of designing a synchronised flow process with an intermittent transportation system for a new assembly line. We have no buffer positions in the line, so it is critical that we organise support

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