Lean Manufacturing

478 Articles

VP of Lean Enterprise Plays 20 Questions with Lean Managers

By Jon Miller - November 15th, 2004

We received an odd call today at Gemba. Our Office Manager transferred the call to one of our senior consultants, saying “The person on the line wants to know about Heijunka.” The caller whom we’ll call Jay to protect

Keeping Minds Nimble, Bodies Limber at Toyota

By Jon Miller - November 5th, 2004

Whenever we visit Toyota in Japan there is always at least one member of our study group who makes a comment about the pace at which the assemblers at the engine line and body assembly line work. At Takt Times of around a minute, worke

In the News: Overproduction in Detroit

By Jon Miller - October 31st, 2004

On page one of the October 29th, 2004 Wall Street Journal there was an article titles “Big Dealers Pressure Car Makers To Cut Production: Higher Costs, Thinner Margins Are Forcing Major Sellers to Keep their Inventories Lean̶

The Power of Ideas from Everyone

By Jon Miller - October 24th, 2004

Too few companies on the Lean journey have effectively incorporated what is known as “teian” or suggestion schemes for employees’ creative ideas. Although kaizen breakthrough activity may seem more dramatic and appeal

The Toyota Job Description: Follow Standards & Find Better Ways

By Jon Miller - October 19th, 2004

The Toyota managers who share their insights with us on our study missions to Japan tell us that there are two things that are part of every Toyota’ employee’s job. They are: 1) Follow the standard 2) Find a better way This

One Piece Flow & Standard WIP

By Jon Miller - October 12th, 2004

I learned a lesson about how easy it is to assume people understand something that sounds simple to you. Near the end of a recent Lean study mission in Japan, one of the participants who is a Six Sigma Black Belt, a dynamic change agen

If You Want to Pull, Don’t Deliver

By Jon Miller - October 5th, 2004

We received a nugget of wisdom from Mr. Nojima of the Logistics group of Yazaki (makers of Creform and Japan’s largest privately held company) during our October study mission to Japan. Mr. Nojima made a statement that “all

Why Kaizen Teams Should Be Cross-Functional

By Jon Miller - October 1st, 2004

The rule of thumb to have a good mix of kaizen team members from different areas is: 1/3rd of the people from the area or process targeted for kaizen, 1/3rd of the people from upstream or downstream processes (customers and suppliers)

Lean and Green

By Jon Miller - September 6th, 2004

During the week of August 22-28 we conducted a private Japan Kaikaku Experience (Lean study mission) which was a great learning experience for everyone. There were many take-aways in Lean management (of which more later). One of my gre

Throughput, Bottlenecks, and Capacity: It’s All in the TPCBP

By Jon Miller - July 30th, 2004

One of the most under-appreciated items in the Lean tool bag is the Table of Production Capacity by Process (TPCBP, also known as Process Capacity Table). This one-pager can define the theoretical maximum output of any process by takin

Start your Lean & Six Sigma training today.