July 3, 2017
Compensation in the Lean Enterprise

Below is an interesting question that many companies struggle with their efforts to motivate and provide incentives for their employees. The Question  “We have implemented the Lean principals in our Manufacturing area and are now set up in cells, but we have come across a problem with compensation.  Presently we pay for job worth as […]

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July 3, 2017
Introduction to Pull Systems – Implementation Dilemmas

We recently received an e-mail note from someone who had attended one of our seminars, with this question: “We basically ran into a wall attempting to implement a Pull/Kanban solution because the Vice President of Manufacturing is concerned that although the Pull solution seems to be a better fit for the (repetitive automotive parts) it […]

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July 3, 2017
Implementing Lean World Class Manufacturing Means Major Changes - Recipe for Success (or Failure)

Implementing lean requires “Urgency for Change.” The lack of it means disappointment or even complete failure in implementing lean/world-class manufacturing. This seems pretty straightforward on the surface. Dramatic bottom-line benefits from success are well documented and made famous by many authors and thinkers, like Jim Womack and a host of others. So, what is the […]

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July 3, 2017
So You Want to Implement TEAMS in Your Factory?

Getting started on the journey to team-based manufacturing is either a well thought-out move by insightful managers, or (most often) the direct result of having it forced down your throat by “Gorilla” customers.  You remember the old one, “where does a 600-pound Gorilla sleep?” Typically, your plant has been around a while.  You have a […]

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July 3, 2017
Hoshin Planning and Nemawashi – Keys to Effective Planning and Deployment

You are precisely on-track with your line of thinking.  There is an added aspect of Hoshin planning that is not well understood but practiced by the Japanese, called catchball or nemawashi.  This practice is characterized by the passing of plans from on-high to the next level down, "tossing the ball". After reviewing and providing feedback […]

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July 3, 2017
GPR and Value Stream Mapping―Matched for Success

Hordes of people around the world and, more specifically, in government services have been adopting aspects of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) for many years. For those of us who have been watching the related developments in Operational Excellence (OpEx) and Lean Six Sigma (LSS), we have seen a lot of adoption of the technique called […]

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July 3, 2017
Developing a Risk Management Plan for Your Lean Implementation – a Distribution Center Case Study

Managing risk in your planning and during the implementation of a lean initiative–or any other major change initiative for that matter–requires a great deal of careful consideration. My company is assisting in a major rollout of lean practices in 20 facilities across the U.S. for a large retailer (identity concealed) in their distribution and repair […]

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July 3, 2017
Circle Teams Organization: Critical Questions

In this second in a series of articles (part one appears in the July/August Lean Culture), we will continue taking a hard look at the practical questions and answers managers and supervisors must come to grips with in order to adequately support teams. The categories of questions we will continue addressing include: Getting organized–typical questions […]

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July 3, 2017
Circle Teams at Work – Stories from the Trenches

The good and the bad I’ll share the stories of three circle teams that have been formed over the last year at a services organization that processes huge volumes of insurance claims. The approach and coaching provided to each of these teams were identical. Each had the benefit of a Kaizen team working on process […]

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