The House of High Quality Articles for Everyone in the World

Apr 30, 2010

The Benefits Of ‘Just-In-Time’

Just-in-time(JIT) manufacturing is a simple theory that stock that is housed within any company is waste and any over production of goods is also waste. Stock should be delivered and row material ‘just in time’. So there is no stock or row material being stored in any quantity, they are all simply brought in or created as required.

But what are the benefits of JIT within the manufacturing process apart from the cost reduction of accommodating stock and produced goods?

Over Production Ceases

Fundamental to the process of JIT manufacturing is that goods are not over produced. When they are over produced then they need to be transported to a storage facility and then stored until they are required.

Both these actions require staff time and effort. In addition, each time that goods are moved there is a chance that they will be damaged, so reducing the number of times that manufactured goods are transported/stored minimises the risk of damage.

Less transport also means less resources are used, which is very much in keeping with the Lean business philosophy of reducing waste and using resources sparingly.

Not having to store produced goods also means that there is less resources used to store them. When they are stored some degree of heating/lighting, security is required and again these take up resources.

Overproduction of goods can sometimes hide flaws within the production process, so reducing over production means that any flaws are immediately apparent, which in turn leads to quality improvement.

Flow Of Goods Improves

Because goods are not over produced and are produced in the right timescale, overall within the manufacturing process there is a better flow of goods, because there is no over production of any one item.

Workers Are Multi-Skilled

In order to meet the requirements of JIT manufacturing, workers have to be trained to be flexible and to be able to undertake duties that may be in areas other than their usual workstation. This means initially there are some training costs, but having a workforce that is so flexible and skilled that workers can be deployed to different work areas when required is highly desirable.

Labour Costs Are Reduced

Through production of goods only when required staff are not paid for non- production, thus saving the company costs. Usually staff will be deployed into other areas of work, so that they will still earn money, but the company saves because it is not paying workers to produce items that have no immediate use.

Positive Relationships With Suppliers

Suppliers will also benefit from JIT manufacturing because they too will be expected to supply using JIT principles. This means that they have to have a positive and inter-dependent relationship with the manufacturer, rather than the historic relationship where the customer had the power and the supplier was not an equal.

Motivated Workforce

The JIT manufacturing process is one that is highly focussed on targets, deadlines, quality and so on. Usually JIT is only one aspect of the Lean philosophy of ensuring that waste is eliminated in all its forms. Staff are therefore kept motivated by the goals, targets and even reward systems that may be in place to ensure that they continuously strive to effect improvement in all aspects of their work.

Lean is a culture that is very much focussed on quality and this culture can become a real driving force within the personnel of any company, which also spins off into JIT being viewed as a positive way of keeping the company financially viable and ahead of its competitors.

read more »

Apr 29, 2010

Lean Six Sigma and Eliminate Waste

Lean Six Sigma is a tool that many business ownr turn to when they need the best tools for waste elimination and process improvement. Lean Six Sigma is a combination of Lean Methodology and the Six Sigma Methodology, which is designed to apply the tools of both practices into one formula for process improvement and waste elimination within a company or organization. Using the principles of lean, there are many different types of wastes that can be eliminated, depending upon the company and their specific needs for waste elimination. All you need is the proper Six Sigma Training and a little experience with Lean Enterprise to ensure that you're prepared for what you're getting into.

If you take the time to learn about the wastes that you have, you'll likely realize that you have more than you might have initially thought. By looking deeper than the surface and using the tools of Lean Six Sigma to identify all areas of waste, why they happen, and how to eliminate them, you will be much better able to make your business more efficient. For example, a doctor's office sending patients who have appointments for specific reasons to a triage room is an unnecessary step in the process of patient flow.

Using Lean Six Sigma, this process can be restructured so that the flow is more efficient and the triage isn't wasting their time or the time of the patients, making the business operate better for everyone that is involved. The great thing about this combination is that you have very basic principles of waste elimination from Lean Enterprise or manufacturing, and that is coupled with the statistical analysis that is offered by the Six Sigma Process. Together, these two tools create a dynamic solution to many process improvement and waste elimination projects in various industries.

Lean Six Sigma will eliminate wastes on many levels, and for many different reasons. If you have unnecessary waste in your processes, you can benefit from Lean Six Sigma projects just as well as anyone else. It doesn't matter how big your company is or how many projects you need to take on, because the methodology is very basic and able to be molded to just about any industry and situation that exists. Once you have eliminated the wastes within your industry you will be much more efficient, which will increase your customer satisfaction, profitability, and even your overall workplace atmosphere in some cases.

read more »

Apr 28, 2010

ISO 9001 Vs Six Sigma

If you won't get into the history and background of each process management approach. You only have to search engine "Six Sigma" or "ISO 9001" to get your fair share of information. This article will go for the jugular on a topic that has been on my mind for some time. It has been touted in best-selling business books but that was 10 years ago.

Before I get off-topic, let's jump straight into a bullet list that lists the problems with Six Sigma:

1. 3M, GE, Home Depot, Ford and other major companies are pulling back on Six Sigma because research shows that customer satisfaction and employee morale has suffered

a. On the other hand, customer Satisfaction is a major theme of ISO 9001 as Customer Focus is one of the eight ISO 9001 management principles.

2. Over analyzing

a. On the other hand, ISO 9001 simply suggests that your business should take a Factual Approach to Decision Making. This means making informed decisions and ensuring data and information are sufficiently accurate and reliable and accessible to those who need it. ISO 9001 wants you to use the facts but to also balance it with experience and intuition.

3. Six Sigma and innovation do not co-exist in the same world

a. Another major theme of ISO 9001 is Continual Improvement. Unlike Six Sigma, ISO 9001 puts innovation squarely on the roadmap for organizational success.

4. It's all about numbers and not about customers

a. Again, ISO 9001 makes it abundantly clear throughout the standard that Customer Focus is a key element to business success.

5. Six Sigma = cost cutting. Surely, your business exists do to more than just cut costs?

a. ISO 9001 reminds us that in addition to cutting costs, we also have to focus on Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships, Leadership, Involvement of People and more.

6. Six Sigma = micromanaging

a. ISO 9001 is anything but micromanaging if it is well-implemented by an experienced consultant. The standard only required six documented procedures. A smooth-running ISO 9001 certified company is one that operates on its own positive, organic momentum.

7. It is elitist. Since when should a company only take direction from Black Belts? Whatever happened to everyone in a company acting as a process improver?

a. Not the case with ISO 9001. Only one central role of Management Representative needs to be assigned. As for the rest of the employees, everyone is encouraged to play their part.

8. It does not incorporate information technology - a huge force that can impact processes

a. There isn't anything specifically written into ISO 9001 speaking to Information Technology. However, several sections of the standard allow ample opportunity for IT to shine and play a central role.

9. It espouses incremental improvement, not radical breakthroughs

a. One of my personal favorite Management Principles of ISO 9001 is Continual Improvement.

10. Read any article about Six Sigma and you are bound to find a disclaimer section addressing concerns or issues with it.

a. ISO 9001 does not generate the same kind of backlash Six Sigma is getting

11. A Fortune 500 article stated that "of 58 large companies that have announced Six Sigma programs, 91% have trailed the S&P 500 since"

a. On the other hand, a Harvard Business School Working Paper by David I. Levine and Michael W. Toffel published on January 18, 2010 concludes that ISO 9001 delivers value, is not a fad, increases sales by roughly 10%, and more. The authors mention "...the strength and consistency of our findings leads us to shift our own priors in favor of the hypothesis that ISO 9001 adoption is more beneficial than we had anticipated."

12. It is based on arbitrary standards

a. 3.4 defects per million opportunities sounds great for some industries assuming their products are life-threatening or simply cannot endure any margin of error. But would you apply the same strict standard to your typical contact centre or service provider? Why does it need to be six standard deviations? This is not explained. Also, Six Sigma operates on the assumption that process data always conforms to a normal distribution model.

read more »

How to Implement a Kanban in Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing, well known among large corporations, in fact most companies all over the world have implemented some form of lean manufacturing. A big part of lean manufacturing is the Kaizen and Kanban methods. The Kanban means one thing that is visible, in Japanese and according to the best lean manufacturing system every product should be made as one until it reaches the customer but this is not very efficient in production methods. Still there are ways of implementing the system of "one" within the lean manufacturing system.

In a lean processes there are several teams formed for each department that involves the manufacturing of the part. These teams are formed to produce communication between the different departments. First you meet and get to know every person in your group and then you train those members in world class manufacturing and in other methods like Kanban and Kaizen. Kanban and Kaizen methods cannot be implemented without first implementing the basic system.

The process can be implemented into any department within a company, but first a complete analysis needs to be done to identify what areas need more efficiency including areas such as maintenance, sales, service, engineering production and even shipping. The key is to know the areas that need to be worked on and implement the plan, and this plan may be ever changing and ongoing.

A method within this system is the KanBan, which is Japanese, meaning something that is visible that helps in the transporting, moving or production of a product. This visible thing can be an electronic signal which signals the moving of a product from one station to another, a pallet on which product is put and then moved to another area, a bin with the same intentions, or anything similar.

The kanban method helps you manage inventory or processes; they allow you to know what is in stock and what has been shipped very easily, because each kanban has a certain number of products within. Even when you use an electronic signal you know how many of a product is shipping and how many are produced. As an example, lets assume the kanban is an electronic signal and you are producing refrigerators. If you implement a signal for 20 refrigerators going through the installation of thermal insulation, then you know that the next production area receives 20 refrigerators, etc.

As mentioned before the kanban method cannot be started and worked with efficiently until you really understand how it works. If you don't have the right organization and equipment the kanban system will not make much of a difference.

Lean manufacturing works as a whole, and certain methods like kanbans and kaizens work within the whole lean system. By the same token you cant have a lean system if you don't have kaizens or kanbans.

read more »

Apr 25, 2010

Total Quality Management Philosophies

The basis for TQM is to prevent defect or trouble with the Quality from the beginning. Applying statistical techniques and management skills to examine, control and supervise factors that may affect on the appearance of defects during the whole process, in research phase, design phase and in other services relating to the development of Quality.

Applying TQM will not only improve the product quality or increase productivity but also enhance the effectiveness of the whole system due to the principle "always do correctly the correct works at the very beginning".

According to ISO 9000, Total Quality Management is a management philosophy that seeks to focus the functions of an organization into Quality, with the participation of every member in it, in order to reach a long-lasting success by satisfying all customer requirements and bring back benefit to the members of that organization and to the society.

Management system in TQM is a system established on basis of the following philosophies:

(1) Quality can't be assured and controlled if only the output of the process is controlled. It is the whole process involving every function, every operation that create quality.

(2) The responsibility towards Quality belongs to the highest level management of the organization. To have an appropriate and effective Quality Policy, the management board must deeply change their belief in approach to improve quality. They need to make commitment and agreement to Quality activities. This is very important step in the management of quality in any organization. If you want to improve the quality, first, you have to improve the administrative operations and other supporting functions.

(3) The quality of the product depends much on the quality of Human factor, the most important factor in making product quality. Training, education must be the strategic tasks to be firstly focused in the quality improvement programs.

(4) Quality must have the attention from all the members in the organization. Therefore, Quality control system must be built upon the mutual understanding, coherence and commitment to the main goal which is the quality of the work. This will help facilitate the movements of Quality groups in the organization, which will draw people into creativity and improvement of quality activities.

(5) Toward the prevention and protection from defect, error in the production process and other operations by making best use of statistical tools to find the main causes of defect and take duly corrective actions.

(6) To avoid economic costs, these principles must be absolutely and correctly followed right at the beginning.

TQM is related directly to every production and business processes to control and prevent defect causes during the process, with the procedure to implement as follows:

1. Select process of priority to analyze
2. Analyze the process
3. Examine the process
o Target norms/ control board
o Relations with customers/suppliers
o Service contract with customers/suppliers
4. Quality Improvement method in the process

Actually, TQM is the synchronous combination of Quality Control with Productivity control for the main goal as to achive the perfection of the product, as well as the perfection of the company itself.

read more »

Apr 23, 2010

Quality Assurance Principles

Quality assurance (QA) cover all things in the organization like row material, product, maintenance so it has 5 principls:-

1 - Customer is God.

This philosophy must be applied in enterprises and done by all members' best. It means that all employees including sales and after-sales service staffs as well as suppliers and distributors have responsibility in quality assurance. Just when all members do it together, is the quality assurance successful. The whole companies, by means of quality teams, must cooperate together for the target of quality assurance.

2 - Approach customers and master their needs.

It is essential to clearly catch customers' needs and requests. Sometimes, customers just ambiguously raise their needs or just address their desire to get satisfaction of some products or services. Producers with their marketing departments should specifically get customers' needs and then concretize them in the features of products and services that they are going to supply. Today, it is not appropriate for producers to make products first and then do all the ways to satisfy customers.

3.- Continuous quality improvement by doing the Deming cycle (PDCA).

Customers' needs and expectations always change and tend to increase. Though enterprises have well-done philosophy "Customer is God", suitable market research methods and good quality product designs, QA implementation is not done thoroughly. Thus, enterprises have to do the continuous quality improvement in order to satisfy customers the most at all time. Enterprises can improve product quality in the increasingly good way by continuously applying the Deming cycle.

4.-Producers and distributors must have responsibility in quality assurance.

When an enterprise provides some products or services into the market, they have to take the responsibility to assure the quality of the products they make.

5.-Next process is the customer of the previous process.

In the range of factories and enterprises, we have to do the above philosophy thoroughly. Because when we accept that the next process is the customer of the previous process, the responsibility in QA must be done seriously. In the next process, when customers become suppliers for the following process, they also do their best to provide consumers with the best-quality products. Consequently, products will be made perfectly.

QA contains all things from production planning to product completion, maintenance, repairing and discard. Therefore, it is very necessary to obviously determine what should be done in each period in order to assure the product quality during the product life that includes ensuring that products have high efficiency and regularly checking what have been done.

read more »

Apr 22, 2010

Benefits of Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a proven tool. Well suited for a broad range of industries and processes, VSM is ideal for creating positive organizational changes and producing system-wide benefits in cost, quality, and flexibility. It helps eliminate waste.

But like any tool, VSM must be applied properly. That means avoiding the common errors that invalidate the mapping process. Below are tips on developing an accurate VSM. These tips will not only improve the accuracy of your map and facilitate the mapping process, they'll also help you reap its system-wide benefits.

But first, let's define a value stream. It includes all the activities required in bringing a product from "raw materials" into the customer's hands or in providing service to a target audience. Michael Porter, author of Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, was among the first to talk about value chains and value streams. In his definition of a value stream, he includes primary activities, like inbound logistics, and support activities, like procurement. Porter relates these activities to gaining a competitive advantage.

One key to value stream mapping suggested by Porter's definition is to clearly define the product or service to map. In other words, make sure you have a value stream to map before engaging in the process, since the objective is to identify system-wide waste occurs and then remove it. Unfortunately, some apply VSM in situations where there's no product or control part, such as in product development processes. Make sure there's a repeatable action or control part to follow before creating a value stream map. Otherwise, you'll just be wasting time and resources.

Another key to developing a VAM is observing performance first hand. While many value streams are simple, many are also complex. In some cases, the production process or service delivery effort is long and tedious. It other cases it maybe set aside for a few days or a few weeks or the person developing the process needs to complete the map quickly. All of which makes developing a value stream map difficult.

In addition, much of what takes place in the day-to-day operations of a business-- phone calls, interruptions, reprioritizations of work--isn't stored on a computer or in someone's memory. So depending on engineering standards to fill in the information boxes and determine potential savings won't work, nor will trying to develop a map while sitting in your office. While the Map might be technically correct, you would be missing many of the activities actually happening on the floor.

Unfortunately, these activities affect production time and the product's value. Therefore, you must observe the product as it is being produced or the service as it is being delivered to determine which activities add value and which do not. While it's sometimes hard to do, it's critical to gathering accurate data for your VSM. Otherwise, you're creating a process map, not a value stream map.

Also, make sure you follow the product undergoing production or the service being delivered all the way. Sometimes an observer follows the worker through a long drawn out production process. When he or she stops dealing with the product, the observer, follows the worker instead of the control part. This can spell disaster.

Let's say, for example, the product is a patient in a doctor's office. When the doctor finishes his exam, the observer needs to follow the patient, not the nurse who's updating the patient's chart. If the observer follows the nurse, he or she is mapping the nurse's work, not the work being done on the control part, which stopped when the patient went home.

In addition, be aware of product families when developing a VSM. Most firms produce more than one product family. Sometimes, it gets complicated following a single product family because the observer did a poor job of identifying the key product family before hand. By not identifying the product family, the observer risks being distracted and following the wrong processing path.

Two common problem areas in value stream mapping are ignoring shared resources and double counting time. These pitfalls can invalidate the accuracy of a value stream map.

Most companies have shared resources. These resources--which may be people, assembly lines, or equipment--often support multiple product families. If the observer forgets to identify these shared resources when developing a value stream map, the map will be incorrect. Identify the shared resources in a value stream ahead of time. Forgetting to do so will produce incorrect estimates for things like cycle times. And that in turn will affect the map's end product.

Also, makes sure you understand exactly what goes in an information box and what is a processing step. Changeovers usually go in an information box, but what about travel time. The key is separating the actual work involved in completing the product or service from the things that cause inventory to build up. Long changeovers cause inventory to build, but what about long distance travelling? Both activities may need be eliminated because they both cause inventory to build.

These tips will help you develop accurate value stream maps. The maps will, in turn, help cut waste from your production processes or service deliver sequence, streamlining operations, cutting costs, and improving customer service. More importantly, they'll help you reap the system-wide benefits VSM provides, making your efforts both productive and profitable.
Dr.5z5 Open Feed Directory

read more »

Apr 18, 2010

Two Approaches in Quality Control

In production, quality control has long become a part of management system, a tool to help manager inspection and control the product quality. However, because the characteristics of recognition and belief differ from country to country, each quality control method, therefore, has its own approach and effect. Most outstanding of all are the two trends, the two approaches in Quality Control in Japan and in Western Europe.

1. The former approache:

Started from the belief that Quality management is a matter of technology which is decided by technical standards and requirements, materials, machines, technology.... therefore, to control the quality, people base on Statistical Quality Control (SQC) and apply automatic examination tools in and after production time. To make basis for comparison, people create quality standards for the products and unify testing methods. Thereafter, take tests to evaluate the decree of compliance of the product with those standards or technical requirements. On basis of the test results, the product quality will be decided to be satisfactory or dissatisfactory.

In this trend, Quality Control methods are formed such as QC (Quality Control), Product Quality Examination and TQC (Total QC). In production system, there are employees trained to examine the product quality - who work independently and specially.

2. The latter approache:

Differing from the above belief, the second trend assumes that QC by examining and removing defect products will be unable to avoid mistakes. Examination does not create Quality but the whole process does, from design phase, production phase to consumption phase. The quality must be assured in every phase, every work and must involve every employee in the organization.

Therefore, to control the quality according to this trend, people must consider Quality Assurance to be their main duty. This duty is done by regular and planned activities of senior managers. Quality Assurance must be started with being set as a main goal of the company. After being publicly introduced about Quality Improvement Programs, all the employees will do researches to find best ways to fulfill their duties. As a result, in companies following this trend, there are many Quality Movements with the participation of all the employees.

Management methods following this trend can be deeply humanistic, such as TQM (Total Quality Management), TQCo (Total Quality Commitment) and CWQI (Company Wide Quality Improvement). With these methods, people can make best use of the human resource in the company, and the result is that not only the product quality is assured but also the business operations are improved.

Above are the two most important trends in QC in the world. These 2 trends are formed throughout the process of consciousness about relevant matters to Quality and have been verified for over 40 years of application as basis for QC in many countries. However, which trend and which model to be selected depends on many specific conditions of each company, each country and each requirement from reality.

read more »

7 Productivity Principles For a Home Business

As a passionate and motivated home entrepreneur, you no doubt consciously seek out information on how to run a successful and profitable home business whenever possible. If however you don't, then you are making a big mistake. Businesses don't grow on their own; home entrepreneurs require focus, and desire to be the best in their class... and of course they need to offer great product/service to get the attention of the market.

Process driven productivity is an approach to running managing your time as productively, efficiently and effectively as possible, and still allowing you to deliver maximum value to your customers at a minimum effort/cost to you.

You see, what's missing in most 'traditional' approaches to business entrepreneurial teaching is the aspect of continuous improvement. Most programs, books and literature show you how to create a business plan, find financing, hire employees, and market your product. These are all very important aspects of creating and running a business... but they don't teach you how to run the best business possible.

Now, I don't know what business you are in or what product/service you offer. You may sell information products online or you may give manicures to your friends and neighbors in your basement. That really doesn't matter given what I am trying to teach you here. You see, these principles focus on the business process and not on the business product.

Every product/service requires a process to transform it from an idea in your head to something of value in the eyes of your customers. And your productivity, efficiency and overall effectiveness determine how successfully you will be at transforming that product/service into something the customer will value. This transformation is captured in what's known as the Value Stream.

A concept know as Lean Thinking focuses on the relentless elimination of waste in your business. Waste represents all of the non-value added steps that are part of the end product you provide to your customers. This waste is either passed on to the customer as an added cost for product development, or it is absorbed by you. In either case, it is a waste that needs to be addressed.

Sidebar: What is Lean? Lean Thinking provides both a business strategy and an implementation toolset. The Lean strategy is to reduce cycle time which will cause the fundamental problems to surface (waste) and to target them for elimination. The Lean tools help us to "see" the waste and provide methods to eliminate it. The result is an efficient business that delivers maximum value to the customer.

The following 7 principles can help drive your home business to higher levels of performance and financial success.

1. The Principle of Preparation - organizing your environment and yourself.
2. The Principle of Productivity - avoiding multi-tasking and being productive, efficient and effective.
3. The Principle of Practice - developing routines and standard operations for your business processes.
4. The Principle of Prioritization - focus on your core strengths and outsourcing activities for efficiency.
5. The Principle of Prevention - improving quality and control by error-proofing your business.
6. The Principle of Prediction - visually monitoring progress with performance metrics.
7. The Principle of Performance - overcoming constraints to improve personal and business performance.

These principles are fundamental to your success in 'doing more with less' in the planning, execution and control of your home business operations. Every home entrepreneur must understand his/her limitations in terms of resources. You cannot be everything to everybody at the same time. Multi-tasking, as popular as it is today, is evil.

Gaining an understanding of these 7 principles will help home entrepreneurs become more productive, efficient and effective in their day to day operations of their home business. That means you will be able to do more with your limited resources and thus generate more revenue in your business.

read more »

Apr 13, 2010

History of Lean Manufacturing

After the Second World War, Japanese manufacturers were facing diminished human, material, and financial resources. These circumstances led to the development of new, lower cost, manufacturing practices. Early Japanese manufacturers such as the Toyota Motor developed a disciplined, process-focused production system now known as Toyota Production System. The objective of this system was to minimise the consumption of resources (waste) that added no value to a product.

The Lean manufacturing concept was popularized in large part by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology study of the movement from mass production toward Lean production as described in the book: The Machine That Changed the World, (Womack, Jones & Roos, 1990). This book described the important elements accounting for superior performance as Lean production. The term Lean was used because such business methods used less human effort, capital investment, floor space, materials, and time in all aspects of operations.

2. What are the other names of Lean?

Lean is also known as:

- Toyota Production System

- World Class Manufacturing System

- Just In Time System

3. What are the 5 Key Principles of Lean Thinking?

The key to Lean Thinking is driven by the following 5 key principles. In adopting a holistic approach to Lean which encompasses the 5 Principles and deploying Lean tools and techniques to gradually eliminate waste, an organisation gets progressively Lean.

1 - Value

Identify and create products or services that add value to a client's objectives, ensuring full customer satisfaction and beyond.

2 - Value Stream

Identify the vital steps that facilitate an efficient production or service line workflow, and also the unnecessary steps that result in waste. Optimise workflow through eliminating the non-value steps and create a value stream.

3 - Flow

Eliminate steps in the workflow that potentially cause interruption, bottlenecks, delay or destruction. Create efficient steps without these negative effects to form a value flow.

4 - Pull

Supply only upon demand. Produce only when the customer pulls, so that no resources are wasted.

5 - Perfection

Strive for perfection by continually removing successive layers of waste as they are uncovered.

4. How to summarize Lean in one sentence?

A systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value-added activities) through continual improvement by flowing value at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection.

5. Is Lean applicable only to manufacturers?

Although Lean originated from the manufacturing sectors, Lean solutions and tools can be customised to cater to any potential situation in an organisation, be it manufacturing or service. Lean can be applied in a flexible manner to achieve effective results regardless of the type of industries, or size of a company. To date Lean has been implemented by manufacturing and service organizations, public sectors throughout the world.

read more »

Lean Thinking and Capacity

When you hear the word Lean You maybe think it mean thin people or meat with no fat attached. Perhaps something fast, sleek and agile.

but in a business it has alot of descriptions are they :

o Produce products with defects

o Need less effort to design, make and service their products

o Use fewer suppliers

o Key processes performed in less time and with less effort

o Need less stock ( inventory, WIP etc)

o Have fewer accidents

Basically it is a firm that consumes less of everything and accomplishes more with less.

Lean companies use less material, less time, less energy, less space. They are driven by customer demand and use the most effective and economical way to develop and deliver their products or services.

Some of the tools and techniques have been around for many years. However, round about the 1980's the phrase was coined and it has grown to represent a particular set of ideas and methods, which when combined are referred to as Lean.

o Continuing and unrelenting focus on providing customer value.

o Maintaining continuous, incremental improvement.

o Taking the long term view

o Matching customer demand and providing everything that is needed at the right time.

o Using proven tools and techniques to reduce variation and attempting to completely eliminate waste.

It is this focus on eliminating waste that is at the very heart of Lean Thinking

Capacity= Work + Waste

Eliminate the waste and you will increase your capacity and with less cost.

Lean methodologies have been applied and adapted across just about every type of industry. Banking, construction, health care, government, manufacturing, engineering, design, back office administration and lots more besides. It is not just for the more "industrial" sectors, it can and has been, applied across a diverse range of services. There are implementation projects/programmes for supply chain, administration, management, product development, manufacturing and many more.

Lean has resulted in significant improvements to products and services across the globe. It brings them more quickly, more cheaply and more reliably.It focuses on eliminating waste at every level and every element of an organisation. It does not matter whether you are one person working in a box room or a multi-national employing thousands,it will provide significant improvements to your business.

It shows you how to use less time, space, energy, effort, material or anything else you use to deliver your product/service to your customers/clients.But it is about much more than a set of tools and techniques and eliminating waste. It has to become a way of organisational life, a way of thinking, a philosophy. You do not just "Do Lean" and forget about it. It is an ongoing commitment to continual incremental improvement based on a belief that processes can always be improved.

When it fails it is because organisations do not fully understand the commitment required and that it is an ongoing journey to a destination that you will never reach. That is not to say that it is a tortuous, frustrating process, it is not. It is exciting, empowering, a breath of fresh air but a firm must be committed.

Individuals, teams, departments and whole organisations learn every day, the lessons are learnt, the knowledge is embedded and the cycle is repeated. All the time organisational knowledge grows and improvements are made and capitalized upon.

read more »

Apr 12, 2010

Lean Calculators

To implement lean manufacturing in our company must be calculate some things like:-

OEE Calculator

OEE Calculator by World Class Manufacturing

Life Cycle Cost calculator

Life Cycle Cost Calculator by World Class Manufacturing

Spare Parts calculator

Spare Parts Management Calculator by World Class Manufacturing

Kanban calculator

Kanban Calculator by World Class Manufacturing

Sigma calculator

Six Sigma Calculator by World Class Manufacturing

Takt time calculator

Takt Time Calculator by World Class Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing Implementation Road Map

Lean Manufacturing Implementation Plan by World Class Manufacturing

read more »

Apr 11, 2010

Lean Production Principles

Lean Production is a modern management philosophy inspired by the Japanese concept of kaizen (the strategy of continuous improvement) that aims to eliminate waste in the production system. In other words, it’s like getting rid of unnecessary process in the workplace that has no added value to a product.

The ultimate goal of this methodology is to improve and speed up production by eliminating waste as far as manufacturing/production is concerned. Therefore, when we speak of Lean Manufacturing, it is addressing the “non-productive resources” in key areas of operations that are not beneficial to the entire production process.

In its simplest explanation, the Lean Manufacturing approach directly identifies common problems in operations—like defective equipment, overproduction, loose inventories, time-motion lags, over-processing, over staffing, delivery issues, unreasonable floor space, surplus and material leftovers, quality losses, etc.—and these are immediately addressed and corrected with the definitive purpose of reducing lead-times, improving quality, lowering production costs and achieving substantial results.

Putting in place a Lean Production system offers tangible and measurable results in terms of quality, efficiency and output.

A rationalized operating expense strengthens one’s competitive edge; improving production process suggests better functionality; enhanced functionality means better quality; better quality means larger market demand; more demand requires increased output; and more output means higher sales revenues.

Therefore, eliminating waste means improving the bottom line.

The word “lean” is being used to reflect the Japanese business approach in employing “less” human resource, less money/capital, less materials, etc. in all aspects of business operations.

The Lean Manufacturing, or Lean Production principles, is the reason why Toyota has been very successful in their chosen industry for several decades now. It is also the reason why manufacturing industries all over the world are adopting the same Japanese production discipline—to varying scale and style—to achieve the same success.

Every organization, sector or environment has waste.

Wherever there is waste, the “lean” philosophy and its corresponding applications can be adopted and developed to improve the entire process chain from ordering paperclips and ink, to conserving water and electricity.

Lean Manufacturing techniques are not limited to the manufacturing sector (i.e., factories, production, assembly lines, etc.). As a matter of fact, it can also be applied to service-oriented industries like the government bureaucracy, service agencies, or even at home or in the office—because these work places have elements that do not provide value to the whole work process. These elements—which are appropriately identified and analyzed—are nothing but “waste” that need to be eliminated.

Today, Lean Manufacturing techniques, or what we call “lean thinking”, have become an essential part the manufacturing sector.

It has become not only an important management tool but a way of life to continuously improve fabrication processes/methodologies and creatively adopt changes to minimize consumption and maximize production.

read more »

Apr 10, 2010


The Kaizen philosophy is the Japanese word kai which means “continuous” and zen meaning “improvement”. The Kaizen management philosophy, therefore, is defined as making “continuous improvement”—slow, incremental but constant. It is but surprising that the same Japanese words (kaizen) denote “the action to correct” in Chinese.

The Kaizen way encourages small day-to-day yet continuous and never-ending improvement process involving everyone from managers to workers using the most basic tenet of survival: Common sense.

KaizenMaking sensible decisions and native sound judgment, incidentally, are the ingredients of survival—and Kaizen becomes a handy management kit that best works in times of crisis.

To understand the benefits of Kaizen better, every business or corporation may need to undergo radical change—whatever degree, without any resistance—in order to survive the competition in this fast changing world.

As opposed to the Western brand of pragmatic why-fix-it-if-it-ain’t-broke philosophy, Kaizen extends a more optimistic philosophical view: “Everything—even if it ain’t broke—can be made better!”

In business applications, Kaizen covers most of the modules of successful Japanese concepts. Kanban, 5S, quality circles (QCs), just-in-time (JIT) delivery, automation, suggestions systems, etc., are all embedded into the Kaizen system of modern business management.

Setting the structure for Kaizen is very important. This includes appointing self-directed teams that manage to

• analyze problems; and

• generate solutions

The teams need the authority to implement the necessary changes. Everybody needs to be involved.

In the United States, an alternative to the Kaizen approach is called the Kaizen Blitz (or Kaizen Event) where self-directed teams are forced to analyze problems hastily and generate curative solutions—but are immediately dissolved once the problem is solved.

Kaizen is setting doable, replicable standards and then continually improving those standards—because persistent improvements are crucial for the long-term profits.

In spite of different systemic modules, it must be understood that Kaizen is not a method or technique. In the Kaizen system, all existing and standard programs and techniques are still actively used, albeit on an improved level.

Kaizen, therefore, is not all about incentives and rewards—it is about the support given to front-liners to help them improve the way work is done.

read more »

Apr 8, 2010

What is Jidoka ?

Jidoka is a Japanese term used for automation and being widely used in Toyota Production System (TPS), Lean Manufacturing and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Concept is to authorize the machine owner (operator) and in any case if a problem occurs on flow line, operator can stop the flow line. Ultimately defective pieces will not move to the next station. This concept minimizes the defects, over production and minimizes wastes. Also its focus is to understand the causes of problems and then taking preventive action to reduce them.

History of Jidoka is back in early 1900’s, when first loom was stopped due to breakage of thread. This loom was developed by Toyota, and it stops working immediately, if any thread broken. Taiichi Ohno is considered to be the inventor of this idea and he describes this tool as one pillar of TPS. Shigeo Shingo called it as pre-automation.

The concept of automated line is being used to relieve workers and minimize human related errors. If machine detects any defect or problem, it should stop immediately. The common causes of defect are:
1- Inappropriate operating procedures
2- Excessive variation in operations
3- Defective raw material
4- Human or Machine error
Jidoka concept was developed due to many reasons,
the common reasons are the 7 type of waste

The purpose of Jidoka implementation is to diagnose the defect immediately and correct it accordingly. Now, human related judgment of component quality is minimized and worker will be only attentive, when machine will be stopped. This concept also helps in sequential inspection of components and ultimately good quality products are produced and also not much burden of final inspection is put on the shoulders of worker. Inspection is carried out by machine and when machine stops working, designated person or skilled person rush towards machine and try to resolve the problem. Jidoka focuses to investigate the root cause of that problem and make necessary arrangements so that this defect may not occur again. Defect prevention can be achieved by using Poka Yoke technique.

Jidoka is being effectively used in TPM, Lean Manufacturing and providing substantial benefits to the organizations. Common benefits obtained by its implementation are:

1- Helps in detection of problem at earlier stages
2- It helps in becoming world class organization
3- Human intelligence is integrated into automated machinery
4- Defect free products are produced
5- Enhances substantial improvement in productivity of the organization

When utilizing Jidoka philosophy, Taiichi Ohno had some specific goals of this tool in mind. But with the advancement in its scope, following goals are being achieved through its application:
1- Effective utilization of manpower
2- Product produced will be of top quality
3- Shorter delivery time of products
4- Reduction in equipment failure rate
5- Improve level of customer satisfaction
6- Increase quality of final product
7- Lower costs (Internal, External, and Appraisal cost etc.)

read more »

Apr 6, 2010

10 Causes of Waste

The principles of the seven wastes are well known – and a lot of lean manufacturing/lean six sigma processes are targeted at minimizing this – do you know what the causes of it are? Do you know what to take out of your processes to improve them and reduce the dreaded muda?

Here are our top 10 causes of waste

1- Poor Layout

A Poor layout can result in excessive movement between areas by staff – for example – a common issue is where inventory is stored in relation to where it is needed

2- Poor work methods

3- Lack of adherence to process

Once you’ve got world class processes you need to ensure that people stick to them – failure to follow process is another common reason for excess inventories for example.

4- Incorrect performance measures

while measures are a good thing the wrong measure can drive the wrong behavior and increase waste.

5- Poor planning/forecasting

Ineffective forecasting can result in a business being incorrectly primed for what’s around the corner – again watch out for inventory stock piles to buffer against demand variability.

6- Poor Supplier quality
Poor suppliers will drive activity to compensate – again higher inventories and over processing.

7- Long setup time

8- Lack of organization

9- Lack of preventative maintenance

Protect the organization against excessive downtimes by enforcing a thorough preventative maintenance policy.

10- Lack of training

Your staff is your business! – a lack of training whether that’s on policies and procedures or on improvement tools will stagnate your organization and result in inefficiencies.

read more »

Apr 5, 2010

The Voice of the customer - VOC

VOC is ensuring that products and services are aligned to customer needs. While Six Sigma often targets the quality of product – you’ll also often see improvement programs embrace a wider strategy of fulfilling customer requirements often including a variety of common issues such as quality – cost – right quantity - right time. Customer requirements can take many forms not just in the physical product.

The importance of voice of the customer (VOC)

So why is the voice of the customer important? Well if we fail to meet our customer’s requirement – quality – cost – right quantity - right time. A prolonged failure to meet customer needs could mean that the customer will move to other suppliers which can have drastic financial consequences.

So the voice of the customer represents an integral building block in how organizations operate. Further to that – in any business improvement initiative, the voice of the customer should always be present to ensure that
1- the product is aligned to customer need
2- Any improvement objectives incorporate customer requirement and therefore don’t build processes that fail to deliver.

Defining and capturing the voice of the customer (VOC)

Capturing the Voice of the customer can be achieved in various ways from questioning the customer through surveys, direct interviews etc, or through information that may be obtained through processes such as the purchasing process (for example product specifications) – While these are the more obvious methods – there is a wide variety of methods of capturing the voice of the customer. Perhaps the most widely available method, and one that is often overlooked, is the customer complaint. Believe it or not an effective customer complaint process can help target customer/business misalignment and drive the right improvement activities.

Blog Search: The Source for Blogs

read more »

Apr 3, 2010

Deming Cycle (PDCA)

PDCA, is a process for solving problems in business, specifically relating to improving business processes.
It was originally promoted by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, hence the reference to the Deming cycle.

The four steps in PDCA are:

Plan: Usually the planning process relates to establishing the objectives and the business processes that are required to ensure results consistent with outputs. Because the output is the focus of this step it requires that the specification is an integral part of the process. The planning process may also identify problems that have occurred.

Do: The business processes that impact on the identified problem or outputs need to be established. They will then be mapped out to ensure that the root cause of the problem or the business process that impacts most on the output or objective can be established. This will then be looked at in terms of how it can be improved. Once the new and improved business processes have been identified then they need to be implemented.

Check: The new processes cannot be left without monitoring them to see if they are effective. The processes should therefore be measured in terms of performance by the assessment of results and seeing if any improvements and/or differences have been effected.

Act: The action part is analysing all the differences found to ensure that their exact cause is determined. Each difference will have resulted from one or sometimes more of the PDCA stages. This enables an analysis to be undertaken to identify where changes will result in improvement. The PDSA is then repeated as required to ensure that the objective defined in the first stage is met.

The repetition of the whole PDCA circle ensures that the whole process is as thorough . This repetition is inherent to its success; without the repetition the process of improvement is not complete.


PDCA is sometimes changed to PDSA, where the first two steps are the same, but instead of a C for check, there is an S for study, but the principles are the same; instead of checking the processes, they are studied. The principles are the same for both approaches.

Benefits Of PDCA

There are many benefits that can be secured using a PDCA process. The process in itself is quite simple, but through repeating it there is a chance to ensure that processes are improved quite dramatically.

It can also bring benefits where there are unknowns, often common at the start of a project. So the PDCA process will ensure that the unknowns are either proven or even discounted.

The PDCA process will ensure that whatever the identified goal or objective is, the repeated planning, doing, checking and acting will drive forward improvement, because there is no room for complacency using this method. Constantly evaluating, measuring performance and then re-evaluating leads to substantial growth in improvements; sometimes by small steps, sometimes by huge leaps!

read more »

Apr 2, 2010

5S Methodology

5S methodology is a system to reduce workplace waste and optimize productivity by maintaining an orderly workplace. The use of 5S helps to achieve consistent improvements as well. 5S Implementation "cleans up" and organizes the workplace,is the first lean method which an organization puts into effect.

The 5S pillars, Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, provide a methodology for organizing, cleaning, developing, and sustaining a productive work environment. In order to have a smooth and efficient flow of work.
This lean manufacturing method encourages workers to improve their working conditions and helps them to learn to reduce waste, downtime, and in-process inventory.
Typically, 5S implementation would result in significant reductions in the amount of space needed for existing operations. It also would result in the organization of tools and materials into labeled and color coded storage locations.
Another result is the creation of kits to organize specific activities. These kits save a great deal of time and aggravation. You no longer need to gather the same items repeatedly for frequent tasks.

5S is a cyclical methodology: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain the cycle. It is a never ending cycle that gradually improves everything it touches.

The 5S Pillars
Sort. This focuses on identifying all unnecessary items from the workplace which are not needed for day to day operations. Many times these are useful items, but used so rarely that they need to be discarded, given away or moved to a storage area.

Set in order. Once sorting has taken place, you create efficient storage methods so your items are easy to locate and use, as well as put away.
As you can see, one S builds on the other steps; in fact, they are all integrated to form a whole way of keeping a workplace orderly and efficient.

Shine is sometimes referred to as shine as well. Sweep means to clean, to thoroughly remove clutter and fix things. A daily follow-up cleaning is essential in order to sustain the new improvements.

Standardize. Once the first three 5S's have been implemented, the next pillar is to standardize the best practices in the work area. Individuals need to be assigned responsibility for each of the first 3S aspects.

Then you can create procedure manuals, visual cues such as signs, schedule short blitzes to maintain the first 3S procedures. This is important to prevent the procedures from breaking down and
getting dirty.

Sustain. This involves changing habits and is often the most difficult aspect of 5S
implementation...Changing entrenched behaviors can be difficult, and the tendency is often to return to the status quo and the comfort zone of the "old way" of doing things.

Sustain focuses on defining a new status quo and standard of work place organization. Without the performance reviews, and department tours. Organizations typically seek to reinforce 5S messages in multiple formats until it becomes "the way things are done."

The 5S circle is kept in motion by discipline. 5S training of everyone involved is essential to success as well, otherwise it will just be another program imposed from management. Often workers wondr what is lean manufacturing and when they see the positive results of 5S implementation, they will be much more enthusiastic.

read more »

The Toyota Production System (TPS)

The Toyota Production System is encompasses its management philosophy and practices. This system is a precursor of the lean manufacturing system. The (TPS) was developed by Taiichi Ohno, Shigeo Shingo and Eiji Toyoda between 1948 and 1975.
The main objectives of the (TPS) are to design out overburden and inconsistency and eliminate waste. A process is designed the is capable of delivering the required results smoothly by designing out inconsistencies. The process must be as flexible as necessary without stress since this generates waste. The improvements of waste reduction and elimination of inconsistencies are valuable.

Seven kinds of waste are addressed by the (TPS): over production, motion of the operator, waiting, conveyance, processing, inventory of raw material and correction such as reworking and scrap. The removal of waste has dominated the thinking of many when they look at the effects of the system, because it is the most familiar of the three objectives to implement. Many times the system is implemented to remove inconsistencies and overburdens without specially focusing on waste, but yet waste is driving out of the process due to the two other objectives.

The Toyota Production System is the most responsible for having made Toyota the company it is today. Toyota did not receive its inspiration in the concept by visiting the Ford production line, but by visiting a supermarket. A delegation from Toyota visited the United States in the 1950s and toured several Ford plants but found the methods not very effective. They found the large amounts of inventory on the site, uneven work in the factory and large amount of rework at the end of the process to be inefficient.

The group was inspired when they visited a local Piggly Wiggly supermarket and saw how the grocery store only reordered and restocked goods when they had been purchased by customers. Toyota applied this inspiration by reducing the amount of inventory to only a level that their employees would need for small amount of time, then reorder. This was the precursor of the Just In Time inventory system.

Low inventory is key, but an important element of the system is to work intelligently and eliminate waste so that inventory is no longer needed. Many American businesses set out to attack high inventory levels based on the success of the Toyota system, without understanding the underlying philosophy and led to their failure.

read more »