Yearly Archives - 2017

Lean – New Zealand style.

Vacation. What a beautiful time which, unfortunately, quickly comes to an end. From this year’s recreational leave in breathtaking New Zealand I have brought some interesting Lean observations: 1. Customer first. A broken fridge in the supermarket. In place of turning off the appliance or setting the ‘Slippery floor’ board next to the puddle, there is a well-marked mat that solves the problem – it’s not slippery, one doesn’t need to go round the board nor pay attention to the puddle [...]

Read more...

Improve what upsets you.

My favorite definition of lean management is the definition of American entrepreneur Paul Akers: ”Fix what bugs you.” To me, it reflects the essence of lean: common sense and action. Often while observing lean implementations or reading studies, I notice excessive formalization and attempts at by-the-book implementation. Point by point, tool after tool. At the declarative level, we are all champions. I am too. But when it comes to action, it’s much worse. The creator of the Toyota Production System, [...]

Read more...

Am I really needed at the factory hall?

Some time ago, in one of the groups at LinkedIn I came across a discussion on the downfall of Lean initiatives. According to the entry, approx. 95% of companies are not able to implement, maintain, but first of all profit from this system, based on the Toyota Production System. These figures have been recently confirmed by Art Byrne in an interesting conversation with Paul Akres. He claimed that according to his personal calculations approx. 4% of Lean transformations are [...]

Read more...

Make your process (one piece) flow!

One piece flow is the basis of lean philosophy. Transition to working in this system provides you with an immediate performance boost of at least 20% (from my experience) and reduced manufacturing costs. It is almost like a magic spell, yet only available to those who are not afraid to solve problems and to be in gemba. In short, one piece flow is the opposite of batch production. In this system, the time when the product is not worked on/processed [...]

Read more...

My notLean shopping

My favorite definition of lean is the one applied by Paul Akers: ‘fix what bugs you.’ So little, yet so much. I often hear from the people I work with that the discovery of lean was the best and the worst  thing that has happened to them. They simply look differently at a lot of things surrounding them and… they get upset because they see how much waste there is around them. At 9 p.m. I decided to do some shopping [...]

Read more...

Listen to the Experts on the Process: your Operators.

The beauty of Lean lies in the fact that we can improve our operating results immediately by using ideas that our employees have not only come up with, but sometimes even already implemented to great effect. All we have to do is… take advantage of these ideas. However, an idea can’t be used if it hasn’t been noticed. I’ve experienced numerous situations where employees performed differently in the presence of the manager or foreman, and when that person was absent [...]

Read more...