How is Gemba Lean?

How is Gemba Lean?

Gemba walks are a Lean management tool that fits in with many other Lean manufacturing concepts. The focus of a Lean manufacturing system in general is on identifying waste in work processes and eliminating it. That way only things that add value for the customer are performed or included. While a gemba walk can focus on

Managing Inventory with Rack Labels

Managing Inventory with Rack Labels

With rows and rows of aisles and shelves, operating an efficient warehouse can be a difficult and complex task. There is a considerable amount of planning that takes place in the development of a warehouse management process, but rack labeling is a simple and cost-effective way to control inventory. Facilitating the flow of inventory, keeping

8 Ways Project Management Tools Can Streamline Productivity

8 Ways Project Management Tools Can Streamline Productivity

Navigating the rough waters of any manufacturing process is a complicated and difficult undertaking. Managing risks, costs, time-to-market, the communication across departments, and the other aspects of your manufacturing project can make staying organized difficult and slow you down. But you don’t have to go into a project hoping and praying for the best. Thankfully,

What is Yokoten & Why Don’t Most Companies Use it?

What is Yokoten & Why Don’t Most Companies Use it?

When it comes to safe and efficient operation of a workplace, most people are used to reading Japanese terms like Kaizen, Gemba, Gembutsu, Kanban, and more. Many companies, however, overlook the term Yokoten, and the many benefits it can bring. Barry Jeffrey posted an interesting article to the LinkedIn Group, “Gemba Academy,” where it generated

Can Your Office Benefit from Lean Strategies?

Can Your Office Benefit from Lean Strategies?

When most people think of LEAN, they think of manufacturing, and it is no surprise why. A recent post by Mark Bridges in the “Lean Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement Group” on LinkedIn, brings up the idea of using Lean strategies in an office environment. His post looked specifically at how the office side of a

TPM Lean Production

TPM Lean Production

Total productive maintenance, or TPM is a program that can help a facility to keep their machines in operation as much as possible. It is generally considered a part of the LEAN methodologies as it greatly reduces downtime, which is a form of waste. While the goal is simple (improved machine production) it is actually

Kaikaku – What Is It?

Kaikaku – What Is It?

Kaikaku is Japanese word that means ‘radical change.’ It is also a business concept that looks at the idea of making radical changes in order to achieve significant improvements. Some people compare it to the Kaizen system, but that is a mistake. While both are options for making changes to a business practice, Kaizen is

Understanding the DMAIC Model

Understanding the DMAIC Model

The DMAIC model is an important part of the Six Sigma methodology. When waste or inefficiencies are found in a process, the DMAIC model can help to work through it and identify solutions. It is a standard set of steps or phases that allows a team to identify root causes of problems, propose solutions, and

How to Become Six Sigma

How to Become Six Sigma

Attaining any level of Six Sigma certification is a significant accomplishment, and one that can help you to advance in your career. Many positions in companies require that you have at least a certain level belt in order to qualify, and others list it as an accomplishment that is highly recommended. No matter how much

Finding the Root Cause With the Five Whys

Finding the Root Cause With the Five Whys

The “Five Why’s” is a technique that is often used within the Six Sigma methodology to help learn more about a situation and gain valuable information about what is going on. While the strategy is called the Five Why’s, it doesn’t actually have to be exactly five. In some situations, fewer are needed and in

Heijunka Box

Heijunka Box

The Japanese term Heijunka means ‘leveling’ and is commonly used in manufacturing facilities to describe the process of leveling out the type and/or quantity of production over a set amount of time. The idea is to help an organize reduce waste in production while still meeting the demand of customers. As with many other efficiency

Genchi Genbutsu

Genchi Genbutsu

The term Genchi Genbutsu is Japanese in origin and came from the Toyota Production System, which is where methodologies like Lean manufacturing originated. Loosely translated the term means, “go and see.” When used in a workplace, it is usually said to imply that when there is a problem in the facility, the best thing you

The Six Big Losses

The Six Big Losses

Eliminate Losses When looking for ways to improve the profitability of a manufacturing facility it is important to look at the things you have the most control over. While it would be nice if you could just double the number of orders you have to fill, that is typically not going to be possible. What

Lean Manufacturing: Commonly Asked Questions

Lean Manufacturing: Commonly Asked Questions

Lean Manufacturing Questions Answered Implementing a Lean manufacturing strategy in your facility can be a great way to eliminate waste and improve overall efficiency. While the general concept of this methodology is not overly complicated, there is a lot that people need to know. The following are some of the more frequently asked questions regarding