Tony Manos and Dr. Yoji Akao at ASQ World Conference on Quality & Improvement

I had the honor and privilege to meet Dr. Yoji Akao at the American Society for Quality’s (ASQ) World Conference on Quality & Improvement on Monday, May 24, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri USA. Many people may know Dr. Akao as a co-creator of Quality Function Deployment (QFD), but I would like to thank him for creating a tool that I personally use and help other organizations implement – Hoshin Kanri (a.k.a. Policy Deployment).

So many times as Lean practitioners we are well skilled in using the tools associated with the Toyota Production System, but sometimes we fail to remember all those people that created these concepts and tools; testing them and extending them to the masses for a breakthrough in thinking and practice.

It’s a little hard for me to think that Dr. Akao was using Hoshin forty years ago. It is also a little remarkable that more companies aren’t using it today. Let’s try to get the word out about Hoshin and let’s hope we can make our organizations better. In order to do my part, I will offer a free webinar late June on this topic. If you plan on attending the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Conference in the fall I will be presenting a Hoshin workshop there. Stayed tuned for more information.

Domo arigato Sensei

Here are my Top Five (five for 5S Supply) highlights from the AME Conference in Toronto last week (drum roll please – no, not drumbeat as in takt time).

5. I was fortunate to be able to teach a one-day Hoshin Kanri Workshop on Monday. We covered the history of Hoshin, pre-work, the X-matrix and more (for another perspective visit my blog post “Thank You Very Much Dr. Yoji Akao”).

4. Had fun while teaching a half-day Quick Changeover Workshop on Friday. The participants watched as I played the role of the operator trying to do a setup on my machine – the “Stamp-O-Matic”. We simulated a kaizen event and tried several experiments for improvement.

3. The City of Toronto – What a great city to explore. The subway was easy to navigate. The city was clean and neat. The people were very friendly. I almost made it onto a local morning television show as a reporter was asking people to participate in a question. I could have been famous, but I had to decline because it was a local issue that I couldn’t speak to.

2. Karen Martin and friends – Karen Martin (The Karen Martin Group), hosted a dinner at a fantastic little restaurant John & Sons – great food, great service, great conversation and great friends!

1. The soft-launch of our very own BesTape – The Best Darn Floor Tape – Ever! We also unveiled our new 5Ssymbols. My favorite question was “Will this stand up to forklifts?” My reply was “Let’s find out, you can try with our free sample!” If you would like to try a sample of our BesTape, just drop us a line and we’d be glad to send it to you. We think it is the best darn premium floor tape out there, so give it a try!

Tony manning the booth at the AME Conference Toronto 2013

Tony manning the booth at the AME Conference Toronto 2013

And a bonus one – Here’s to everyone that stopped by our booth to say hello, to see what was new and to play the Passport Game. We appreciate your commitment to Lean and 5S Supply.

Check out the pictures on our flickr photostream or Facebook (don’t forget to Like us!) I look forward to seeing everyone at the AME Conference next year in Jacksonville, FL USA November 10-14, 2014. Put it on your calendar now!