Here are some of my thoughts while attending a dinner with guest of honor Mr. Hiromitsu Hayashida, former Toyota Manager and trainer.

Tony Manos and Hiromitsu Hayashida

Tony Manos and Hiromitsu Hayashida

Fireside Chat

Another highlight and something unique to the Shingo Prize International Conference is the ability to attend a “Fireside Chat” (for a fee) with practitioners of the Toyota Production System. I had the honor to spend an evening with Hiromitsu Hayashida. Through a translator, Tyler, we had a wonderful evening of questions and answers, storytelling and insights from someone who had lived TPS and had an effect on future Toyota leaders. Here are a few quick stories that I thought I would share.

Pull the cord

Mr. Hayashida talked about work at the Toyota-GM joint venture at the NUMMI plant in California. He said it took over a year to get the American workers comfortable to pull the andon cord when there was a problem or issue.

The principles of “Quality at the Source” and “No defects Passed Forward” are still difficult for many organizations to embrace. I remember years ago telling a production manager “We don’t need 800 parts per hour, we need 800 GOOD parts per hour.” We need to continue to instill the notion that it is okay to stop a process to make it better (instead of continuing with a bad process).


When I asked Mr. Hayashida what would be his advice if we wanted to train managers that haven’t spent a lot of time coaching to be coaches (Toyota starts the coaching training before they become managers), he said “That is a tough question.” He paused and thought about it and stated that there needs to be a specific training plan for these managers.

As more organizations pursue operational excellence they will have to find a way to have management become more of coaches and mentors. This may be difficult for people that have already been in management rolls without the specific coaching/mentoring, people development.

Kaizen – Operators move with production line

Mr. Hayashida thought that the toughest job at the first Lexus plant was the assembly operator. They had to walk along the moving conveyor with the car while doing their task in less than the takt time. Nobody wanted to do this tough job. Mr. Hayashida and his team focused on this to improve things for the operator. Someone on the team spoke up and said “Why don’t we put the operator on the conveyor so they can move along with the car?” What a breakthrough; this is a very common method of car assembly today, but the original idea had to come from somewhere.

I appreciate the time Mr. Hayashida spent with us and the wisdom and insights that he shared.


At 5S Supply we believe strongly in giving back and investing in the local community and was a proud sponsor of the Third Annual Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Recycling program.

The event was organized by 5S Supply’s very own Customer Care Manager, Jennifer Molski. Jennifer founded the program three years ago after moving to the area and being surprised to see so many Christmas Trees at the curb on their way to landfill with vital nutrients being wasted. She knew there had to be a better way and saw this as a great opportunity to bring the community together around an important cause – the environment.

The response to the program has been tremendous! This year’s effort collected 500 Trees and 1,500 pounds of Lights. The Trees are chipped and mulched and used on the trails at Irons Oaks while the non-working Lights are separated by plastic, copper and glass then recycled. The event was held December 29 and January 5 at Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center located South of Chicago near 5S Supply’s headquarters.

Jennifer shared that “by working for 5S Supply the past several years I have become much more conscious about the environment and am grateful to work in such an enriching workplace. At our warehouse we practice Green thinking, practice waste reduction and continuously seek out way to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.”

Click here to view a short video on the program>> Christmas Tree Recycling

Our “Remarkable Woman” – Jennifer Molski

I just wanted to share an article from the Chicago Tribune about 5S Supply’s very own Jennifer Molski, Customer Care Manager and her volunteer efforts with her re-gifting program Leave It for Love www.leaveitforlove.org and Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Recycling.

Remarkable Woman: Jennifer Molski. You’ll have to sign up to see the whole article, but it’s free!

We always knew she was a remarkable woman (and still is) and we’re so glad to have her as part of our 5S Supply Team!

5S Supply at FABTECH 2012

November 16, 2012

Grag Hahn - Comedian5S Supply Booth at FABTECH 2012Zach and Jennifer outside Ceasar's PalaceTru-TrayTru-Tray at 5S Supply Booth FABTECH 2012Tony Manos and Harry Moser
Tony and Gary Conner - FABTECH 2012Jennifer showing off Tru-TrayJennifer and Tony at 5S Supply Booth FABTECH 2012Greg Hahn making us laugh at FABTECH 2012Ron_OslinOld_Lean_Dude_Day-2_Keynote
Bob_Miller_Shingo_ProcessTony_Manos_and_Brian_Asti5S_Supply_BoothCapt Mike AbrashoffTony Manos & Mike AbrashoffTony Manos & Jerry Wright

5S Supply’s photostream on Flickr.

Here are some pictures from FABTECH 2012 November 12-14, 2012 Las Vegas.


5S Supply’s photostream on Flickr.

I just wanted to share some pictures from the Mid-Atlantic Lean Conference put on by the Maryland World Class Consortia and my friend Jeff Fuchs. See some of the thought leaders in Lean from their keynotes and sessions.

Thanks – Tony

Capt Mike AbrashoffTony Manos & Mike AbrashoffTony Manos & Jerry WrightTony Manos & Mike OsterlingTony Manos & Mark Paulson100_2979
Jeff FuchsJeanne MalnatiTony Manos & Jeanne MalnatiTony & Manos Pat LucanskyTony Manos & Beau KeyteTony Manos & Bob Hatfield
Tony Manos & Jane FowlesJennifer Molski & Tony ManosKelly Lacroix & Chris Abrey

5S Supply’s photostream on Flickr.

We wanted to share some of our pictures from the AME Conference 2012 in Chicago.

Finally a learning simulation that really quenches my thirst for knowledge (about Lean Supply Chain). Now available at 5S Supply!

Our friends at the Lean Leaning Center designed this beer supply chain simulation to illustrate the impact that systems, subsystems and other contributing factors have on organizational results. Fun encourages learning as participants are fully immersed into the simulation and fulfill the role of Factory, Distributor, Wholesaler or Retailer within the beer supply chain. Participants work strategically to fulfill their customer orders while keeping their weekly operational costs low.

Product Details

Participants will experience firsthand the ineffectiveness of firefighting problems while running their supply chain operation and upon review of their final results. Strategies for analyzing the intricacies of systems that cannot be easily seen at the surface level are exposed during an interactive and dynamic debrief. Participants will understand that better results will only be realized by addressing opportunities and problems at the system level.

The Training Package

The training package will accommodate up to 16 participants and includes:

  • One spiral-bound facilitator guide with detailed facilitation and debrief guidance
  • Participant Lean Systems Primer takeaway reference in 3 sizes (8.5″ x 11″, legal, 11″ x 17″) for easy reproduction
  • Presentation slides in Power Point format
  • Two full color supply chain game boards made of durable vinyl that resist permanent creases, clean easily and are conveniently sized to fit 2 standard folding tables (30″ x 144″)
  • Two colors of durable plastic chips that illustrate cases of beer moving to customers
  • Two complete sets of spiral-bound supply chain visual aids that illustrate game steps for every supply chain position
  • Two sets of pre-determined order cards that specify customer demand for the Retailer
  • USB drive with all instructional materials provided as editable Word files


To allow you the maximum amount of flexibility, your purchase includes a license that permits your organization to facilitate the simulation as often as needed and for any number of participants. The complete training package, including all instructional materials is available for $3,500.

The training package will accommodate up to 16 players. For organizations that will be facilitating larger groups, we offer new and existing license holders the option to purchase additional game kits for $650 each. Each additional kit will accommodate 8 players and comes complete with:

  • One 30″ x 144″ full color supply chain game board made of durable vinyl that resists permanent creases and cleans easily
  • Two colors of durable plastic chips that illustrate cases of beer moving to customers
  • One set of pre-determined order cards to specify customer demand at the Retailer position
  • One complete set of spiral-bound supply chain visual aids

Complete training package: $3,500

Usually ships in 2-3 days

For more information>> The Beer Game