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!

It’s pretty easy to see how Value Stream Mapping helps out in operations planning or short-term planning (one year or less time-frame). But what about using VSM for strategic or long term planning?

Here are two answers for that:

  1. Create Extended Level Value Stream Map
  2. Create Ideal State Value Stream Map

As you get better in your lean thinking, you will discover that involving your customers and suppliers is the right thing to do. Using your Extended Level VSM can help tailor your strategic long term or Hoshin plan to help improve your market position. Seeing what is important to your customers and suppliers by getting them involved in your Extended Level VSM focusing on a longer time frame (three to five years) will help build a solid strategic plan. This, of course, means getting top management from the supply chain actively involved. Another way VSM can help strategic planning is to create an Ideal State Map for a value stream. Create an ideal Future State that is about five years out. This will help determine “breakthrough” strategies as part of your strategic planning.

Some organizations are seeing the benefit of using Hoshin Kanri as their primary strategic planning and execution process. It might seem a little “chicken and the egg” to say should we have our Value Stream Maps first to help direct our planning efforts or should our planning efforts drive our maps? Well. The simple answer is “yes”. Part of Hoshin is to review previous plans including Value Stream Maps. Once a strategic vision is set VSM can help drive the right projects to help achieve the future state.

Join us for a Free Webinar – Introduction to Value Stream Mapping September 29, 2011

At 5S Supply we pride ourselves on creating or finding unique and innovative products to help Lean practitioners and we lowered the price on one of our most popular items – floor tape!

ThedaCare DVD
Lean Thinking at ThedaCare: Strategy Deployment

This DVD takes viewers deep inside ThedaCare and Appleton Medical Center to see how the strategy deployment (a.k.a. Hoshin Kanri) management system creates alignment throughout the organization. You will see how “true north” goals are cascaded through the organization in a collaborative way and how front-line improvement efforts and results are selected and communicated across all levels of leadership. This DVD includes special value-added features with access to downloads, Q&A and streaming videos.

44 minutes

Video Clip Samples:
Full first intro chapter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAMX9xfn4vM
Short clips from each of the chapters:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSRWbQSJ2A4

Magwear Magnetic Wristband
Ultimate Point-of-Use-Storage

Magwear Magnetic Wristbands are perfect for any work environment including the shop floor, assembly lines, construction sites, auto-body shops and even the office. The uses for this product are endless – hold your bolts, hooks, bits, pins, washers, paperclips, staples, tacks, nails, eyehooks, ball bearings, binder clips, needles, beads, screws, blades and even small tools. Made of a super strong magnet to securely hold your hardware and keep it within easy reach.

Another Great Option for Custom Tool Organization!

Using the Tru-Tray System you can organize tools and equipment in a way that is most efficient and effective for you. For work in the field or in the shop, tool organization, protection and accountability has never been easier. You can customize your tool holding by making impressions of your tools into the foam and then applying the Molding Solution. Four sizes to choose from.

New Floor Tape Sizes and New Lower Prices!
More sizes, lower prices

We added more sizes to one of our Best Sellers – Vinyl Floor Tape and reduced the price too! Our vinyl floor tape now comes in sizes from ¼” to 4”. We reduced the price on all rolls and switched to single roll packs (instead of our previous 2-paks). Promote organization (5S “Set-in-Order”), visual workplace, traffic control and safety by identifying areas with this vinyl floor marking tape.

Benchmarking Survey
Share, Learn, Grow

5S Supply is hosting the largest, most comprehensive 5S Benchmarking Survey ever! Evaluate the effectiveness of 5S at your organization compared to others, learn best practices and determine improvement strategies for your future Lean success.

The survey has 40 questions and will take about 20-30 minutes to complete. For your efforts can opt-in to get a free customized report of the findings and we also have a special “Thanks” if you complete the survey.

New Look Homepage

You may have noticed that we have made some changes to our homepage www.5Ssupply.com.  We continually strive to make it easier to find the items you are looking for. We added categories for “New Items!” and “On Sale“. We hope this makes your shopping experience easier and more Lean! Check back often for the newest updates.

Thanks – Tony