Home

We hosted an impromptu poll on our website where we asked “What Lean initiative tops your priority list in 2014?” We gave them the following choices just to simplify the responses:

  • 5S
  • Cellular/Flow
  • Pull Systems/Kanban
  • Kaizen/Continuous Improvement
  • Total Productive Maintenance

The results surprised me a little. I was shocked to see 5S being the largest percentage of responses; but then I thought that this probably made sense for two reasons: 1) many companies start their lean journey with 5S, and 2) it was probably biased since the website is 5S Supply (although we carry everything lean). The next thing that caught my eye was that Cellular/Flow had no responses – zero. Flow is one of the things that we are trying to create with lean so I was amazed to see that no one responded that they would have a focus on it this year. It was nice to see that 21 percent of the respondents selected Kaizen/Continuous Improvement as a major priority. I think organizations get too caught up in only using Kaizen Events (a.k.a. Rapid Improvement Events, Kaizen Blitz, etc.) and forget about the daily kaizen – as our friends Bruce Hamilton and Pat Wardwell from GBMP said it in their book (e2 Continuous Improvement System) “Everybody, Everyday”. To finish out the poll, only some responded that they would focus on creating Pull Systems/Kanban and even fewer mentioned Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).

I know this was just a quick polling questions and I wouldn’t read too much into the results, but what do you think?

2014 Lean Priority Poll Results

Advertisements

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).

Coaching

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.

Do you need Systems to Win?

September 13, 2012

5S Supply and Systems2win – a winning combination!

5S Supply has recently established an affiliation with our friends at Systems2win to offer you 150 Word and Excel templates for continuous process improvement. Dean Ziegler, owner of Systems2win originally developed these templates during 14 years of manufacturing systems consulting. Systems2win has all the bases covered from 5S to Value Stream Mapping and everything in between. Here’s a short list of some of their great offerings:

Value Stream Mapping

The Value Stream Mapping bundle of templates includes not only a simple drawing tool, but also the “power tool” that has dozens of lean calculations pre-programmed. There is also a Supply Chain Map, a Value Stream Plan, and a template for sorting out your Product Families.

Lean Tools

The Lean Tools bundle has a 5S Scorecard, Red Tag Log, Sustainment Checklist, and an entire suite of templates for Standard Work – with diverse tools to fit diverse processes.

Kaizen Bundle

The Kaizen bundle has templates not only for kaizen events – but also A3 problem solving, a Gantt Chart project plan, Hoshin strategic planning, Leader Standard Work, and other popular ways to organize your teams.

Six Sigma

The cornerstone of the Six Sigma bundle is the FMEA template – which (by some amazing programming) allows you to use Excel’s Filter and PivotTable features (that are usually disabled by merged cells within an FMEA). And it comes with the entire suite of templates for Root Cause Analysis, QFD, OEE, Pareto, etc.

Why choose Systems2win?

The most common reason for a company to standardize on Systems2win templates is… standardization.

A standardized set of templates, with a consistent standard user interface, consistent standard online training and videos, using familiar Microsoft Word and Excel that is now leveraged beyond where you thought it could take you.

For example… with the click of a button, any Systems2win Excel template can now be in Chinese, then Spanish, then Portuguese, then back to English.

For example… every time that you upgrade your templates in the future, Systems2win has a utility to cycle through YOUR legacy templates to find YOUR personalization’s and automatically merge them with the new version.

Check them out for yourself. You can download a free trial at wwwSystems2win.com.

To prepare for your Value Stream Mapping training event, make sure that you communicate with not only with the team members, but to other employees too. Specifically mention it to employees that might have a high probability of being interviewed. Since most companies under-communicate with their employees, it is important to get this information out early and in several different formats. One company was very creative and placed posters around the facility announcing the plans for the VSM event. A key to good communication is that you are targeting your audience with a clear message. Since it is not uncommon for companies to think that they have done a good job of communicating when they really don’t; here are a couple of ideas that may help your efforts:

  • Use several channels of communication – don’t think that just because you mentioned it in passing during a monthly meeting that you met your obligation for clear communication. Pick several forms of communication such as: Alerts, Announcements, Articles, Board Meetings, Books, Bulletin Board Posting, Communication Board, Contests, Department Meetings, E-mail, Handouts, Lunch & Learn, Management Meetings, Newsletters, One-on-One Meetings, Paycheck Meetings, Plant-wide Meetings, PowerPoint Presentation, Seminars, Stand-up Meetings, Team Meetings, Videos, internal Website
  • Remember who your audience is – managers and supervisors probably need to know different information than the value-adders. For instance, a manager on the team will need to know how much time he or she will have to spend with the team. Supervisors may need to know who you may be interviewing and how this may affect their schedule or production. Operators or potential interviewees want to know what is this VSM ‘thing’ is about, why they were chosen to be interviewed, how much time will it take and even, will they get in trouble for saying the wrong thing (or telling the truth!).
  • Rate the effectiveness of the communication – just because you think you communicated well, doesn’t necessarily mean you have. Rate the effectiveness of your communication by performing quick audits by casually asking people if they know about the upcoming event. If people say “yes”, then you have probably done well. If they say they no idea of what you’re talking about, then your effectiveness is probably poor.

The key is good, clear, effective communication for all those affected by the VSM training.

If you need items for your VSM training event, check us out at http://www.5ssupply.com/shop/pc/Value-Stream-Mapping-c77.htm