Lean Frontiers: Are they differences in getting middle management on board from getting executive management support?
Are there differences in getting middle management from executive management on board for 1) developing the lean enterprise and 2) direct engagement on their part? What are the differences, if any?
Posted on May 9, 2015
Archives by Tag 'Flow'
Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: TPS experts within Toyota will always want to drive in the direction of the ideal of one-piece flow

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Monday, January 6, 2014
Experts within Toyota on TPS will always want to drive in the direction of the ideal of one-piece flow. They believe in this quite passionately. In a Toyota assembly plant this looks like a super long continuous flow line. The plastics plant look like a process island of molding machines though there is a clear flow of raw materials to finished bumpers that are built in sequence to the assembly line. The body shop is mostly flow lines as is paint. The stamping plant is another set of process lines to build up a major ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Flow if you can, pull if you can’t

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Monday, October 1, 2012
I was recently visiting a large German factory that manufactures industrial equipment – huge mix, low volumes. When I first saw the site, sometime last year, it looked like a plane crash, with cells and half-completed product all over the place – not surprising for a high variety long process product largely managed by the SAP. The plant’s management team had tried to streamline their flow by Value Stream Mapping extensively, filling in wall sized brown papers with hugely complex flows, and with little shop floor progress. Since then, they have completely changed tack and started by focusing on preparing ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker:continually assessing what customers want, striving for perfection in satisfying customers and in every aspect of our production and service process, developing in people the ability and motivation to detect and solve deviations from perfect one-piece flow, leaders who are developing in people the ability to continuous improve, and a long-term value of the enterprise on satisfying customers and contributing to society.

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Monday, November 22, 2010
As you know Wikipedia is a kind of public free-for-all in how different topics get defined and analyzed and this person got there and took the time to write something so I give them credit. In a book I and coauthors just completed that will be out in the winter, entitled:  The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement, we argue that we may have misled the public through definitions of lean that focus on waste reduction.  If I may use a quote from that book: "At the risk of sounding disrespectful, what do all these people think they are doing by leaning ...

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Art Smalley

Art Smalley: Sample Toyota Kanban Flow to Supplier

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Thursday, September 23, 2010
It is indeed a shame that there is such a gulf between the Lean world and information technology (IT) systems. On one side (the lean group) a vocal segment has implied that the only answer is to unplug computers and do things entirely manually. Manual kanban cards, manual movement of material and information, and other extreme measures. On the other side (big ERP) the players have often shot themselves in the foot by viewing IT departments as the end customer and delivering "solutions" that did not solve fundamental problems and cost a fortune and were often inflexible to boot. (Yes I ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: the right IT system will bring us closer to one piece flow and support kaizen

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Friday, September 3, 2010
If we think of the material and information flow diagram then IT is dealing with the information flow.  When we physically transform a process by moving things around we are acting on the material flow. When we transform the information presented to help make decisions we are dealing with IT whether it is in the form of an empty space on the floor, a card, or something from a computer. The concept of value stream mapping is to design the material and information flow intentionally based on defined principles to achieve a clear business purpose.  One principle isthat one piece flow is the ideal.  Another is ...

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Pascal Dennis

Pascal Dennis: You can’t flow or pull without Jidoka

By Pascal Dennis, - Last updated: Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Let me build on my colleagues insights: 1.     Jidoka is a socio-technical system.  Both the social and technical challenges are tough -- but the former more so. 2.     Technical challenge:  How to translate customer requirements into meaningful upstream measures?  How to make the Good/No Good condition visible (see Art Smalley's post)?  The following are part of the answer: a.    Deep understanding of the customer -- and the ability to translate that understanding into the meaningful quality specs i.     In the consumer goods industry this might entail providing clear simple answers to questions like: 1.    What does "soft" mean? What does "dry" mean? ii.     In ...

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Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham: Flow works for marketing as well

By Jean Cunningham, - Last updated: Sunday, July 11, 2010
What could be worse than developing a great marketing plan with a very timely message, then spending all your time pushing the project through the company,only to find the key dates slipping by and ultimately missing the opportunity? To compensate, we plan the new marketing approaches months and months in advance and the message is not integrated with other selling activities.  What if instead you could have a cross functional meeting of all the key contributors to look at the existing process for delivering a marketing program, eliminate steps in the process that are not adding value to delivering the message, and reduce the time from concept to ...

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