Filing Systems – Part 3: Paper vs. Paperless

In today’s world, it is no longer necessary to bury ourselves in piles of paper. Advancements in technology now give us paperless options for accessing, collecting and storing our information safely and securely. Still, both paper and paperless systems have their pros and cons to consider. So how do we know which one to use? […]

Lean Empowerment – Part 5: Where Are All the Orders?

Let’s revisit the company we’ve been using in our Lean Empowerment Series and catch up with them a few months after fully implementing their Lean Transformation Project. We’ve been following the workers progress as they’ve been learning all about Lean. In Part 1 and Part 2, they became empowered by successfully finding areas with impeded […]

Lean Empowerment – Part 3: Rejecting Bad Material

This week, we continue to follow one of my client’s, who we also featured in Lean Empowerment Part 1 and Part 2. You will learn how Lean Systems enabled workers to reject bad material. This Lean Empowerment action resolved several negative issues. Workers were able to transform an impeded process into a smoothly operating workflow, […]

Properties of Workpieces

Movement Requires Energy All movement requires energy. Workpieces on the plant floor or in an office environment are no exception; energy is required to move the workpiece. The same rule applies whether the workpiece is a physical piece of paper or an electronic file. When we receive a task, we initiate workflow by expending energy […]

Identifying the Biggest Waste to Increase Productivity

What comes to mind when we talk about waste? Some may think of things like wasted resources, such as water or energy. They may think of wasted materials, like lumber or steel or even scrap parts, which come off a production line. While these are all good examples of waste, they are not the major […]

Lean Empowerment – Part 2: Setup Time Reduction

Recognizing Lean Opportunities With the introduction of each new part into production, someone must establish new setup procedures, tools and fixtures. In many cases, when a new process or part is first set up, the most efficient and effective steps are not immediately apparent. After running the new part for a period, opportunities for improvement, […]

Lean Empowerment – Part 1: Sharpening the Saw

Empowering an organization with Lean methods is like sharpening the saw throughout the entire company. Once a company embraces Lean methods and is equipped with the tools in the Lean Toolbox, a new culture is born. Everyone within the organization begins to view their surroundings from a new perspective, embracing and encouraging continuous learning and continuous […]

A3 Sheets – Part 3: Building a Learning Organization

We are buried in questions. To answer the myriad questions, there are so many things to learn but so little time.     Imagine if we all had to do the homework on every subject. Imagine how much information the busy manager, director, or business owner must assimilate each day.     Clearly an impossible […]

A3 Sheets – Part 2: Standard Structure for Business Storytelling

In Part 1, we reviewed business storytelling challenges and introduced the A3 sheet. We now understand business storytelling has a purpose, typically to solve a recurring problem, gain project approval or introduce a new project. Toyota, recognizing a need to facilitate and improve the communication process for resolving these issues, developed a very effective tool, […]

The A3 Sheet – Part 1: Business Storytelling is Born

Business storytelling has a purpose, typically to solve a recurring problem, gain project approval or introduce a new project. Both the storyteller and listener need help resolving communication issues when addressing these situations. To improve communications at all levels, Toyota developed a very effective tool, called the A3 sheet, as a concise standardized structure for […]