Continuous Improvement Tools

2 min read To achieve success with Kaizen – the Japanese philosophy of change for the better – it’s beneficial to adopt some of the tools in the continuous improvement toolbox. Kaizen Newspaper A kaizen newspaper is a document that lists current ideas, problems, solutions, and responsible parties. The newspaper is usually in spreadsheet or chart format and it is posted so everyone can see it. The document also indicates which phase of the PDCA cycle an idea …

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Going Lean: Push vs Pull Production

Pull system in a facility

2 min read Lean manufacturing aims to eliminate wastes and improve productivity, primarily by operating on a pull system known as just-in-time (JIT) production. The JIT method is opposite to push systems on the spectrum of supply chain management and can often be the barrier for a company going Lean. In a push system, production is scheduled to meet the forecasted rate of demand. Also known as mass production, the push method has been around for centuries and …

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Kaizen Case Study: Siemens Oostkamp

kaizen case study

2 min read Siemens Oostkamp produces electronic components such as relays, connectors, and coils. The combination of fewer orders from their parent company and increasingly intense global competition forced them to look for new markets. On his first tour of the plant, the kaizen consultant asked the supervisors if specific information was available, such as failure rate or setup times, and the answer was always, “It’s in the computer.” But when asked to retrieve it, no one ever …

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Focus on Better Decisions Rather than Workflow Improvement

3 min read Ongoing improvement in any industry is essential for the success of a business. When companies, or even individual facilities, become stagnant, their competition can quickly overtake them. With this in mind, it is important for all companies, and the individuals who make them up, should always be trying to make improvements. In many facilities, the main focus is on workflow improvement. Things like adjusting the way a particular part is made, for example, can decrease …

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What is Kaikaku?

Hand writing Time to Improve concept with red marker on transparent wipe board.

3 min read When most people think of Lean ideologies and methodologies, they think of kaizen and continuous improvement first. However as one moves deeper into Lean, you begin to add new vocabulary and processes to your Lean tool bag. Today’s word of the day: kaikaku. Most that know or have heard of kaizen think of it as a slow continuous improvement that is necessary to sustain a successful operation. Kaikaku, on the other hand, translates to “radical …

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Communication Needs Feedback

businessman hand writing Feedback with recycle paper

4 min read Building a culture for your Lean processes to thrive on can be very difficult without the right tools and skills within the population of your facility. Lean is no different than safety or any other process your organization implements, it takes a culture that believes and thrives on the ideas your processes are founded on. Behind every culture though, is the understanding and appreciation for communication. Successful communication is made up of key ingredients, one …

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SDCA Cycle for LEAN

3 min read SDCA (Standardize, Do, Check, and Act) with LEAN principles. The SDCA cycle is simply a refinement of the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, and Act) cycle. The goal of both processes is to stabilize production. Many companies use this process to improve their product or service. Here is what your company may want to know about this process. 1. LEAN Marketing with SDCA Marketing cycles can be improved with iterative processes. Customer value is most often …

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What You Can Do to Improve Your Coaching in Business

5 min read When it comes to coaching techniques in business, many companies utilize different methods to encourage their employees and quicken the learning process. Sometimes, a faster approach may lead to less understanding and more room for error, and coaches can be overly critical of their employees’ performances. Struggling to keep the momentum going while addressing problem areas, many coaches lose sight of the real end goal of teaching their employees core values. If you’re a coach, …

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Leadership Fails: Positive Reinforcement and Recognition

4 min read It is advisable that employee acknowledgement be ingrained in the culture of the business and not simply an act of ingenuine communication. Indeed, employee acknowledgement is a communication device that reinforces and rewards the most significant results that employees are responsible for. When leadership identifies employees competently, it strengthens, with its selected means of acknowledgement, the activities and behaviors it most desires to see in the employees it manages. A productive employee recognition system is …

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What is Accountability?

kaikaku can determine success or failure

3 min read If you’re concerned about accountability, you should learn more about the responsibility every individual has in the workplace. In general, a person is accountable based upon their choices. They are accountable when they choose to enter the medical profession, and they’re accountable when they select a job in any profession that involves or requires the safety and well-being of others. Learning about accountability is necessary and easy with these few simple rules. What is True …

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