A Restaurant Experience Worth Mentioning

Buffalo wings

We’ve all had a bad experience at a restaurant. It’s nothing we or the restaurant ever hope for, but it’s the risk we take each time we venture out for a meal. We generally choose a restaurant for one of two reasons, the food or the atmosphere and set our expectations accordingly. For my most recent dining experience I went with the latter and made my way to Buffalo Wild Wings. There were multiple sporting …

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Why Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)?


The path towards continuous improvement in your lean journey is not always as clear as you’d like it to be. Many of the processes and methodologies behind Lean take time before your organization has success with them. It’s a learning process well worth the investment, but can be frustrating at times. Same goes for the Lean process known as Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED). The increased efficiency and reduction of costly inventory that results …

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Hansei 101

Hansei reflections

We are reminded time and time again (and rightfully so), Lean is about culture. It is a crucial part and in most cases, the backbone of any Lean organization. A culture that believes in continuous improvement and practices what they preach day in and day out, is the key to sustaining Lean. What’s less talked about, is what goes into a culture that allows it to gain the strength needed to sustain an organization’s Lean …

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A Kaizen Leaders Role

The Kaizen leader is an individual, who is responsible for a group of people, who will be working toward identifying quality improvement processes in a given company or facility. The leader will help direct the group toward identifying waste in an area, and focuses on eliminating it in the best way possible. These leaders are typically going to have significant experience working in lean environments, and participating in Kaizen groups. The leader will also be …

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Gemba Academy Training Review

Gemba Academy logo

Gemba Academy Review How do you really know which online training course is best for you and your organization? There is an abundant amount of literature, DVDs and websites out there that claim to be the “best” way to introduce or keep you on the path to continuous improvement, but how to you really know which one is best for you? I have recently heard a lot of good things about Gemba Academy and their …

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Waste 101

No More Waste All things aside, waste reduction is the main ingredient to lean practices. No matter how you break it down if you can’t identify and evaluate waste properly, you can’t establish a platform to improve upon. It’s a continuous process to target waste and eliminate non-value-adding value, but this ultimately how you increase the value of your goods and services. Lean implementers often turn to one of the now several waste categories to …

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5 Tips to Motivate Excellence

Whether you are managing a manufacturing facility, an office environment or any other workplace setting, having the ability to motivate others is essential.  When done properly, good managers can transform teams into highly productive groups, which can not only get the job done, but also get it done in the best possible way.  Like any other skill, learning to motivate others to excellence is something that most people can learn, if they are willing to …

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The Power of Kaizen Teams

Thank your employees

When discussing Kaizen with many manufacturing managers they will report that they tried it, but it didn’t work for their company. In virtually every case like this the problem isn’t with the Kaizen strategies themselves, but with the way the company attempted to implement them. Many Kaizen events require several days of dedicated work by those in the project in which management sometime finds it to be a waste of time. In addition, management doesn’t …

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Kaizen at all Levels

While lean managers know that it is important to have approval from upper management, they often make the mistake of thinking that Kaizen implementation is limited to just the front line workers. What is worse, is many people in executive management positions often hold the same view, so they will simply sign off on a Kaizen initiative and then forget all about it. Organizations with this type of belief system about Lean concepts, and specifically …

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