Going to the Gemba

6 min read The term Gemba comes from Japan. It is translated to mean the actual place, or the place where something happened. When it comes to the workplace, the concept of Gemba is used specifically for encouraging supervisors, managers, and others in leadership to spend time not only in their offices but also out on the shop floor where work is actually done. This is a similar concept to a practice commonly known as, “managing by walking …

Read more

Effective Lean Problem Solving

Business Meeting

3 min read Solving problems in a business setting is an important part of the Lean methodology. Using Lean strategies, a company can better identify what problems exist, pinpoint the root causes, and come up with the right solutions to get the best results. Learning about how to effectively use Lean problem-solving techniques can help any business to improve and become more efficient. Lean Problem-Solving Process When working to make improvements in any business setting, it is important …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Muda, Mura, and Muri: The Three Wastes

3 min read Identifying waste using the 3 Ms can help you more easily set goals and create conditions that avoid unnecessary repetition of efforts (muda), unevenness of those efforts (mura), or efforts that cause strain (muri). By focusing improvement activities on eliminating the non-value-adding parts of the production process, balance between capacity and load can be achieved. Muda refers to waste in the most basic sense: any activity that doesn’t add value. There are seven wastes of …

Read more

A Lean Transformation: Tool Organization

Organized Wrenches

2 min read Going Lean means implementing a culture of continuous improvement, and constantly try to identify and eliminate the 8 types of waste: defects, waiting time, extra motion, excess inventory, overproduction, extra processing, unnecessary transportation, and unutilized talents. It’s critical in Lean to evaluate all areas in a facility for waste, even less obvious ones. One area you could save time and resources by using the right tools is your toolbox. Often times a box or bucket …

Read more

Seven Forms of Waste – Lean Six Sigma

4 min read Understanding the Seven forms of Waste If you are looking into implementing lean six sigma principles, the first thing you will need to do is to look at the seven forms of waste. Having a good understanding of what each of them are, and how they can be addressed in your facility, will help to ensure you are able to operate more efficiently. When companies don’t take the time to really understand these seven forms …

Read more

Poka Yoke Techniques that You Should Know

Poke Yoke

5 min read Poka Yoke Techniques to Help Eliminate Waste If you haven’t heard of Poka Yoke before, you might think you’ve accidentally stumbled onto the wrong website and are about to read a writeup on a strange dance phenomenon. In actuality, Poka Yoke techniques are the strategies used by professionals in order to minimize defects or mistakes in an industrial manufacturing setting. Like many Techniques of our time, Poka Yoke can trace its origins back to the …

Read more

Why Six Sigma Root Cause Analysis is a Great Tool

Six Sigma Root Cause Analysis

5 min read Making Improvements with Six Sigma Root Cause Analysis When things aren’t going the way they should, it can often be quite difficult to identify what is actually causing the problem. Despite the fact that it can take a lot of work, root cause analysis is extremely important because of the fact that it will allow you to not just cover up issues, but actually address them directly. In many cases, this will allow you to …

Read more

Causation vs. Correlation in the Lean Business World

5 min read Causation vs. Correlation in the Lean Business World For anyone who’s had to sit through a year of high school statistics, and even for many of those who haven’t, you’re familiar with the phrase “correlation does not equal causation.” While many of us nodded our heads in agreement after some simple illustration, the impact of not intimately understanding this concept in the business world can be catastrophic. I bring this up now because the topic recently …

Read more

Why You Should Use Takt Time Production & How To Do It

Takt Time Production

5 min read Cut Down Wastes with Takt Time Production There are many types of waste within a facility, and many different things that can contribute to that waste. For most facilities, one of the biggest causes of waste is improper planning on the production line. In some cases, the line will produce products too slowly, which is inefficient, and can upset customers. In other cases, products are produced too quickly, which is a waste of resources. In …

Read more