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 …

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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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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 …

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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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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 …

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5 Tips for Kaizen Continuous Improvement

Kaizen

5 min read Implement Kaizen Continuous Improvement in 5 Steps or Less Kaizen, the Japanese term underlying the concept of “continuous improvement,” continues to dominate work flow theory and the training that improvement professionals receive when they look for ways to bring their charges ‘to the next level’. Of course, the traditional tools and teachings of Kaizen are time-proven and ultimately brilliant in their own right, but there are undoubtedly other factors that can influence the effectiveness of …

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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 …

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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 …

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How Kaizen is Imperative to LEAN Success

kaizen event

4 min read Kaizen is a Japanese term that relates to making continuous improvement in organizations through improving the process. Kaizen events have been met with opposition by many organizations because for it to work successfully, employees must step away from their jobs between three and five days to participate in the events. Rather than take a preventative approach, employers are more likely to use kaizen events to address problems retroactively. This approach is ineffective. To have the …

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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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