I’ve often said that lean is NOT cost cutting. Maybe a better way to put it is, lean is one thing…cost cutting is another. I found an article that provides a few good examples of cost-cutting that aren’t lean. And that’s not a bad thing. Continue reading “Cost Cutting vs Lean”
“I frequently hear 5S advocated as some sort of “clean up, fix up” campaign, an “easy way to get started with lean”, raise morale, impress investors, impress customers, and, in general, create the appearance of a “world-class” company (whatever a “world class” company may be).”
In the last post, we recommended posting charts at each work station to gather information about production and performance that would be used to identify and solve problems. Remember, the purpose of these charts isn’t simply to gather data that will be used later by your resident black belt (though it certainly could be). The purpose is to identify and address problems in real time, in other words, lean problem solving. So we’re interested in gathering as little information as possible in as “user-friendly” a way as we can and still get good problem solving accomplished.
Lean efforts will be successful to the degree to which we have operational excellence in the shop. Inventories and costs will decrease to the extent that we can reduce downtime, scrap, delays, scheduling problems, die problems, and equipment problems. There’s no value in a value stream mapping and no good in pushing a pull system unless we also address those problems that will keep them from being effective. Supervisors and operators need to be actively involved in problem solving.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m getting started on putting more material on YouTube. Here’s my latest…it’s an overview/description that answers (one hopes) the question, “What is Lean?”
I hope you’ll get a chance to check it out. I think my own definition, while not brand new and “never-heard-of”, does take a bit of a different slant from that of many of descriptions. And, as you might imagine, I like my description better. So, go take a look!
I’ve updated a video I posted to YouTube some time ago. (Actually, what I did was delete the old video and replace it.) The video is a quick overview that answers the question, “What is 5S?”. I hope you’ll take a look at it.
I’ve learned recently that about any search term that includes “Six Sigma” does well. Regular readers know that I haven’t talked much about Six Sigma over the many months I’ve been involved with this blog. I’m not a Six Sigma “any-kind-of-belt” but I do know a bit about the statistical tools that Six Sigma advocates. (Design of Experiments is a bit above my pay grade but I’m betting the number of actual Design of Experiments projects run in any given year by manufacturers is relatively low.) All to say, it’s not because I don’t like Six Sigma that I don’t talk about it much. It’s more that Six Sigma and Lean and their relationship are misunderstood by most managers and I’ve focused on trying to clarify the “lean” part of it.
I don’t know Larry and he doesn’t know me, so this is unsolicited and uncompensated applause for a smart guy who seems to know a lot about lean. I say that because I always agree with what he writes. And that’s saying something…I once wrote some guy an email lambasting him for his superficial lean article and he sent one back, calling me every thing but a child of God. In Larry’s case, I feel almost as if I could just link to his posts rather than writing any of my own!
So…what has me singing Larry’s praises? Well, all his articles are good and should be read but two in particular perked me up.