Identifying The Essential Lean Manufacturing Tools!
I found this article on Newcastle Systems website. In the infographic, they are identifying 32 essential lean manufacturing tools. Our Lean Expert online training course includes instruction on these same 32 tools, and more. There are approximately 140 continuous improvement tools available today, and in use within the lean improvement field, but not all are used or known by all lean practitioners. To learn more about our training courses…click here
32 Essential Lean Manufacturing Tools
When you hear “lean manufacturing,” you have your own world view of what it means. Every lean manufacturing consultant offers expertise but few will be an expert with every tool. The following infographic will help you understand the diverse options and language with a collection of 32 essential lean tools and a short description of the value they bring to your manufacturing, warehouse or distribution center.
Lean Manufacturing Transformation Starts With Education!
A forward thinking company starts their Radical Lean Transformation by educating their employees to understand lean principles. Employees need to develop the know-how to apply lean principles to improve their own workplace. An important aspect of any Lean Transformation is process improvement, and this involves bringing about change.
Employees, and the management team must all be thinking ans speaking the same language. They must all be on the same page for any change to be implemented successfully. Prior to any journey, one would look at a road map to identify the best route to reach the destination. Radical Lean Transformation is the same as it requires a road map to allow the individual, group or organization to identify the best route on their lean journey.
Here is our own Radical Lean Implementation Roadmap that was designed and developed by Chris Turner:
The road map identifies three phases of activity throughout the implementation process.
Phase 1 is focused on educating and coaching the change agents about the 10 Step Model.
Phase 2 is focused on educating and coaching the management and improvement teams about the 10 Step Model.
Phase 3 is focused on the implementation of each of the 10 Steps.
Understanding the 10 Step Training and Implementation Model is critical to the success of any lean transformation process. The model was designed and developed by Chris Turner to help individuals, groups and organizations to know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it!
Here is a graphic which demonstrates the sequence of events in the 10 Step Training and Implementation Model:
By following the sequence of events defined in the 10 Step Model, the right processes are being implemented at the right time to achieve the best results.
You can learn more about the 10 Step Training and Implementation Model in our Level 2 – Lean Practitioner training course. This is our most popular training course:
In this shirt video, Wildwood Cabinetry explains how their changes to sanding table accomplished small “Lean” improvements. The continual improvements took place over a period of 12 months. The improved sanding station stops the indirect lighting from casting shadows which hides tiny imperfections in the wood grain from from the cabinetmaker’s view.
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Every modern business, no matter who they are has limited resources in terms of time, people, equipment, etc. In reality, this translates into every business experiencing more problems than they have people with the time or knowledge to deal with them. This situation forces an organization to become trapped into a vicious cycle of re-activity called “firefighting.”
An organization that experiences re-occurring frustration with their day-to-day activities is suffering from a condition that we refer to as “fire-fighting overload.“ It is a serious condition because it creates the illusion that crisis is normal, and a quick and dirty fix is the best method for overcoming any problem.
In reality, fire-fighting distracts a company from initiating real problem solving activities. Like it or not, most organizations have developed a culture where “fire-fighting” is firmly established as an acceptable practice. This translates into overworked employees having to jump through the same hoops to deal with the same crisis day in, day out! Productivity suffers, while customer satisfaction and employee morale are low.
How did it develop?
These things don’t happen overnight, they are gradually introduced over time. As members of a management team exit, new ones arrive with a different agenda. Collectively, little by little, each one deals with problems in their own way. Eventually, the business culture becomes defined and established! It is the main culprit, because it initiated, developed and institutionalized the fire-fighting practices on two levels.
It generates the internal pressure on the system, and creates an ideal environment for combustion. Next, it encourages employees to participate in knee jerk activities to get around a problem at hand. The employees think they are doing a good thing and supporting their company, however, figuratively speaking they are accomplices as fire setting arsonists. They perpetuate the re-active approach to problems.
When a crisis re-emerges, the business culture forces the management team to call for individuals to step-up and volunteer. Every day, these individuals focus their valuable time and effort on putting out fires. Some will be so good at it, that they will go on to become fire-fighting heroes. Every business has them firmly embedded and on-call, at a moments notice.
How do you change it?
So, what does a management team do to stop the cycle of re-activity? Do they ask people to stop putting out fires? What happens to the business if they do?
The truth is, most management teams don’t know how to stop this pervasive pattern of behavior! Why? They are trapped into the same crazy system as their employees, because they must juggle which resources and people are available to contain the problems.
The fact is, before you can solve a problem, you have to recognize there is a problem. Many management teams don’t realize that they create, encourage and support the fire-fighting arsonists in their organization! To change the environment, they must change their way of thinking. They must start by establishing a problem solving mindset, and not continuing to support quick and dirty fixes as a solution!
It is easy to downplay the impact and influence that lean manufacturing tools have played in organizational decision making. The application of lean manufacturing principles based on the Toyota Production System can be applied to any organization, no matter what they do or how they operate. Now, let me be clear here, I am not saying that every company is going to become a Toyota clone. First of all, Toyota Motor Company has over fifty years of progressive cultural development and they have proven this through their massive amounts of cash on hand in their bank account. Second, their culture has developed to a point where lean manufacturing tools are integrated into their standard practice. This means that day in, day out they practice what they teach…verbatim!
The question for any management team that is contemplating implementing lean manufacturing tools is this: ‘Can you develop the level of discipline and focus that is necessary to create a Lean Enterprise?” The reason that so many companies fail to apply lean manufacturing tools successfully is because they do not define the end goal or purpose of the process. Implementing lean is easy peasy, being focused and remaining disciplined is not so easy! Many companies suffer from the organizational equivalent of buyers remorse. They convince themselves that lean manufacturing tools are going to save the day and make the more competitive, when all they are doing as they apply these new concepts is falling into the same behavior patterns they followed before they started their lean implementation.
Here is a great article that I would like to share. It is about a gold mining company that utilized lean manufacturing tools and was successful in developing eighty of its own people into full-time business improvement coaches. These individuals stay in their position for two years and during this time they facilitate improvement events and seek out new opportunities. Enjoy the article and I wish you every success on your own lean journey.
How Lean Manufacturing is Influencing Operations at Barrick Gold Mining
The emergence of lean manufacturing has been observed all across the mining industry. As more companies continues to improve operational performances and cut out inefficiencies,
more miners will begin turning to lean practices.
Barrick Gold, the third largest gold mining company in the world, is expecting a big year in 2014. The company production guidance is around 6.5 million ounces from a portfolio that includes some of the world’s prestigious gold assets…
A study conducted, titled ‘Implementing Lean Principles in Mining Industry Issues and Challenges’ states that lean processes can significantly help mining companies eliminate waste and improve processes because of a shared common view with the automotive sector.
According to the study: Both rely on effective business processes; both rely on efficiency within the value stream; both strive to maximize operational efficiency; both rely on an extensive supply chain; and both sectors have a ruthless focus on safety.
Can Your Company Implement Lean Manufacturing Tools?
The question for any management team that is contemplating implementing lean manufacturing tools is this: ‘Can you develop the level of discipline and focus that is necessary to create a Lean Enterprise?” The reason that so many companies fail to apply lean manufacturing tools successfully is because they do not define the end goal or purpose of the process. Implementing lean principles is easy peasy, staying focused and maintaining a disciplined system is not so easy!
Many companies suffer from the organizational equivalent of buyers remorse. They convince themselves that lean manufacturing tools are going to save the day and make them more competitive and they buy the first shiny object that they see. However, all they are doing as they apply these new found concepts is replaying the same behavior patterns they followed before they started their lean implementation. When the shine or luster begins to dull, they convince themselves that the lean manufacturing tools cannot be applied in their particular business environment.
Lean Manufacturing Tools need to be applied correctly in a business environment that can create the right infrastructure to support a continuous process improvement mindset. If you need training or are interested in finding out more about it click here.
Here is a great lean manufacturing infographic from Bishop-Wisecarver Group. It explains the core principles involved in lean manufacturing, and it does this in a simple and visual way. It is easy to follow and educational because it allows you to learn through graphics.
Results of a 2011 Lean Manufacturing Survey:
The information on the infographic was generated from a 2011 survey conducted by Alix Partners. They found that nearly 70% of manufacturing executives, said their improvement efforts gave less than a 5 percent cost reduction. In fact, this was no better than their peers, who chose not to implement lean manufacturing principles.
I believe that the real reason for such poor results, is simply because companies are implementing lean principles incorrectly. To deliver the best results, employees must be trained, to become problem solvers. They must also be able to see wasteful activities, and then they can understand how to reduce or eliminate it.
Online Lean Manufacturing Training
If you’re interested in training your employees to understand lean manufacturing and become cost effective problem solvers…..click here
What is the Goal of Lean Manufacturing?
The goal of lean manufacturing is to create change through continuous process improvement. The way an organization can do this is to transform information into exact human behavior. The more successful they are at achieving this goal, the more successful they will be at delivering a quality product to their customers on-time, every time!