Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Daily Lean Tips Editions #11

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.



Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #151 - The following three points are extremely important in establishing standard work.


The following three points are extremely important in establishing standard work:

The reality of the shop floor is clearly reflected in standard work.
Standard work must be realistic and applicable to the shop floor.
Standard work must lead to continuous improvement opportunities.

Lean Tip #152 - We must ask why the standard work times are not being met

Always ask youself "Why?" repeatedly while observing the shop floor in detail. Ask questions like,"Why is work performed in a certain way?", "Why are workers moving in a wasteful manner?" and "Why are we have trouble reducing standard work time?" Then, start thinking firmly about what you can do to improve the situation.

Lean Tip #153 - If there is a problem, go to the actual place and solve it if you want to get things done.

If there is a problem, go to the actual place and solve it instead of just criticizing it as if it does not concern you at all. This is one of the most fundamental practices that we can do to facilitate the ability to get things done.

Lean Tip #154 - Ideas are different from knowledge.

Ideas are different from knowledge. Anyone can aquire knowledge by reading books or attending school. In other words, knowledge can be readily purchased. On the other hand, ideas are aquired by ones own experience. You must apply your knowledge to create ideas.

Lean Tip #155 - Fix the problem immediately and move on.

Some managers point out a problem to workers and leave it to them until it is solved. This does not motivate workers to fix the problem right away. Taiichi Ohn always made sure his workers:

Fixed the problem immediately after it was identified.
Confirmed the result with their own eyes.
Ignoring problems means the waste remains in production affecting your process.

Lean Tip #156 - Visit the work area to understand and monitor improvement plans.

What can you tell at a glance? Here are some ideas to focus on:

What items are being worked on?
What items should be worked on?
What is the expected and acutal production rate?
What problems are the workers having?
How many people are needed?

Lean Tip #156 - Visit the work area to understand and monitor improvement plans.

What can you tell at a glance? Here are some ideas to focus on:

What items are being worked on?
What items should be worked on?
What is the expected and acutal production rate?
What problems are the workers having?
How many people are needed?

Lean Tip #157 - Make standards visually apparent to satisfy the customers need.

At a glance, employees and management should be able to tell what the customers need and what rate of production is needed to meet this. Any reason that the standards cannot be met should be visually apparent, so the problems can be solved immediately.

Lean tip #158 - Lean Tools can help create clear standards but they also need to be sustained.

Tools like 5S, standardized work, set-up reduction, and pull systems/kanban all help create a clear, standard work environment. But if these standards slip, then they quickly cease to become standards. Employees then become cynical about improvement and it slows down or stops.

Lean Tip #159 - Problem escalation should not be viewed as a sign of weakness.

Problem escalation should not be viewed as a sign of weakness. If an employee cannot handle a problem without assistance, he or she should ask for and count on management support. Making problems visible and solving them immediately should feel normal if you want to improve.

Lean Tip #160 - An effective idea system is not about the amount of savings obtained.

An effective idea system is not about how much savings are obtained from the ideas put forth. Typically we have many small problems compromising material and information flow throughout our companies, so it is many many small ideas that we are looking for.

Lean Tip #161 - Answer three questions to determine an inventory strategy for your pull system.

To implement an inventory strategy based on pull of the customer you need to determine three things:

How much inventory will you keep?
Where will you keep the inventory?
How will you replenish inventory based on customer pull?

Lean Tip #162 - Not all stock is the same, changes in demand requires different types of stock.

There are three types of inventory to consider:

Cycle stock: This is the minimum amount of goods being built for the next shipment and protects against average daily demand and demand through replenishment time.

Buffer Stock: These are goods held to protect against predictable common-cause variation in demand.

Safety Stock: These are goods held at any position in the stream to protect against unpredictable special-cause variation in demand.

Lean Tip #163 - Separating your stock can help you understand the source of abnormal inventory.

Separating inventory into buffer stock (to absorb customer variation) and safety stock (to absorb supply variation) aids in problem-solving by identifying the source of the cause of abnormal inventory (overstock or understock).

Lean Tip #164 - Reduce incoming and outgoing inspections to create flow in your supply chain.

Material (and information) should flow uninterrupted from suppliers to customers in a Lean supply chain. Shipping and receiving inspections are nonvalue-added processes and should be eliminated. To do this you will need quality-at-the-source and error-proofing.

Lean Tip #165 - Beware of Forecasting and Marketing Strategies When Looking at Consumption

When researching customer consumption, be sure to review forecasting and marketing strategies. Price discounting or promotions designed to push product into the marketplace will appear to increase ‘consumption” in the short run, but this rarely last for any extended period. Models that use historical data to forecast future consumption also can give inaccurate guidance.


Stay connect to A Lean Journey on our Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin
You can also subscribe to this feed or email to stay updated on all posts.

1 comment:

  1. Tim,

    More practical and valuable insight! Standard Work needs to be realistic or it won't get done. I ran across a quote in the Toyota Way Fieldbook that I will be using as the basis for a blog article. It states that if there is a problem with the standardized work if people are not following the SOP (paraphrased). It must reflect the realities of the operation as you state.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete