Happy Thanksgiving…..Be thankful for Lean

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Happy Thanksgiving from the Lean Is Good blog. 

As I reflect back, there is so much to be thankful for it amazes me.  Often times in our blogospheres we rant and rave about all the negative things like lack of leadership, overburdened workloads, lack of commitment, etc.  However, take a minute to think about all the things your teams did well this year!  How many kanban systems did you start or improve upon?  How many of your processes are more stable now than a year ago since you implemented standard work or process control charting?  Most importantly, how many people did you teach that there are simpler and better ways to do business successfully?

I bet you got a lot done!!!!!  Be thankful that we continue to have andon pulls to work on!!!!

Bryan

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Unextended Lean – The Whirlpool Experience

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]Last August Whirlpool announced it would be closing the Evansville, Indiana plant and building a new plant in Mexico.  A recent article here talks about how they have been removing equipment slowly from the plant and re-installing it elsewhere, all while continuing to make product.  Evolving Excellence has had previous posts regarding Whirlpool and this facility in particular way back in 2006.  Paul Coburn, vice president of Whirlpool’s Evansville Division is quoted:

In the last six months we have delivered strong results in spite of having to see a good deal of our equipment taken out of the building and moved to its new location. I believe that it is a testament to your character that you have continued to work hard to preserve the positive reputation of the Evansville workforce during this period. Continue reading

Lean Selling Anti-Lean?

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]In the last few months I’ve been coming across articles from Toyota Material Handling touting their AGV or automated guided vehicles.  This particular article in ThomasNet News describes showing off the total system. Continue reading

Hansei and Building

Click to enlarge

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It’s the end of the year and a time when many businesses and people reflect on the previous year or years.  This reflection or hansei as known in the lean world is critical to walking down the path of success.  I inadvertently did some hansei last weekend as I was building some shelves in our basement closets.

My wife and I planned the layout we wanted to organize all our kids games which were becoming a huge mess.  I dare to call it 5S but learned a long time ago not to apply, at least fully, the tools from work in the home.  I recommend against putting together a performance plan and review for your spouse! Continue reading

Lean Implementation – When to Pull

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Kevin Meyer at the Evolving Excellence blog does a nice series called 5 Questions in which he asks various people associated with lean five questions (good name for this series). I find myself implementing either lean or continuous improvement at my third organization and something that Michael Balle talked about a few months ago when he was answering Kevin’s 5 questions got me thinking (here is the post with Michael’s 5 answers to Kevin’s 5 questions) about when you should begin perfecting your value stream (create stability, eliminate waste, etc) and when you should ‘connect’ your value stream.

Continue reading