This is why I come to the cove to learn from experts.
Yes our training was done by a state funded contractor who spent two days recreating a factory that built an electronic gadget that turned on a small light bulb. In that time we tried three different system mass production with forecasted schedules to lean one piece draw systems. Obvioulsy the lean system was excellent.
When some of us began to ask questions about how we were not facing realistic properties in the training (design flaws, machine downtime and poor product from suppliers) we were ignored shut down and the instructor moved on.
The lean guru's next step was to move into the assembly area (a final process) and do Kaizens. Our throughput to the test tank (final inspection regulatory requirement) was improved however test tank failures were not addressed only assembly failures. This group never got to the root cause of the problem and didn't seem to care as long as they showed increased throughput.
Since my departure they have had two major recalls due to poor design. (Using a plasic washer as a critical componet without reliability testing in cold temperatures
) the warranty returns have dramtically increased but then again with lean they are capable of putting out more bad products quickly.
There is no Kanban, 5S, SMED or even design for manufacturability so I believe the first step to any lean system is to establish a solid quality system with design controls similar to QS or TS requirements requiring FMEA's, Control Plans, reliability testing and capability studies then integrating lean concepts.