Interesting Discussion Does Lean hold the key to success? Is Lean the ideal vehicle for moving forward?

R

Randy Stewart

#31
I think you have touched on what many believe is "lean thinking" in the US - Cut Heads! That's just not true.
There's a picture I saw once that had a boat on the water and under it were some big rocks. The boat was labeled "Your Processes", the rocks were labeled "Bottle Necks", "Supplier Issues", "Poor Quality", etc. and the water was labeled "Resources". What it was showing was that in order to get over the rocks, we tend to pump in the resources. What we should be doing is trying to make the rocks as small as possible so we can assign our resources to other, more profitable, areas. It's not getting rid of people, it's getting rid of the "non-value added" steps/processes.
System Thinking, Value Stream Mapping, 5S, etc. are all tools to getting lean.
 
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The Taz!

Quite Involved in Discussions
#32
Randy Stewart said:
I think you have touched on what many believe is "lean thinking" in the US - Cut Heads! That's just not true.
No. . . I was saying that IMHO, "Lean implementation practices" in the US chop heads.

There's a picture I saw once that had a boat on the water and under it were some big rocks. The boat was labeled "Your Processes", the rocks were labeled "Bottle Necks", "Supplier Issues", "Poor Quality", etc. and the water was labeled "Resources". .
In the JIT days, the water was hiding the rocks and was labeled INVENTORY

What it was showing was that in order to get over the rocks, we tend to pump in the resources. What we should be doing is trying to make the rocks as small as possible so we can assign our resources to other, more profitable, areas. It's not getting rid of people, it's getting rid of the "non-value added" steps/processes.
System Thinking, Value Stream Mapping, 5S, etc. are all tools to getting lean.
I agree with this 100%. . . well. . .99.73%. IMHO, you do improve productivity. . . but you do not change overhead unless you decrease it. As processes become more efficient, what becomes excess?. . . labor
 
D

David Hartman

#33
The Taz! said:
I agree with this 100%. . . well. . .99.73%. IMHO, you do improve productivity. . . but you do not change overhead unless you decrease it. As processes become more efficient, what becomes excess?. . . labor
Taz,

You are so correct, but the truth is when we have a workforce that demands wages and compensations far above the competitions, and added to this is a productivity level that is continually lower; how do we become competitive without either demanding wage reductions, or increasing productivity (which will reduce the labor force as well), or both?

I am one of those victims of head-count reduction efforts, but I also recognize that the company I worked for had to make an immediate decision to either reduce its workforce or close the doors; and I am willing to except that my loss allows others to continue to be compenstated.

Change is good, but nobody said that it wasn't painful.

:bigwave:
 

The Taz!

Quite Involved in Discussions
#34
ddhartma said:
Taz,

I am one of those victims of head-count reduction efforts, but I also recognize that the company I worked for had to make an immediate decision to either reduce its workforce or close the doors; and I am willing to except that my loss allows others to continue to be compenstated.

Change is good, but nobody said that it wasn't painful.

:bigwave:
David. . .

We've all been there at some point I'm sure. Was your release due to productivity gains yielding excess labor?? Or was the reduction due to external economic factors? or both?
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#35
The Taz! said:
As processes become more efficient, what becomes excess?. . . labor
Not always -- if this were always (or most often) the case there would be almost no jobs left in this country. Our (USA) productivity has risen almost constantly over the years but today there are more Americans working than ever before. Instead, generally (but not always on a small-scale basis, of course) as processes become more efficient the savings are used for more investment which generates more jobs. How many jobs has Toyota (the "lean" and efficiency experts according to many here) lost over the years as a result of increased efficiency? Even over the last year, while many folks appartently mistakenly believe that the economy is worsening and unemployment is going up (based on recent polling), the opposite is true.
 
D

David Hartman

#36
The Taz! said:
David. . .

We've all been there at some point I'm sure. Was your release due to productivity gains yielding excess labor?? Or was the reduction due to external economic factors? or both?
Mine was due to external economic factors (loss of sales, due to economy). We produced hard robotics for automotive assembly lines. When the econmomy took a dump, the manufacturer's decided to continue using and band-aiding what they had instead of buying new.

Which in effect results in productivity yields beyond what the customer base can handle, so in a way you could view it as both.
 

The Taz!

Quite Involved in Discussions
#37
Mike S. said:
Not always -- if this were always (or most often) the case there would be almost no jobs left in this country. Our (USA) productivity has risen almost constantly over the years but today there are more Americans working than ever before. Instead, generally (but not always on a small-scale basis, of course) as processes become more efficient the savings are used for more investment which generates more jobs. How many jobs has Toyota (the "lean" and efficiency experts according to many here) lost over the years as a result of increased efficiency? Even over the last year, while many folks appartently mistakenly believe that the economy is worsening and unemployment is going up (based on recent polling), the opposite is true.
Mike. . .inmy haste to post that reply, I omitted the question mark after the "labor?

didn't mean to be so difinitive about that. :eek:
 

WALLACE

Quite Involved in Discussions
#38
Claes Gefvenberg said:
Why on earth should we build a copy of Toyotas system (even though it is great), when they work under conditions different from ours? None of us will be the leader as long as we try to follow somebody else's footsteps. Sure, let's learn from the good ideas, but we must build something that is adapted to our conditions and needs.
In order to be Sensei we need create something of our own
Claes, I agree :agree1:
Deming made a great analogy regarding just copying a system.
A plan was given to a craftsman. The plan detailed a grand piano with all of the materials required.
The craftsman eventually made the grand piano and, it looked great.
The new owner sat down at the piano and started to recite some music.
What happened? The music sounded awfull.
Why?
Well, the craftsman was an excellent journeyman yet, he had absolutely no knowledge of music.
We should learn much from this story regarding copying the tools and techniques of other successful strategies, without knowledge of the system.
Wallace.
 

Manoj Mathur

Quite Involved in Discussions
#39
I have started one Topic named "World Class Manufacturing" sometimes in Oct 2003. I was prompted to give more insight on the same topic. I again say WCM is nothing but an Impoved Lean Technique Applications. I am enclosing a brief introduction of WCM. If any one wants to have more Information , please don't have any hesitation to contact meWorld Class Manufacturing (WCM) is an eight Dimensional Program enshrining the basic philosophies of TPM, TQM, BPR, ISO - 9000 and other change initiatives. WCM enables the organization to aim at Zero Accidents, Zero Defects, Zero Pollution, Zero Losses, Zero Breakdowns and Zero Customer Complaints through Zero Abnormality Movement.
World Class Manufacturing is a structured seventeen step program that covers all Employees, Equipment and Areas. Under the label of World Class Manufacturing, the employees are empowered to undertake the improvement initiatives and achieve a sustainable superior performance.
With a focus on Quality, Cost, Delivery, Innovations, Productivity & Service - (QCDIPS), the organization acquires competencies that are necessary for meeting the competitive challenges of tomorrow. WCM program gears the individuals to operate in team based structures that innovate and improve continuously.
The organizations adopting WCM Program are unrelentingly developing and continuously updating a deep understanding of their customer's present and future needs. Their competitive advantage also lies in having the best technology and superior processes for designing and manufacturing, selling and sourcing their products at the most economical cost. In these endeavors, WCM is the major Driving Force.

What is WCM ?
World Class Manufacturing (WCM) is a unique strategy for Enterprise Excellence through focus on Manufacturing. This strategy encompasses the essentials of most of the labeled change initiatives in the world for managing the manufacturing. It is a long term structured approach which is cyclic (PDCA - Plan, DO, Check & Act), comprehensive and systematic business tool.
The process involves a cultural transformation for an Abnormality Free Culture. It focuses on People, Process, Productivity and Results on a continuous basis. WCM is in itself, a competitive strategy that aims at stakeholders, including customers and shareholders' delight through focus on sustainable and superior QCDIPS performance. It is diagnostics in nature as it enables the abnormalities i.e. deviations from standards, to show themselves.
 
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