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

B

Bill Pflanz

#51
The most damning aspect is seen where a company CEO picks the LEAN concept of "reducing employee count by making work more efficient" and insanely reduces employee count, but never tries to make the work more efficient.
I just had lunch with someone yesterday whose company continues to use the Jack Welch approach of 20/70/10 performance evaluation. His group only has 20 people but one person must be chosen to receive a "needs improvement" rating to meet the arbitrary quota. Next year they will need to do it again and if they choose the same person it automatically results in dismissal. They could choose a different person each year but that causes its own morale problems.

I doubt that their top 20 executives follow the same rule.

Bill Pflanz
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
W

wmarhel

#52
Hi !

In my experience, there is a big difference between LEAN - the theory & good figures and LEAN - the real situation.

My opinion is that the solution isn't to take a model and force it over some situation - and, from all the companies I've meet, this is the lean approach. We belive that we have lean, toyota way, kaizen - but in fact we have only models applied without an analysis.
First, let me direct you to a post I made last year Time for Deep Lean, which refers the reader to an article by Drew Dillon.

I also posted an even earlier one here which may also have some relevence: Lean "replacing" Quality/ISO - A System vs. A Tool

The first problem is the desire for instant results and/or gratification. The problem with this is that those who are concerned with instant results are failing to understand the larger picture, and so fail to create something sustainable. Just as a tree doesn't grow overnight, neither can a "system" be developed and turned into an organization's culture overnight.

You see, TPS (Toyota Production System) is derived from a set of principles. The trick is make those principles become an ingrained part of the organization's culture. Yet what you all too often hear and read about is that "Lean" is just a set of tools.

Here's a recent example of the benefits of beign diligent about this effort. Middle of last year, we were affected by the economic downturn like the majority of companies out there to the tune of having our annual sales drop by over 12% from the previous year. Yet, because of our activities in reducing inventory levels, driving waste out of the processes, managing our resources (we didn't do layoffs, but we did utilize furloughs), material sourcing activities, increased quality/throughput, etc.; yet our EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) increased by double-digits along with our Cash Flow.

4 relevant & common examples:

1. it's said to be JIT with the supplied materials for production - but for Toyota is JIT because they have the supplier factory near their factory - for us is 1 continent away !
The problem here is that many people read some books and articles and screamed, "That's for me. We must do that." And so they dictated to their supplier that the supplier would hold lots of stock and ship to them as they demanded. Never mind that the only thing that happened was material being shifted from one location in the supply chain to another. Even APICS (The Association for Operations Management) still gets this concept wrong in some of their training material. You see, JIT isn't something that you do; JIT is something that occurs because of a whole lot of other things you HAVE done which then allows JIT to happen. Putting it more plainly, it is a result.

Focus on the concept, and not on the distance.


2. Let's implement a line and make U-shape assmelby line - but we have a plant with 2 WRHs - one for incoming, one for delivery - so, here, the lean approach would have been an I-shape line - but no, "U-shape is lean !"
There are benefits to a U-shaped workcell, but again, anyone espousing a single method just isn't understanding the underlying principles.


3. "People are the most important resource of the company !" (you will find this mention in every management university, training, MBA, etc.) - in NONE of the companies I've worked with the situation isn't like that ! And this comming from the shareholdres & managers down. And here I mean the real situation, the one beyod the beautiful presentations and power points.
That's a management and/or personality issue, plain and simple. In the case of public companies, I believe it is driven by poor metrics and the focus on the need to create ever rising dividends and/or stock prices. Then again, when a CEO/CFO are being measured by that yardstick, that is what they will focus on.


Another thing is: Who sais we must take some other's models and apply them to us ? (And I don't mean this in a "patriotic" way.) Sometimes we must think ourselfes at some models and, if what we use is ergonomic and works with excellent results, why change ?
True, in fact if people could just bolt on TPS today to their company, all you would have is a bunch of Toyota's. Nobody better, and likely nobody worse...today. But for a company where the concept of continuous improvement is truly ingrained and people are allowed to work towards that goal, those companies will again seperate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Wayne
 
P

prabhatchaddha

#53


4. We talk and talk about the importance of Quality dept. in plant, we look at Juran's theories and we mention them in presentation, but, when it comes to the situation of the Q dept. in production you will find (in most of the cases, no offence to the exceptions !):

- Q guy with no technical background that makes judgements on production processes
- Q dept. is special and high above the production
- finger pointing
- "it's not my job" atitude
- "you done this before, you do now" - even if is my job to do it
- "I only mention bad things, but I have no responsability"
- "I am PQM (project Q manager), but you must tell me what to do and I don't have any responsability" - even he/she is not a simple resource

, so, for me, the Q dept. is the higher dissapointment from what I've espected ! - within 65-75% of the companies/Q guys I've worked with, this is the situation.


This is a pure production prospective not let me put Quality prospective

- P guy has never analyzed the process but will make adjustment in ad hoc just because he has good technical knowledge and is overly confident
-Q- dept is special and high above production but production will not follow the instruction as final answer for quality had to be given by Q dept
- Finger pointing
-I have done this before so I will not do it again-even if it is by job
-I know this is bad but I will not correct till Q dept points it out( let me check there capability)
-I am project manager and what the hell this PQM thinks of himself I will do what I want, will not consider his perception

So this is the most of the case with production department

JUDGE YOURSELF

Regards
 
D

David Hartman

#54
This is a pure production prospective not let me put Quality prospective
Can't we all just get along? :D But, seriously I have stated this before and until I see it being put to use more often, I'll continue to say it. "Quality" is NOT a department!!! If you have a "quality" department you should be making inroads to eliminating it. Not to say that there shouldn't be someone on hand responsible for "quality", but that individual should be in the company as a trainer and facilitator for quality. The (for lack of another term, we'll call the individual the Quality Manager) Quality Manager should be the one who provides training on the use of quality tools to every employee, as well as being available to aid in the selection and facilitation in the use of these tools. Making every employee responsible for the quality of product or service provided (and providing them with the tools to perform this function) would help to eliminate the us -Vs- them games that are discussed in these last couple of posts.

Of course this would also entail providing time for "on the floor" discussions (brain-storming) sessions and brief meetings for collecting data, performing analysis, and developing action plans (along with the freedom to implement these plans). But these instances should be few and far between, if every employee truly takes responsibility for, and pride in, their work. :2cents:
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#55
Can't we all just get along? :D But, seriously I have stated this before and until I see it being put to use more often, I'll continue to say it. "Quality" is NOT a department!!! If you have a "quality" department you should be making inroads to eliminating it. Not to say that there shouldn't be someone on hand responsible for "quality", but that individual should be in the company as a trainer and facilitator for quality. The (for lack of another term, we'll call the individual the Quality Manager) Quality Manager should be the one who provides training on the use of quality tools to every employee, as well as being available to aid in the selection and facilitation in the use of these tools. Making every employee responsible for the quality of product or service provided (and providing them with the tools to perform this function) would help to eliminate the us -Vs- them games that are discussed in these last couple of posts.

Of course this would also entail providing time for "on the floor" discussions (brain-storming) sessions and brief meetings for collecting data, performing analysis, and developing action plans (along with the freedom to implement these plans). But these instances should be few and far between, if every employee truly takes responsibility for, and pride in, their work. :2cents:
From a member of the choir: AMEN!
I not only preached this; I practiced it! See
http://elsmar.com/Forums/showpost.php?p=105469&postcount=18
and
http://elsmar.com/Forums/showpost.php?p=105566&postcount=20

especially in post 18, where I write, emphasis added
We had no quality inspectors (we did have quality trainers and guys who acted as "court of last resort" when a question would arise.) Operators did own first article inspections, based on control plan/inspection plan agreed with customer as part of contract review. Another operator would perform a redundant first article inspection with different inspection instruments. Marked sample with BOTH inspection reports was sent to customer for confirmation before production began.

In-process inspection, SPC, etc. was performed by operator in real time. If nonconformance was discovered, production would halt - all operators would collaborate on finding and curing cause, only calling in outside help if solution eluded them. Inspection records, charts, etc. went right to computer where they were available in real time to in-house folk and customers.

Operators had autonomy to bring in experts from our suppliers of material, capital equipment, and expendable tooling to stay up to date on industry innovation. Sometimes, we shut the whole shop down and chartered a bus to take us to the International Machine Tool Show to spend the day.

If an operator wanted to see a customer's operation and how his product was used, we made it happen. Similarly for a supplier's operation.
 
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P

prabhatchaddha

#58
Can't we all just get along? :D But, seriously I have stated this before and until I see it being put to use more often, I'll continue to say it. "Quality" is NOT a department!!! If you have a "quality" department you should be making inroads to eliminating it. Not to say that there shouldn't be someone on hand responsible for "quality", but that individual should be in the company as a trainer and facilitator for quality. The (for lack of another term, we'll call the individual the Quality Manager) Quality Manager should be the one who provides training on the use of quality tools to every employee, as well as being available to aid in the selection and facilitation in the use of these tools. Making every employee responsible for the quality of product or service provided (and providing them with the tools to perform this function) would help to eliminate the us -Vs- them games that are discussed in these last couple of posts.

Of course this would also entail providing time for "on the floor" discussions (brain-storming) sessions and brief meetings for collecting data, performing analysis, and developing action plans (along with the freedom to implement these plans). But these instances should be few and far between, if every employee truly takes responsibility for, and pride in, their work. :2cents:
I full agree with u but just the point i was to make that blaming alone a quality will not help.I am professional from production not from quality.

my apology if i did hurt anyone
 
V

vnaik

#59
Yes I do believe Lean is a ideal, it offers straight forward, simple and commonsense approach to problem solving and improvements. You do not need to be an expert or have certification program to start which is ideal for a small industries.


Vivek
 

LUV-d-4UM

Quite Involved in Discussions
#60
Our supply points are ISO9000 and TS16949 certified. Despite the credentials we struggle during custmer audits especially by Toyota and other Japanese OEM's that subscribe to TQM. From my stanpoint if we can adapt the culture of continual improvement and use the 7 Quality Tools plus 5S philosophy I think we can be confident of the value adding quality management system and not worry about some auditor taking pictures of our system.
 
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