Interesting Discussion Lean Manufacturing Concepts - Is 'Lean' hype?

Is 'Lean' hype?


  • Total voters
    61
  • Poll closed .

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
Where I have seen success is where minds are open and nobody jumps to the action stages without proper analysis. The first question I ask is who needs to be sold, management, hourly employees or mid level? Often upper management masks skepticism because they can't say no to a corporate mandate. They'll wear the T shirts and drink from the coffer cups but deep down they thinks it's just the flavor of the month. In my mind the first step is to crawl into upper managements head to assess the validity of their commitment.
Are you speaking as a consultant, or as a directly employed company employee who implemented "lean" in a company as an employee? If you worked as a direct employee, how did you "...crawl into upper managements head to assess the validity of their commitment"?
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
Are you speaking as a consultant, or as a directly employed company employee who implemented "lean" in a company as an employee? If you worked as a direct employee, how did you "...crawl into upper managements head to assess the validity of their commitment"?
Great question. I was speaking from the employee perspective. I have had the phony support as well as the genuine deal. The phonys place great emphasis on the appearances. People who have been in the trenches will have some scar tissue and will help you avoid pitfalls. I can't tell you how to develop your own BS alarm but that's precisely what you need.

I had one division president VP who insisted we all read "The Goal" which of course several of us had read years ago. He evangelized but made decisions profoundly inconsistent with lean and wasn't receptive to having inconsistencies pointed out. In his case I don't think he intended to be a phony, I think he was in way over his head and didn't "get" lean. He was aware that he was supposed to but didn't know how. That didn't bode well for keeping momentum going. As a matter of fact we back slid considerably. Come to think of it his successor did the exact same thing, brought copies of "The Goal" to enlighten the unwashed. In both cases rather than assessing the team and any prior progress, they simply presumed we knew nothing and went right to visible cheer-leading. That's a warning sign. I managed to make some progress with the second guy after we floundered on his watch. We made a great deal of progress in a short amount of time by resurrecting things that had been working and undoing some of those not so lean practices.

One of which just came to me, this might help: Outsourcing your processes which you are having a difficult time of leaning out is a warning sign. Paying someone else to be wasteful adding transportation cost and time isn't lean. If all I measure is what's done in house I can fool a bad metric and claim success while adding waste.

I hope this helps in some small way.
 

Bill Levinson

Industrial Statistician and Trainer
Is Lean a hype? Yes and No.

If you implement Lean only because you want to jump onto the bandwagon then yes its a hype.

If you implement Lean because it makes sense for your business and will increase profit then no its not a hype, its a great set of tools
I'm getting into this discussion a bit late but you are 100% correct about Lean (and also ISO 9001). If the organization gets into it because it wants to get on the bandwagon (or get the ISO 9001 certificate to make customers happy) results will be limited at best. If it seeks to generate bottom line results, and make Lean and/or ISO 9001 the servant rather than the master (that is, a means of getting results rather than something we "have to do" to get a certificate), the results will follow.

To put this in perspective, Lean is what drove the Ford Motor Company's phenomenal growth during the first part of the 20th century. Its production chief Charles Sorensen credited the moving assembly line, developed circa 1908, with winning the Second World War for the Allies, but there was a 1918 cartoon that depicted Henry Ford as the Kaiser's most dangerous enemy--again due to mass production. Ford made simple with three performance indicators: waste of time (which we can break out into time of things, i.e. cycle time, and time of people, i.e. waste motion), waste of material, and waste of energy. All seven TPS wastes can be expressed in these terms. Taiichi Ohno later credited Ford for the development of the Toyota production system.

Ford also described very explicitly Just In Time (although he didn't call it that) and did what Goldratt's The Goal later showed to be impossible (the matchsticks and dice experiment); he ran a balanced factory at close to 100% capacity. From My Life and Work (1922), "The idea is that a man must not be hurried in his work—he must have every second necessary but not a single unnecessary second." That is, no operation has excess capacity. This works only if there is essentially no variation in the time taken to process each unit and to move it to the next operation. Ford deliberately removed the variation.

Here were the results as recognized in 1915:

"Ford's success has startled the country, almost the world, financially, industrially, mechanically. It exhibits in higher degree than most persons would have thought possible the seemingly contradictory requirements of true efficiency, which are: constant increase of quality, great increase of pay to the workers, repeated reduction in cost to the consumer. And with these appears, as at once cause and effect, an absolutely incredible enlargement of output reaching something like one hundred fold in less than ten years, and an enormous profit to the manufacturer..." (Arnold and Faurote, 1915, Ford Methods and the Ford Shops, introduction by Charles Buxton Going).
 

Bill Levinson

Industrial Statistician and Trainer
Here is what I mean. Take a look at the video at about 10 seconds in and you will see why these jobs are low-wage. They have a guy mopping a floor instead of using a machine that would allow him to do 4 or 5 times as much work for less physical effort. Almost half of all Americans work in low-wage jobs Anybody familiar with Henry Ford's thought process can recognize this kind of waste in seconds. The article that complained about low wages did not even mention this.

In any event, this illustrates what lean can do for your company. Assuming that the video tells the whole story, I would recommend that the employer buy the machine (less than $10K), double the worker's pay, and still save $30K a year (I am assuming these workers get minimum wage--if they are paid more, the savings are even higher) by not using a worker's time to push a mop when he could be running a machine. The job looks like it makes as much sense as using shovels to dig a hole when a backhoe is available. (Not formal engineering advice.)
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
I will separate the posts into a new thread sometime today or this evening. When I was posting yesterday I was thinking pretty much the same thing - We have gone quite a bit off topic into tangental territory.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
T Examples of Mura and Muri to be used in Training - Key Concepts on Lean Manufacturing Training - Internal, External, Online and Distance Learning 10
S Lean Manufacturing Concepts Discussion Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 128
J Lean MFG (manufacturing) process and Work order templates Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 6
B Looking for Lean Manufacturing Articles in Spanish Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 4
E Lean Manufacturing in Oil & Gas Industry Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 4
O Lean Tools in Labour Intensive Manual Manufacturing Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 20
F Looking for some type of training on Lean Manufacturing video or web training Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 7
C Availability of Lean Manufacturing Training The Woodlands TX Training - Internal, External, Online and Distance Learning 4
O Lean Manufacturing Implementation Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 7
L How Lean Can Manufacturing Get? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 7
C Lean Sigma Manufacturing Handoff Package Contents FMEA and Control Plans 8
A Lean Manufacturing in the Food Industry Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 4
R Demand Flow Technology vs. Lean Manufacturing - Same method with just another name? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 9
C Lean Manufacturing Implementation and Training Materials - Recommendations wanted Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 6
S Lean - Ways to Measure Equipment Flexibility - Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 2
Z Lean Manufacturing Conferences - Could anyone suggest some good conferences? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 1
P Where can one get trained in belts and lean manufacturing? Professional Certifications and Degrees 10
B Quality & Lean Written Quiz on terms and defintion of Quality and Lean Manufacturing Software Quality Assurance 8
R Beyond Lean manufacturing - Operation management / Performance improvement Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 1
B Cell Manufacturing - Project to implement lean manufacturing principles Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 4
M Lean To Attack Manufacturing Wastes Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 8
hogheavenfarm Lean manufacturing seminars in NY/CT area? Training - Internal, External, Online and Distance Learning 8
C HMLV Lean Questions - PCB manufacturing industry Value Stream Mapping Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 3
T At what stage in a company's life can you introduce Lean Manufacturing Principles Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 12
A Where does the Lean Manufacturing philosophy / tool set come from? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 30
E Lean Manufacturing Presentation - What should I include? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 13
J Lean Manufacturing without stability - Rate it 1 to 5. Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 4
D Lean 6 Sigma book recommendations for young, inexperienced manufacturing Engineers Book, Video, Blog and Web Site Reviews and Recommendations 4
A Does anyone know some metrics can I use to measure Lean Manufacturing? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 8
J Lean Manufacturing using the FMEA? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 4
P The Significance of Lean and Six Sigma Outside Manufacturing - Thesis Questionnaire Six Sigma 0
S Student needs advice on his career in the field of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Career and Occupation Discussions 14
S Student requests help on Lean Manufacturing - Masters in industrial engineering Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 14
A What is the expectation of Lean manufacturing plans in Visteon specific requirements Customer and Company Specific Requirements 0
P Definition Lean Manufacturing - Definitions of (thesis assignment) Definitions, Acronyms, Abbreviations and Interpretations Listed Alphabetically 5
R Surveys about Quality Management and Lean Manufacturing The Reading Room 0
M Lean Manufacturing Overview Aimed at Management Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 4
A VSM (Value Stream Management) for service industry - Lean Manufacturing Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 4
Wes Bucey Body of Knowledge for Lean Manufacturing Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 47
S SAE Jrr 003 (RR-003?) - SAE J4000 - Lean Manufacturing - Status Evaluation Various Other Specifications, Standards, and related Requirements 9
M Lean Manufacturing, SAP and 8.2.4 - No records indicating release of product ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 1
A Any folks have article, insight about Lean / Lean manufacturing to share? Book, Video, Blog and Web Site Reviews and Recommendations 12
WALLACE LEAN 'manufacturing' within a Leasing environment Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 6
G Low Hanging Fruit - Lean Manufacturing Ideas for a Job Shop Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 9
A TS 16949 Clause 6.3.1 and Lean Manufacturing - Any guideline for implementation? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 3
P Lean Manufacturing - Eliminating Inspection - Can Quality Survive? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 49
A Linkage of ISO 9001:2000, ISO/TS16949 and Lean Manufacturing Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 19
Q Has Lean Manufacturing put on weight due to Middle Age? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 14
A Lean Manufacturing - How do I change my company's Culture? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 26
S Teams and Lean Manufacturing Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 20
Similar threads


















































Top Bottom