The 5 M’s of Lean

5m's of Lean

2 min read A great tool for management to maintain and improve the work flow is called the 5 M’s. By always keeping an eye on the 5 M’s, the managers will be able to see when something is not working in a process and ensure efficiency and profitability. The 5M model can be used for risk management, troubleshooting safety issues, and in Lean manufacturing. It’s a framework commonly used in root cause analysis and originated within the …

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The History of Six Sigma

history of six sigma

2 min read The story of Six Sigma’s origin started in a place where good stories rarely begin: aboard room, in a manager’s meeting. By the time the 1970s rolled around, the Toyota Production System had been implemented and Toyota was becoming one of the best manufacturers in the world. Motorola was finding their company unable to compete with other Japanese companies, and it was time for change. A group of Motorola executives were discussing, among other things, …

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Gemba Kaizen

Gemba Kaizen

2 min read Gemba and kaizen go together like peanut butter and jelly. In Japanese, Gemba means “the actual place”. In kaizen, the phrase “Go to Gemba First” is often used. It means that you must go to where the action is or where the process is completed. It is the workbench, the sales meeting, production line, or the cubicle. To make changes in a process, you must actually see the process in action. Many managers never leave …

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What are 5S Red Tags?

5S red tags

2 min read Red tags are a simple, but critical, tool used in the first step of 5S. 5S is a Lean methodology used to organize and maintain workspaces in order to improve efficiency. Like the name implies, there are steps to the 5S system beginning with the Sort phase. Cluttered tool chests and work benches result in a space that is difficult to work in and workers may have to spend extra time searching for the right …

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Using Kanban to Cut Costs

Kanban to Cut Costs

2 min read Looking for areas in your facility to cut down on wastes? Inventory is a great place to start. Maintaining and storing large amounts of inventory and materials is a costly task, you need to not only purchase those extra items, but you need to take up valuable space in the facility for storage.  When you are able to reduce inventory, you are in turn also able to reduce costs. Utilizing and implementing a kanban system …

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Tools for Each S in 5S

3 min read 5S is a Lean manufacturing tactic that focuses on the organization of work spaces and processes for a safer and more efficient facility. 5S represents the five steps in this Lean process: sorting, setting, shining, standardizing, and sustaining. More than implementing new ways of organizing or working, there are specific supplies that can help in each step of the 5S process. Seiri – Sort This is the first step of your 5S journey. Go through …

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What’s a Spaghetti Diagram?

2 min read A spaghetti diagram, often called a spaghetti plot, spaghetti chart, or spaghetti model, is a valuable tool to add to your Lean toolbox. Spaghetti diagrams are a component of Gemba walks and are a visual representation of flows in your facility. The goal of a spaghetti diagram is to make it easier for managers to identify resources wasted and processes that can be streamlined. Before embarking on your Gemba walk, you will want to select …

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