Reducing Lead Time in Manufacturing

When a customer places and order, they will typically want to get what they purchased as soon as possible. The amount of time between the moment when the order is placed, and the moment when the order is shipped out to the customer, is called lead time. Finding ways to reduce lead time in manufacturing is very important as it will allow you to service your customers better. This reduction in lead time can also …

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Gemba: Managing From Where Production Takes Place

Warehouse leader with crew

There are hundreds of different management strategies that are used in businesses throughout the world. When you need to really get to the heart of how work is done, and make improvements on existing processes, the concept of Gemba is something that needs to be considered. Gemba is a term and concept that comes from Japan but has since been adopted by companies throughout the world. The term Gemba means ‘the actual place’ and is …

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Understanding 5S in the Workplace

Sweeping in a warehouse

5S is a very popular way that companies can improve the way that things are organized in the workplace. The goal is to improve efficiency, eliminate waste, and generally benefit the way that things are run. 5S is most commonly used in manufacturing and warehousing organizations, but it can provide real benefits in just about any industry. Understanding the concepts behind 5S will help your organization to recognize the benefits it can provide and implement …

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5S Audit Checklist for the Factory

workers recording a 5S audit

The 5S Audit Checklist helps to assess the organization standards of the office or the factory. This audit or score is generally based on the frequency, cleanliness, knowledge skills or level, strength of housekeeping, standardization degree, tagging frequency, and system approach of the organization; it is key to sustaining your 5S efforts. The 5S Audit Checklist for Factory is quick and takes only 7 minutes for completion. Auditing Factory – Step Wise Process The primary …

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The 5 M’s of Lean

5m's of Lean

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

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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What are 5S Red Tags?

5S red tags

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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Tools for Each S in 5S

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?

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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Lean Six Sigma in small companies, still effective?

LEAN Six Sigma within Small Company

Lean Six Sigma within a Small Company Lean and six sigma strategies are known the world over for their effectiveness in helping to reduce waste and variation in production processes. That said, much of the information and many of the case studies we have on these techniques are conducted within the context of businesses that operate on a much larger scale than many that we ourselves might be associated with. Even the origins of lean, …

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