Gemba: Managing From Where Production Takes Place

Warehouse leader with crew

3 min read 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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What is a Kaizen event?

2 min read Kaizen events, sometimes referred to as “Rapid Improvement Events” or “Kaizen Blitzes,” take place over a short period of time, usually a week or less. A Kaizen event is an action where the end result is to improve an existing process. A Kaizen event is a short-term effort to implement small, company wide improvements. A Kaizen event should include training, analysis, design, and reconfiguring. It is not unusual for a Kaizen event to last anywhere …

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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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Lean Six Sigma in small companies, still effective?

LEAN Six Sigma within Small Company

5 min read 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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Resistance to Change in LEAN and How to Overcome it

Resistance to Change

5 min read Overcoming Resistance to Change If you are trying to implement LEAN in your facility, or even just make improvements to an existing LEAN manufacturing strategy, you will need to make some changes. Change is a major component of any type of improvement effort, and sadly, it is also one of the biggest obstacles. There is a strong resistance to change for many people, and it can make them fight hard to keep the status quo. …

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Kaizen Events – A Forgotten Art?

5 min read Why do companies not use Kaizen events to improve? A recent LinkedIn discussion asked users why they thought many companies bypassed the use of Kaizen events to solve their problems. Apparently, the technique is a dying breed, or at least there are those who feel it is far from prominent enough. First of all, it’s important to note that a Kaizen event is different from the overall idea of ‘Kaizen’. A Kaizen event is a …

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5 Continuous Improvement Traps

5 Continuous Improvement Traps

6 min read Lean Is All About Learning – But You Still Don’t Need To Make These Mistakes So you’ve heard about this whole Lean manufacturing thing, you may have even been using it already, maybe even for months or years on end… but what happens if you’re not seeing the results you wanted or expected?  What do you do if, seemingly and despite your best efforts, Lean projects tend to fall short, or collapse altogether before even …

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Gemba Walk – 201

Gemba Walk

5 min read Gemba Walk Know-How: Preparation & Interpretation Gemba walks are a powerful piece of your Lean toolbox, and constitute a straightforward way for business owners and managers to find and remedy issues that affect their production. As Lean tools are all about efficiency and waste elimination, a Gemba walk generally fits agreeably into any improvement regimen you may already have planned or in motion. In this blog post, we’re going to go through what exactly a …

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6 Reasons Vinyl Chart Tape Should Be A Tool In Your Workplace

vinyl chart tape

4 min read Let’s Explore How Vinyl Chart Tape Can Improve your Workspace. Every once in a while a product or tool comes along so powerful that it has the potential to completely revolutionize the way you do business, turn old preconceptions over on their heads, and bring you into the future as an innovator in your market. Admittedly, vinyl chart tape might not exactly be one of these… BUT, it comes closer than you might think, and it …

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Incentives and Safety Programs – A Match Made in Heaven?

5 min read Today more than ever businesses need to make sure they are putting a priority on their safety programs in order to get the best possible results. There are many reasons why facility managers are taking safety more seriously, including the fact that studies now confirm that workplace injuries are one of the most costly problems in the manufacturing industry. Of course, improving safety is also important for keeping employees, equipment and inventory safe, which is …

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