Storage Strategies – Fixed Location

Hospital SupermarketIn my last post I looked at different ways to store material. This post is a continuation, looking at where to put materials. I want to give an overview of the different options to help you choose one that is suitable for your situation. This first post looks at storage with fixed locations, and why this is usually not so hot. Continue reading Storage Strategies – Fixed Location

Storage Strategies – Stacking Options

Warehouse worker checking the inventoryIf you are in production, you have material. You probably have too much, except for the one thing that’s missing. In this blog post I will give an overview of the options for storing material. Hopefully this will give some inspiration. Please note that this is not on how to manage the material, merely on how to store it. This is the start of a small series on how to store material. Continue reading Storage Strategies – Stacking Options

Flexible Manpower Lines 4 – How-To do Flexible Manpower Lines

This is the final post in this series on flexible manpower lines. Since we completed the example line in the last post, I will give you a brief theoretical run-down on how to divide the work among multiple people. I will also show you some easier-to-manage but maybe not-quite-as-efficient alternative options, the bucket brigade and the rabbit chaseContinue reading Flexible Manpower Lines 4 – How-To do Flexible Manpower Lines

Flexible Manpower Lines 3 – Example Line

Flexible Manpower Line 3 OperatorsThis third post in the series continues with the example on flexible manpower lines. Now we will investigate different options for these flexible manpower lines (also called Shoujinka 少人化). I will show you the details on all options between a single operator and the (sensible) maximum of six operators, and why for our example it does not make sense to use four or five operators. Continue reading Flexible Manpower Lines 3 – Example Line

Flexible Manpower Lines 2 – Alternatives and Example

Flexible Manpower Line 2 OperatorsHaving a flexible manpower line is a good way to adjust the production capacity to changing demand while still keeping your system leveled. In this second post in my series on flexible manpower lines, I give you some alternatives before going into more details of an example line that we will set up for different numbers of operators in the next few posts. Continue reading Flexible Manpower Lines 2 – Alternatives and Example

Flexible Manpower Lines 1 – Introduction

Flexible Manpower Line 1 OperatorProduction lines with manual labor often have the possibility of adjusting manpower due to demand. Such flexible manpower lines can work with different staff numbers, and can adjust the production output to the customer demand. At Toyota, such lines are also called Shoujinka (少人化, literally “few people production”). A gender neutral term would be “flexible staffing line”. This blog post will go into the details on how to set up such a line. Continue reading Flexible Manpower Lines 1 – Introduction

What Is Kaizen?

Kaizen Word BubbleIf you are in lean, you surely have heard of kaizen, and its English translation, continuous improvement process (CIP). It is one of the fundamental parts of lean. Kaizen generally means to improve, and in lean in particular, it means to continue improving forever. Pretty much all companies that haven’t gone bankrupt do this, often without using the word kaizen. You need to continuously improve in order to survive the harsh realities of competition. Continue reading What Is Kaizen?