Category Archives: Lean Tools

Posts related to different lean tools, often also known as the lean toolbox. Different methods that can be used to improve the shop floor, although it is risky to use methods on their own without a whole lean system.

Hoshin Kanri – Part 3: Hierarchical Hoshins

Hoshin Kanri can be used individually, but its full potential is shown across the levels of corporate hierarchy. The goals of a Hoshin Kanri should be derived from the Hoshin Kanri of the next-level hierarchy above. This post is part of a larger series on Hoshin Kanri. Let’s look at the hierarchy structure: Continue reading Hoshin Kanri – Part 3: Hierarchical Hoshins

Hoshin Kanri – Part 1: The To-Do List

This week I will look at Hoshin Kanri (方針管理, policy management). The word is often used as a sort of miracle cure for the problems in your organization. The tool itself, however, is rather mundane, although it did significantly help Toyota. This, of course, did not stop the West from over-complicating and over-hyping it. This post is the start of a small series on Hoshin Kanri. Continue reading Hoshin Kanri – Part 1: The To-Do List

Point-of-Use Provider Routing

Ice Cream Sundae order
Just what you need …

This is my last post of a series of three posts on point-of-use providers (also known as mizusumashi, water strider, or water spider). In this post I will go into much more detail on the routing of the point-of-use provider. A less-busy point-of-use provider can handle multiple lines. Similarly, very busy lines may have multiple point-of-use providers. Here I will show you some more details on these possibilities. Continue reading Point-of-Use Provider Routing

Point-of-Use Provider Calculations

In this second post of my series on point-of-use providers (also known as Mizusumashi, water strider, or water spider), I will discuss the calculation of the workload for the point-of-use provider … although calculation is a way-too-big word for what is, in practice, guesswork with limited data of low quality. However, I hope it helps you with planning your point-of-use providers. Continue reading Point-of-Use Provider Calculations

Introduction to Point-of-Use Providers (or Mizusumashi)

Make to Order OktoberfestThe point-of-use provider, also known as Mizusumashi, water strider, or water spider, is a worker that supplies material to the point of use. Similar to a waiter bringing food and drinks (and beer 🙂 ) to the customer, the point-of-use provider brings material to the workers. The latter, however, merely refills materials rather than custom orders. This point-of-use provider fulfills an important role between the inventory and the final point of use. Let me give you the details: Continue reading Introduction to Point-of-Use Providers (or Mizusumashi)

Examples of Jidoka

In my last two posts I talked a lot about what jidoka is, and the underlying philosophy. Many articles do so. But there are almost no actual examples out there of jidoka. But without examples it is difficult to really understand a concept. A great historic example of this is the Toyoda Model G automatic loom from 1925. This is well known, but here I would like to show you how it connects to jidoka. I will also give you a more modern example of a product that you may even own.

Continue reading Examples of Jidoka