In my last post I looked at the span of control. This is very related to the workload of the supervisor. Hence in this post I would like to discuss how to adjust the supervisor workload. Usually, this is to reduce the workload, as most shop-floor supervisors are in my opinion overworked and have no time left for improvement. In some cases, however, you may have a situation where you want to give the rare underworked supervisor more work. Most of the approaches presented will work in both directions. Let’s look at some ideas: Continue reading On Adjusting Supervisor Workload
Pretty much all companies are based on a hierarchical structure. One superior manages multiple subordinates. The question is: How many subordinates should be managed by a superior? This is also called the span of control. This depends on a number of factors. Let’s have a look at efficient group sizing. Continue reading On the Span of Control
The economy of scale is well known. The larger a company gets, the more efficient it becomes. However, this trend does not go on indefinitely, and eventually turns into a diseconomy of scale. In this post I will look at the diseconomies of scale, and also the very related Parkinson’s Law. Continue reading Diseconomies of Scale
In my last post I looked at delivery sequences like FIFO, LIFO, etc. This second post looks at simple production sequences where you do have to deal with limited production capacity. If you cannot make everything at once, you need a sequence in which you process the parts. Continue reading Production Sequences: FCFS, EDD, and Others
Sometimes, when you need a part or product from your inventory, you may have more than one item in stock. Which one do you pick? In this blog post I want to present a few strategies for choosing which item to take. The most famous one is FIFO, but there are more options available. In my next post I will present similar strategies if you need to start production before the item becomes available. Continue reading Delivery Sequences: FIFO, LIFO, and Others
When googling Hoshin Kanri, you will sooner or later come across an X-Matrix. It is a visually very impressive tool, but I am in serious doubt about its usefulness. It focuses on the creation of the Hoshin items, but to me this approach is overkill, and – even worse – may distract the user from actually following the PDCA, especially the Check and Act parts. While the article is highly critical, I hope reading it and understanding the shortcomings help you better understand how Toyota thinks. Continue reading Hoshin Kanri – Part 4: The X-Matrix?
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
In my first post on Hoshin Kanri I explained the details of making the list for the Hoshin. This now has to be combined with a PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act). The rigor of PDCA gives value and life to what would otherwise be a simple action list. Let me show you: Continue reading Hoshin Kanri – Part 2: PDCA