Twenty-five Years after Ohno – A Look Back

Taiichi Ohno
Taiichi Ohno, Father of the Toyota Production System

Twenty-five years ago today, on May 28, 1990, Taiichi Ohno passed away. While he was not the only person behind the Toyota Production System, he was its key driver and is considered the father of the Toyota Production System. To commemorate the anniversary, let’s have a look back at his life, and also at how lean changed after he passed away.

To produce only what is needed, when it is needed and in the amount needed. (Taiichi Ohno)

Read more

100th Anniversary of the Death of Frederick Winslow Taylor, the Father of Modern Scientific Management

Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor

It was exactly 100 years ago today that Frederick Winslow Taylor died. He is considered the father of modern scientific management, the first management consultant, president of the ASME, and the first management guru. He invented and patented the first modern tool steel, designed new golf clubs, and optimized the growing of grass. He could swear like few others, but he also won the US Open tennis championships.

His work was already controversial when he died, but nobody doubts the enormous legacy he has left for industry. Without his achievements, there would be no modern manufacturing.

Read more

Happy 1st Birthday AllAboutLean.com

Happy 1st Birthday
Happy 1st Birthday

AllAboutLean.com is one year old. Exactly twelve months ago I started this blog on September 1st with my first post, New Professor, New Blog. Since then I have published fifty-six posts. Time to have a look back. What were the most popular posts? How did visits to my blog develop? What is the outlook for the future? And what is there already in the pipeline that will appear soon on AllAboutLean.com?

Read more

Corporate Culture on Quality Starts at the Top – A Small Anecdote on Organizational Blindness

Six Forks
Notice something?

Quality starts at the top with management. Top executives like to talk about quality, but employees below usually know very well if the manager only talks the talk or also walks the walk. Words are cheap. Quality (and pretty much everything else that is important) requires attention by management.

Read more

A Lean Obituary for Maybach – A Cautionary Tale About Cost of Complexity

$439,000 gift with every car purchased
$439,000 gift with every car purchased

With the end of last year, Daimler stopped selling its flagship vehicle, Maybach. I would like to use this opportunity to talk about the danger and harm to your company by increasing the number of product types sold. As an illustrative (and expensive) example, I would like to split the total cost of the Maybach in its individual parts (as far as I can estimate them).  My hope is that this motivates you to reduce, or at least no longer increase, the number of variants in your product portfolio.

Read more

Visit to Euromold for the Latest in 3D Printing

The next Euromold trade show in Frankfurt will be in a few weeks. While the show generally presents products related to moldmaking  and tooling, they also have a large section on 3D printing. This is a good time for me to talk about 3D printing and my last visit to Euromold last year.

Read more