Toyota’s Master Craftsmen: Takumi

Japanese Master Brush Maker Yoshiyuki Hata
Japanese master brush maker Yoshiyuki Hata

You may have heard of Takumi at Toyota. Takumi in general are highly skilled artisans that excel in their craft. Despite Toyota mass-producing cars using lots of machines, they also employ hundreds of Takumi. This blog post takes a deeper look at what a Takumi is, and why they are so important for Toyota and other Japanese companies.

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This is NOT Lean: Lean Staffing

In this post I would like to talk about another term that claims to be lean: lean staffing. It is NOT lean! It is an abomination. It is pretty much the opposite of what, in my opinion, lean stands for. It is a complete lack of respect for humanity. Let me explain you what it is, why it is terrible, and how to prevent this. Note that this post may include a rant here and there.

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Manufacturing in a War Zone – Part 1

Destroyed Russian Tank in Ukraine
Destroyed Russian tank in Ukraine

Running smooth operations is difficult enough in peacetime. But it becomes much trickier if you are located in an area experiencing an active armed conflict. Yet, there are many active armed conflicts on the world, like Ukraine, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and others, many of which have been ongoing for decades. I have put together some of my thoughts in the hope that it may help people and factories in difficult circumstances, with special focus on the current invasion of Ukraine.

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What Percentage Value Add to Expect for Manual Work?

In my last post I described a quick-and-dirty approach to estimate the percentage of value add (i.e., the efficiency) of manual work. While the value is only an estimate, it is a measurement that you can take quickly and easily even in passing for a manual workplace. You simply count when a person is adding value and when not (i.e., waste). This post will look into more detail on what numbers to expect, and what to do next if you want to increase this percentage of value adding time. Let’s have a look:

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How to Estimate Value Add for Manual Work – How to See Waste!

One of the necessary tasks in becoming leaner and improving your industry is to eliminate waste. I like to use a simple approach for measuring waste in manual work to know how good (or bad) the current situation is. To explain my approach I commissioned a few animations. Let me proudly present my approach and my animations, so you can also estimate the efficiency of manual lines when you are on the shop floor.

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