This was extremely insightful, and I learned a lot about the differences between the Japanese car makers. Let me give you an overview and some details on Toyota plants before firing off a series of blog posts on the different Japanese automotive companies. Continue reading The Grand Tour of Japanese Automotive – Overview and Toyota
I occasionally watch the reality show Undercover Boss, where top executives work undercover in their own companies. Over and over again I see these managers making the same mistake: They have no understanding whatsoever of what is really happening on the front lines. It is a typical case of not going to the shop floor often enough, or in lean speak, no genchi genbutsu (Japanese for “go and see”). So, <dramatic voice> Why do bosses all make the same mistake? Will they ever learn? Will you enjoy this post? See for yourself in the post below! </dramatic voice>. Continue reading Common Mistakes of Top Executives – A look at “Undercover Boss”
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. Continue reading Corporate Culture on Quality Starts at the Top – A Small Anecdote on Organizational Blindness
Have you ever been to a value stream mapping workshop? If so, you may remember the insistence of the coach to start any mapping activities at the customer side (the end) and then work your way backward (to the beginning). Yet, if you would ask why, you would get only some vague answers about this way being better, more lean, or just the way Toyota does it. In this post I want to go into more detail about whether it may be beneficial for value stream mapping to start at the customer side, and why. Continue reading Value Stream Mapping – Why to Start at the Customer Side
Due to popular demand related to my two posts on “Make Your Plant Tour a Success!” and “How to Misguide Your Visitor – or What Not to Pay Attention to During a Plant Visit!,” I have created a checklist for a lean visit to a manufacturing shop floor for you to download. Take this checklist with easy-to-use metrics during your shop floor visit to make yourself independent of potentially misleading data given to you by the shop floor staff. Metrics include worker utilization, machine utilization, inventory reach and turnaround, and order & cleanliness. Continue reading Lean Shop Floor Checklist – Top 4 KPI to Watch in the Factory
In the previous post I talked about how to have a successful plant tour and how to get the most information out of the visit. Today’s post shares the tricks of the trade on what things the plant does NOT want you to know about.See through the ruse during a plant tour and discover how good the plant really is. Continue reading How to Misguide Your Visitor – or What Not to Pay Attention to During a Plant Visit!
There are thousands of things to see during a plant tour. However, if you really want to know how good the plant is, there are a couple of tricks on what to watch during the tour. This post will give you a few quick but reliable metrics to estimate the performance of the plant. Continue reading Make Your Plant Tour a Success!