In the last months, there has been an unprecedented power struggle between Volkswagen and its suppliers. Two of the suppliers stopped delivering, leading to a full stop of multiple production lines at six Volkswagen plants, including its main plant Wolfsburg. This whole mess comes on top of the separate problems Volkswagen has had with its Dieselgate. In this post I would like to look in more detail at what happened.
Motivation is a key aspect to success. This applies not only to individuals, but also to corporations. Since this is not really any new revelation, many companies put in quite a bit of effort into raising corporate morale. One popular morale booster is corporate events. It is difficult to make such events truly exceptional, but most companies manage to do at least a decent job. Others, however, produce just cringe-worthy results. Or, you could say they create a night to remember. Luckily for us, these are there for all to see on YouTube . Let’s have a look!
Employment is an exchange of work for money. In my last post I showed a few tricks on how operators keep management in the dark about the true workload. However, management is also not giving out all the details on their side either. Naturally, the true value of the work is difficult to assess. Even if companies could know exactly how much each employee contributes to the success, they probably would keep this information top secret.
More interesting, however, is the value of the target workload, where operators are able to work continuously at 130% capacity without problem. The following are my own thoughts, as I have never seen these conclusions anywhere else before.
Employment is an exchange of work for money. As with most negotiations, both sides would like to keep their cards hidden, so employers and employees use different tricks in an attempt to hide the true facts from the other.
This post looks at the tricks of employees, whereas the next post will look at those of employers. As employees have more control over the work than they do over the salary, this post shows how to keep management in the dark about the true workload.
There is often a distinct lack of appreciation and good manners toward shop floor employees. Yet, lean manufacturing happens on the shop floor. Not in Excel, not in PowerPoint, not in meeting rooms. As such, you need to become part of the shop floor in order to change the shop floor. For this, you need the support and goodwill of the people on the shop floor. The first step to getting their support is to have good shop floor manners. Due to the length of the post, I have divided it into two posts. These two posts will give you some guidelines on how to behave on the shop floor. (The second post is here)
There is an excellent and highly sarcastic video around by Prof. Dr. Peter Kruse, professor of organizational psychology at the University of Bremen. In this, he describes his Eight Rules for Total Gridlock in the Organization (8 Regeln für den totalen Stillstand). Since these eight rules are quite relevant to the lean change process, I have transcribed, translated, and subtitled the German video for you into English.
Toyota has developed what is probably the finest production system in the world, the Toyota Production System. There is general consensus in the rest of the world that its methods and philosophies can significantly improve efficiency and quality, to the point that anything Toyota does is admired and copied. Some practitioners seem to wear rose-colored glasses when talking about Toyota. However, like any company, Toyota does have its fair share of problems and mishaps to deal with, from the 1950 near collapse, to the US gas pedal recalls during 2009–2011. This post will discuss the employee relationship crisis at Toyota around 1990 and Toyota’s countermeasures.
Whenever you work with people, the impression you make on these people is important. Your clothes and behavior have a great influence on this impression. This post discusses strategies for your appearance to increase your chances of success on lean manufacturing projects.