Turn Your Gemba Walk into a Power Walk

Gemba is a term that is increasingly familiar in the manufacturing world. Loosely translated from Japanese, it means “the place where the work is done.” The originators of the Gemba Walk – the practice of walking the shop floor to identify waste – knew that manufacturing process issues could not be identified or solved in the conference room or behind a desk. Management needs to visit where work is done

What Sandpaper Will You Use? – Part One

What to Use to Get the Most of Your Demand-Driven Changes Demand-driven manufacturing leaders are always refining their tools and tactics to ensure they’re spending their time wisely. This blog marks the first in a three-part series about using the tools of TOC, Six Sigma and Lean to help manufacturing leaders gain the most benefit from their demand-driven transformation. Three in One TOC, Lean, and Six-Sigma should all be part

You are Here!

    Where to Start Your Lean Journey  There’s one sure-fire way to tell when someone has lived in Minneapolis long enough to be called a Minnesotan. No, it doesn’t involve rooting for the Vikings, though that helps. It’s when they can find their way around The Mall of America without a directory. Built in 1992, The Mall of America still ranks as the largest in the US with more

Efficiency vs. Productivity: Metrics that Matter…Until They Don’t

Measure efficiency and productivity against your REAL goal I keep seeing the word efficiency in the manufacturing media.  For someone who is a Constraints Management person, this is the equivalent of saying “Ni” to the Knights Who Say Ni (Monty Python reference, okay?) or like scratching your fingernails across a blackboard.  It is one of those words that I think we should remove from the English language. When we look

It’s Time: Manufacturers Need to Cut Ties with MRP and Spreadsheets

A few years ago, Aberdeen Group did a study that showed that 63% of “best in class” manufacturers still used spreadsheets for planning. With percentages this high, it’s probably safe to say that there is a lack of trust in planning tools like ERP and MRP even in the best-run companies. Of course, spreadsheets come with their own set of issues. You may have a certain amount of confidence in

Manufacturing Metrics that Actually Matter (The Ones We Rely On)

Part one of a multi-part series to help you measure your production efforts wisely LNS Research blogger Mark Davidson said, “When it comes to metrics, it’s often said that what gets measured gets done.” I have found this to be true when working with many different manufacturers. Mark also writes: “Metrics that have the attention of business and manufacturing leaders tend to be those that get measured and improved upon