Fast Results Using TOC for Demand-Driven Manufacturing – Part Two

Manufacturers use constraints management first to gain the most demand-driven change Last time, we talked about focusing on enterprise improvements rather than local efficiencies using constraints management (TOC). We discussed that continuous improvement tools such as TOC, Lean and Six Sigma work like “sandpaper” on an organization’s processes, smoothing various stages of their demand-driven journey. I likened TOC to the “coarse” grit of sandpaper—the one to use first to get

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