First Things First

It’s no secret that I think systems will help a shop run better – more efficiently, easier to train employees, higher profits.  Systems take time to implement, however. One of the conversations I frequently have is, “OK, I’ll accept your premise that it will make more...

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How Logistics Improvements Save Time, Money, and Fuel

The trucking industry has changed a lot since the days when I’d ride in the third seat of the family station wagon, facing backwards, and wave at truckers in the hopes they’d toot their big horn back at me.   (TOOT TOOT!) Back then, they drove what they thought was...

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Handling Contaminated Automotive Refrigerants

While researching information for a client on a sister topic of recycling automotive electronics, I came across this article from the EPA.  Rather than paraphrase it, since it was well-written and covers all the points that I would have highlighted in this article,...

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Color Me Organized

There’s been some talk at some of my clients lately about labeling – whether it’s necessary, or just another way to slow down production.  (I know, some of you are beyond this stage, but it might be helpful for those who are still deciding whether to implement or...

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Who Implements An ISO Standard?

What sort of yard owner implements an ISO standard?  In keeping with the theme of this edition, I stopped to ponder what are the common characteristics of the folks that I have the privilege and honor of working with, and serving.  With hardly any effort at all, I...

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The Times, They Are Changin’

Last time we talked about how to start understanding your process through some easy metrics. This time, we'll talk about what starting may mean. The most comprehensive word to describe this would be change. Change is rarely easy; however, it is a constant (like death...

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Key Performance Indicator

When a company is making money it can seem successful but is it truly measurable? If a company is struggling to achieve their organizational objectives it can be difficult to determine exactly what aspect of the company is holding it back. This is where Key...

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Visual Management

A picture speaks a thousand words and in any language you speak, which is why Visual Management as a communication technique is essential, even if we don't notice it every day. Visual management is a technique to help communicate expectations, performance, warnings...

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Kanban

When there is not clear communication between team members it can result in duplicate efforts, defects or re-work of tasks already completed but done so incorrectly. Some supervisors find they are constantly on the go chasing tasks to be completed but not knowing...

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Pokayoke

The Toyota Production System formalized a lot of concepts and terms, including the term Poka-yoke. Translated from Japanese it means mistake-proofing or avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka) and is any mechanism in Lean manufacturing that helps floor workers using equipment...

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