First Things First

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...
The Times, They Are Changin’

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...
Visual Management

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,...
Pokayoke

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...
Jidoka

Jidoka

Often a forgotten pillar of the Toyota Production System, and in Lean manufacturing itself, Jidoka is actually one of the most important principles of Lean. Sometimes known as autonomation, Jidoka means automation with human intelligence. The word itself was created...