Lean vs. Traditional: Which Approach Yields Better Results?

In the ever-evolving landscape of business practices, the choice between adopting a lean approach or sticking with traditional methods can significantly impact an organization’s success. In this insightful article, we delve into the comparative advantages and disadvantages of lean and traditional approaches, helping you make an informed decision about which strategy aligns best with your

Are Your Operations Truly Lean? Key Indicators to Assess Efficiency

The pursuit of operational efficiency is at the core of lean principles. However, gauging whether your operations are genuinely lean requires more than just surface-level observation. In this comprehensive article, we delve into key indicators that can help you assess the true lean efficiency of your processes. By understanding these indicators and their implications, you

Overcoming the Challenges Associated With Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a powerful methodology that helps businesses to improve their efficiency, reducing waste and identifying issues in their processes and systems. As a business owner, it is important to question whether you Challenge Your Lean Thinking, utilizing the resources available as well as some lean supplies to create vast organizational improvements. When getting

Just-in-Time Production: Just the Basics

Kanban manufacturing bins

When trying to improve the efficiency of a facility there are many different options to consider. For decades now, one of the best options is to implement just-in-time (JIT) production strategies. This is a concept that was originally started by the Toyota Motor Company as a key component of their Toyota Production System. This strategy

Workplace Organization: Equipment Labels vs. Asset Tagging

asset tags equipment labels

Both equipment labeling and asset tagging operate with the same objective: to make your workplace more manageable by organizing the things—tools, supplies, equipment, etc.—you use to do your job. The biggest difference between the two organizational systems is this: equipment labeling simply identifies a tool and where it belongs, while asset tagging uses scannable codes

Using Kaizen with Kanban

Using Kaizen with Kanban

Kanban, translated to mean visual card or sign, is an extremely helpful too for manufacturing facilities that use pull systems or the Just-In-Time system. A kanban system utilizes visual communication and works to avoid overproduction and excess inventory, but it is a concept that can be a little tricky to dive into. In order to

Lean Way to the Danger Zone

Dangerous Path

Looking for motivation on industry topics, I searched around various sites and stumbled across an article on lloyds.com called Building Supply Chain Resilience. The article brought up something that I hadn’t written about yet; lean manufacturing, like most engineering decisions, has risks. This article specifically refers to the natural disasters in 2011 that left large businesses crippled and the negative effects that lean principles have in such cases.

The crippled, or even destroyed, businesses were suppliers for other businesses and manufacturing facilities, which then sell their finished goods to retailers. The effects of disasters reach deeply into the affected industries. Lean manufacturing principles, specifically just-in-time (JIT) production, emphasizes low inventory levels of raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods so as to minimize costs. For companies that are in the affected disaster area, JIT is ideal because it means losses were minimized. However, if you practice JIT production, what happens when your supplier unexpectedly shuts down or is destroyed by a natural disaster?

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“No Problem” is a Problem

Managerial problems

Most people don’t like problems and will make an effort to avoid them. More importantly, if there is a problem, nobody really enjoys admitting it, especially if that person is directly responsible for it. Managers may feel this way about the processes that they supervise. Managers shouldn’t shun problems. Shunning problems leads problems to be hidden and remain unsolved. It is a false conception that they are better off if there aren’t any problems. In this case, the only problems that are solved are the ones that can’t be hidden, such as

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The “Lean Pill” Side Effects

Carpenter's tools

I stumbled across an article called Lean and Sick by Praveen Gupta. Gupta points out his gripes with lean systems, “Lean has become more of displaying numbers, reorganizing the floor and such, but still most businesses shrink as there is little focus on customers and not much impact on growth.” He has a good point. Lean does in fact help display

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