Process Improvement and Leadership..

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I wanted to start off with the statement that Lean Manufacturing is a business culture. Everyone needs to be part of the journey. However, it needs to start with the leadership. If Leadership isn’t behind the initiative, it will certainly fail. 90% of our process issues can be prevented by the leadership- not the operator. We need to reduce variation and drive toward process control.

Dr. Deming was considered the Father of Quality- he was the leader in process control and was the driver behind Japan’s resurgence after World War II. His success lead companies like Toyota to create their production and lean methodology that we emulate today. He was very focused on measuring our processes to determine if they were under statistical control and to only react when a process is out of control. Many companies do not rely on data to make decisions and do not understand the concepts of statistical control. Usually, these companies have lots of data but do not turn this data into actionable information.

There are many hidden wastes in our companies just like the tip of the iceberg. One of the first initiatives that I work on with a company is to create key performance indicators or metrics for our customer critical processes. Let the data drive our efforts!
Lean focuses on the elimination of waste to more efficiently meet our customer’s demands. There are 7 wastes- Over Production, Inventory, transportation, Over Processing, Waiting, Motion and Quality Defects.

Sometimes these wastes are hard to identify. We either have poor systems to collect the right data or we aren’t using our systems to their full capability. It’s not that people aren’t working hard; they just don’t have the right systems in place to help them succeed. We come into work everyday with a good attitude but problems occur and we end up firefighting all day and go home exhausted and demoralized. We don’t need new motivation techniques; we just need better systems to allow people to do more value added work!

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