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by LSSU Admin - Monday, 21 October 2019, 4:00 PM
Retrieved from: Lean Thinking
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By Al Norval (bio)

It’s an interesting question since we all know that Inventory is one of the seven classic process wastes called “Muda”. We often see this as we walk the factory floor. Piles of raw materials, stacks of WIP (work in process) and as we leave the manufacturing organization and enter the arena of distribution, we see inventory stored as Finished Goods.

This inventory represents cash tied up waiting to be processed into something which has value to customers. Accountants would see this as an asset which is positive but that’s a blog for another day. We in the Lean world see this inventory as waste to be reduced or eliminated.

But how do we reduce or eliminate this waste of inventory?

inventory.jpg


I see many Lean practitioners and organizations make a fundamental mistake when it comes to this. The Lean purists in the organization say “Reduce the waste, reduce the inventory” and the obliging organization goes ahead and does so often with disastrous consequences. They reduce their inventory too far and find that all material flow grinds to a halt. They have uncovered some rocks but don’t have the time or horsepower to fix them through countermeasures aimed at root cause. In the meantime customer service suffers and the organization engages in a serious session of firefighting while everyone scrambles to keep customers happy. Many times this happens at the end of a financial quarter or year end.

We all want to reduce the waste of inventory but what’s a better way reduce inventory?

As we develop our eyes for waste, and begin to see the waste that surrounds us in an organization, we need to be able to get to the root cause that’s driving the waste and eliminate the root cause.

Inventory always hides a deeper source of waste. We need to be able to learn to see that and understand the root cause that’s driving the waste of inventory. Only then, after the countermeasures are in place, can we take a step change in inventory.

In fact, sometimes we need to add some inventory back in to stabilize the material flow and give us time to work on countermeasures to the root cause of the waste. Doing this eliminates much of the firefighting which in turn creates time for proper problem solving.

I’m not saying – don’t reduce inventory to expose the rocks. Rather, I’d suggest, reducing the inventory, seeing what rocks (problems) surface and if you can’t problem solve rapidly, add the inventory back in while you address the root causes. Stabilize the material flow, keep your customers happy, drive to root cause, problem solve.

Reduce the waste by eliminating the causes of it.

Cheers,

Al


In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

7 Basic Quality Tools – Are they underrated?
What Does Leader as a Teacher Really Mean?
PDCA - the Pounding Heart Muscle of Life
Want to Make Better Decisions? Simplify…


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When I blogged a summary of my recent Brazil trip, I said I'd write more about my visit to a hospital… so here's that post. Thanks again to my hosts, Gemba Group, the consulting and training firm that has been helping the hospital that I visited — Hospital Mackenzie in Curitiba, Brazil. Specifically, this was […]

The post A Gemba Visit to a Hospital in Brazil: Huddles, Lean Improvement, and More appeared first on Lean Blog.

 
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by LSSU Admin - Monday, 21 October 2019, 12:00 PM
Retrieved from: A Lean Journey
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For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Click this link for A Lean Journey's Facebook Page Notes Feed.
Here is the next addition of tips from the...

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On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"…there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." — Morpheus

A Gemba walk should be a daily, scheduled time where...

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Here's an article from Bloomberg BusinessWeek: GE's Larry Culp Faces Ultimate CEO Test in Trying to Save a Once-Great Company Very early on, the article mentions Culp's advocacy for “Toyota-style lean manufacturing.” Or is he pushing “Danaher-style lean manufacturing” and is that different? And does that matter? Culp was “in his element” visiting a GE […]

The post GE’s CEO Larry Culp Goes to the Gemba, Looks to Understand the Real Reality appeared first on Lean Blog.

 
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by LSSU Admin - Wednesday, 16 October 2019, 12:00 PM
Retrieved from: A Lean Journey
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Learn more about NE Lean Conference below
In today’s active world we are hearing more about getting employees within the organization engaged at work. This is not only for the leadership team, but also for the hourly workforce.
For the sake of this discussion let’s define engaged employees as those that work with passion and feel a profound connection with their company. These individuals drive innovation, continuous improvement, and move the organization forward each and every day.
Why is...

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To round up our tour of a van full of nerds to study Industry 4.0 in Germany, here is the report on different presentations and tryouts. These were not plant visits, but different demonstrations by some smaller and one not-so-small (Bosch) companies. The first four were at the Arena 2036, a research collaboration to explore the … Continue reading Industry 4.0 Tour in Germany – A Van Full of Nerds – Presentations and Tryouts
 
Anyone in the world
To round up our tour of a van full of nerds to study Industry 4.0 in Germany, here is the report on different presentations and tryouts. These were not plant visits, but different demonstrations by some smaller and one not-so-small (Bosch) companies. The first four were at the Arena 2036, a research collaboration to explore the … Continue reading Industry 4.0 Tour in Germany – A Van Full of Nerds – Presentations and Tryouts
 
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The Columbus Day is celebrated every year to honor the man who led the expedition that discovered the Americas.  Where would we be without his efforts? Christopher Columbus demonstrated several remarkable traits that are just as applicable today as lessons in business and leadership effectiveness as they were more than five centuries ago.
Here are 5 leadership lessons from Columbus and thoughts on how to apply them to your business: 
1. Have a vision. If Columbus was like...

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by LSSU Admin - Friday, 11 October 2019, 12:00 PM
Retrieved from: A Lean Journey
Anyone in the world
On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." — C. S. Lewis

Charismatic. Inspirational. Decisive....

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