A spaghetti diagram is a tool used to track the amount of movement or distance traveled by a worker or materials. You can then use your spaghetti diagram to analyze what you tracked and improve the flow. The name spaghetti diagram comes from the reference of laying spaghetti noodles out to show the flow of materials or workers.
Vendor Managed Inventory programs are a powerful way to leverage an organization's strengths and focus on your core competencies. Vendor Managed Inventory places the responsibility of selected services and or items on a chosen supplier. In most cases the supplier will handle all agreed upon aspects, Which would include:
Poka Yoke is a series of techniques used to error proof, mistake proof or create a fail safe process that is designed to prevent errors, defects or mistakes. Even more specifically a poka-yoke is any mechanism in a lean manufacturing process that helps an equipment operator avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka). Its purpose is to eliminate product defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to errors as they occur. The concept was formalised, and the term adopted, by Shigeo Shingo as part of the Toyota Production System.
Reference: Wikipedia - Poka-Yoke
The scatter diagram graphs pairs of numerical data, with one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship between them. If the variables are correlated, the points will fall along a line or curve. The better the correlation, the tighter the points will hug the line.
Reference: ASQ - Scatter Diagram
Quality Control is a system of verification and maintenance that is used to meet a desired level of control/quality in an existing product, service or process. Optimum control is often achieved through:
Non-Value added activities are any activities that add no value to the product or the service. Non-value added activities do not transform the product, process or service, nobody is willing to pay for the activity or they are not performed correctly the first time through. Non-value added activities take up about 85% of the Value Stream in organizations. For more information on how to identify and remove non-value from your organization enroll in our course on waste.
The ©STUDY activity was inspired by Mr. Taiichi Ohno's famous stand in the circle training method. Whether you're a consultant looking to add to your repertoire, an organization looking for a specific training method or an individual trying to develop their skill set in identifying waste, the ©STUDY activity is a perfect way to help employees:
ABC classification or ABC analysis is a technique used in materials management. The ABC represents the different categories of inventory in your system and indicates the level of control each category requires. The Apics Dictionary 2015 edition defines the categories of the ABC system as:
A = The A group usually represents 10 percent to 20 percent by the number of items and 50 percent to 70 percent by projected dollar volume.
B = The B grouping usually represents about 20 percent of the items and about 20 percent of the dollar volume.
C = The C grouping usually contains 60 percent to 70 percent of the items and represents about 10 percent to 30 percent of the dollar volume.
It is important to note that there is no fixed numbers for each category. Each organization should customize their classification system based on a pareto analysis.
Kata is a martial arts reference which describes a system of individual or team training, exercises or techniques that are used to develop skill sets.
A problem is a deviation or gap between what is actually happening and what should be happening. A problem can also be defined as any customer need that is not met on-time in the right amount and in acceptable quality (according to the customer).
Problems can typically be categorized into one or more of the following categories:
Topics for discussion:
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The reduce methodology is a simplified method of performing quick changeover or setup improvements. The steps in the ©REDUCE methodology are:
For more information on improving changeover or setup times message Lean Strategies International LLC at: email@example.com
The nomogram is a computational aid which consists of two or more scales which are drawn and arranged so that results of calculations may be found by the linear connection points. The graph usually contains three parallel scales graduated for different variables so that when a straight line connects each value of any two, that value can be read directly from the third at the point of intersection.
Also Called: Alignment Chart
Assemble-To-Order describes a production environment in which a good or service can be assembled after receipt of a customer’s order. The key components (bulk, semi-finished, intermediate, subassembly, fabricated, purchased, packing, and so on) used in the assembly or finishing process are planned and usually stocked in anticipation of a customer order. Receipt of an order initiates assembly of the customized product. This strategy is useful where a large number of end products (based on the selection of options and accessories) can be assembled from common components.
Synonyms for Assemble-To-Order include Finish-To-Order and Make-To-Order.
Reference: Supply Chain Insights - Assemble to Order
Little's law was named after Mr. John Little who was a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management. The law states that by reducing work in progress and maintaining a processes average completion rate the lead time will be reduced too. On the same note, according to little's law increasing the average completion rate while maintaining the same level of work in progress will reduce also reduce the lead time.
How to calculate?
Little's law can is expressed with the following equation:
- Lead time = Amount of work in progress / Average completion rate
Does your company make goods only after receiving an order? Do they make goods before and then stock them? These two questions can help clarify how your organization plans and schedules the production or execution of goods and services. There are many different methods that companies may use, some examples are: Make to stock, Make to order and Assemble to order. Whichever strategy a company selects will have a varying degree on the amount of inventory a company holds, how they will produce and how resources are spread through the organization. The biggest impact is the amount of inventory the company carries which as you may know already is cash availability.
The chase strategy is one method organizations use to maintain a level inventory while producing at varying rates in order to support demand. The chase strategy is sometimes referred to as demand matching because the strategy varies production to meet demand.
The main benefits associated with a chase strategy are:
When you go to a restaurant for food and place an order the staff will normally pull supplies from a "stable inventory" level and make the order, or in other words "chase the demand."
Like many other areas that lean is applied to a company's supply chain or "extended value stream" is a tightly linked set of processes. These processes extend beyond one's organization and connect the entire system together. The Apics dictionary ©2015 defines the term supply chain as the global network used to deliver products and services from raw materials to end customers through and engineered flow of information, physical distribution and cash. This includes everything from purchasing, manufacturing, moving, storing and selling.
Lean principles and concepts can be applied to this global network just like it can be applied to our door to door value streams. Some benefits of applying lean principles to the supply chain are:
The waste walk is one of the best ways to train employees, reveal waste and discover new improvement opportunities. Simply put it is a time where either a team or individual's head to the floor and look for waste. The waste walk can be a standard activity, planned event or a now and then practice. The only thing that is required for people to have during a waste walk is a basic understanding of the 8 forms of waste. The ©WASTES methodology is a problem solving methodology that is used by Lean Strategies International LLC. The methodology is a simple and easy to use 6 step method for conducting a waste walk or training/kata, . The six step process can be used with experienced employees who are seasoned in waste identification and it can be a great way to train new employees to develop a lean thinking mindset while learning to see opportunities to remove waste. The six steps involved in the ©WASTES Methodology are:
The ©TREAT 1,2,3 methodology is a problem solving methodology used by Lean Strategies International LLC that when applied to processes (technical, methodological, philosophical) can effectively reveal root causes related to issues / problems or opportunities in the process and guide users towards solutions for a more stable, effective, efficient and value adding process. The methodology is universal at all scopes of an organization and can be used by any individual, team or organization. There are 5 major steps involved in the ©TREAT 1,2,3 problem solving process:
The standard deviation is a statistic that tells you how tight or loose the range/spread of data is in relation to the mean or average of the data. Typically when a data range is clustered tightly the "bell curve" will be tall/steep. When the data is range is spread far apart the "bell" will appear flat or short and wide.
Overall equipment effectiveness is a metric that helps measure and track the performance of finite resources and can help companies highlight opportunities for improvements. The results are stated in a generic form which allows comparison between manufacturing units in differing industries. It is not however an absolute measure and is best used to identify scope for process performance improvement, and how to get the improvement. If for example the cycle time is reduced, the OEE will increase i.e. more product is produced for less resource. Another example is if one enterprise serves a high volume, low variety market, and another enterprise serves a low volume, high variety market. More changeovers (set-ups) will lower the OEE in comparison, but if the product is sold at a premium, there could be more margin with a lower OEE.OEE measurement is also commonly used as a key performance indicator (KPI) in conjunction with lean manufacturing efforts to provide an indicator of success. OEE can be illustrated by a brief discussion of the six metrics that comprise the system. The hierarchy consists of two top-level measures and four underlying measures.
Reference - Wikipedia : Overall equipment effectiveness
A make to order production environment is one in which manufacturing or in the case of a service, service, starts only after receiving a customer's order.
A make to stock production strategy is used mostly in forecasting environments. The Apics dictionary 14'th edition defines Make to Stock as a production environment where products can be and usually are finished before receipt of a customer order. Customer orders are typically filled from existing stocks and production orders are used to replenish stocks.
Learning a new term can be hard when there are so many different terms available in Lean and Six Sigma. The one definition we can all agree upon that matters is the voice of the customer. Formally defined the voice of the customer is a process by which we can collect requirements, needs, wants and expectations or feedback from our customers. Collecting this type of information can reveal new insights and form trusting bonds between customers and vendors.
Along with the voice of the customer another great way to gather information is through a community. As many of you probably know already you can search a term and most likely one of the top search results will be none other than Wikipedia. A wiki is a website that provides a collaborative and interactive community where professors, experts, practitioners and even casual readers can go to share knowledge with one another. It's like Yokoten on a global environment. There are a few wonderful ideals about this approach that standout:
Nagara refers to the smooth production or service flow of both materials and information. The ideal or perfect condition would be one piece flow that is perfectly balanced and uses the entire capacity available.
A water spider/runner/mizusmashi is someone who transports materials quickly and efficiently from work area to work area. Typically the water spider will collect, deliver and log the flow of materials as they move from area to area. This person will also attempt to move as much non-value added work away from the primary member.