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.
A countermeasure is a measure or action that is taken to counter or offset another one. In the context of Lean Six Sigma the countermeasure is an action that either a team or an individual takes to bring something back into conformance or compliance with the expected level of performance.
Seiton refers to the second S in the 5S System. Seiton can be translated as straighten/set in order. At this stage of the 5S System everything is is placed closest to the point of use. A common saying for Set-in-order is "a place for everything and everything in it's place."
Seiri is the first S in the 5S System, which refers to Sort. In this stage of a 5S participants separate what is needed from what is not needed and keep only what is necessary.
A lean six sigma champion is an individual with a firm understanding of the company's vision, mission and values. They help to deploy and support the success of an organizational strategy and projects associated with the strategy. Champions also assist in identifying resources, team leaders and in removing roadblocks. The champion is accountable for the results of projects and the recognition, definition and assignments which will help achieve a defined level of performance.
The icon shown above is used to visually display a truck shipment on a value stream map.
The icon shown above is used to visually display inventory on a value stream map. This symbol also represents places in a value stream where the flow of material/information is stopped (wait points).
The symbols shown above can be used to show the number of operators at a work center or in a process step on a value stream map.
The term Anova in six sigma stands for analysis of variation. Anova is a form of hypothesis testing which helps determine the differences if there is any between the two samples of data. If the samples mean / averages turn out to be equal to one another they are denoted as "null hypothesis." If the samples have different values, it will be noted in the results which are measured by "confidence level."
A cross-functional team is a group of people with different functional expertise, working towards a common goal. It may include people from operations, engineering, quality and human resources departments. Generally, employees from all levels of an organization are included. Some members may come from outside the organization to add experience, expertise or a neutral unbiased view.
Cross-functional teams often function as self-directed teams assigned to a specific task which calls for the input and expertise of numerous departments.
Reference: Wikipedia - Cross-functional team.
A run diagram is also referred to as a run chart. The run diagram is a chart used to display data which has been collected over a defined period of time. The data displayed will normally show a specific aspect of the output (Y) or performance of a business process.
Reference: Wikipedia - Run Chart
A queue is often compared to a line. A queue can be associated with any item, person or service that spends any amount of time in a line before work begins.
During the holiday season customers are asked to take a number and wait to purchase their chocolates. After the customer has taken their number they then stand in line until it is their turn. This is one example of people standing in queue.
Queue time can generally take up more than 75% of the total lead time in many different factories. Finding and reducing these queue points can significantly improve throughput.
Process variability is the variation or lack of consistency in a process. The variation causes the process to deviate from a fixed pattern in such a way that results in inconsistent, unpredictable and non-repeatable outputs (Y).
Process Stability is the consistency of a process in relation to important/critical process characteristics such as dimensions. When a processes outputs show consistency over a period of time that process can be considered stable or in control. Processes often become stable when variation in a process is reduced, resulting in a more consistent, repeatable outcome.
SMART is a mnemonic used in setting targets and or objectives. The SMART goal setting method is used in many different forms of project management, strategic initiatives and tactical projects. SMART stands for:
1. Specific - The goal should be defined as much as possible with no unclear language or vague references used.
2. Measurable - Can you measure the progress of your goal?
3. Attainable - Is the goal reasonable? Can your team or you reach the goal?
4. Relevant - Will the goal meet your needs? Does the goal align with the long term vision?
5. Time Based - What is the time frame?
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a paperless method of communication used between businesses to transfer or exchange documents such as invoices, shipping notices and purchase orders.
Imagine for a second if everything you sent was hand delivered or mailed. The cost of these activities alone might be enough to send a company into early retirement. Among the costs of postage and rather wasteful transportation, EDI reduces costs that are associated with paper, ink, storage and document retrieval. While these costs seem rather trivial think of it this way, the average piece of paper costs $0.08 per sheet. That adds up if you were to calculate all the paper used within a year. Then add in the cost of labor (about $39.00 manualy transmitted) compared to EDI (about $1.32) and you have quite a savings. Other benefits associated with electronic data interchange are improvment of information flow. The most obvious benefit is that EDI can speed up the flow of information in a value stream by more than 60% while also reducing the amount of defects or transactional errors by more than 30%.
The Apics dictionary 2015 defines logistics as:
Among the primary objectives of logistics are:
Because logistics plays such an important role all throughout the value stream there are enormous opportunities with reducing cycle times, improving "changeover of vehicles" and improving the overall flow of activities that fall within logistics.
Inventory velocity is the speed at which inventory passes through or is cycled in a given period for each item. Inventory velocity’s underlying objective is to improve the turnover of inventory.
How is it measured?
Inventory Turns = Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory on Hand.
How can you Improve Inventory Velocity?
Thinking of inventory velocity in terms of inputs and outputs (applying six sigma) can be very helpful when trying to improve inventory velocity. If our measurement is Inventory turns (Y) then we need to be able to identify the inputs (X's) and the process or functions being applied. If the inventory turnover is not meeting a standard or performance level that we want, we then know that our inputs (X's) need to change in a manner that improves our output, or at least moves it in the correct direction. Some ways to improve inventory velocity are:
1. Reduce cycle times
2. Reduce lead time associated with vendors
3. Look to balance the flow of value streams
4. Reduce buying sizes
5. Remove material that is obsolete
6. Use cycle counting and establish ABC classifications
Process improvement is any activity that is designed to close a process or systems performance gap. This can be done through the identification and elimination of COPQ, variation or various types of waste. Some methods that are commonly used in process improvement projects are:
Process Control is the activities involved in controlling a process. The includes making the process as predictable as possible, reducing variation, stabilizing and continuously improving so that the process will continue to perform or exceed the standard of performance.
A material information flow diagram is a value stream map. Toyota refers to the map as material and information flow because the map visually shows the flow of materials and information.
See also: Value Stream Map.
Total productive maintenance is a maintenance strategy which focuses on achieving improved performance, reduced breakdowns and better quality through the preventative maintenance and effort of employees. The strategy is based on 8 pillars:
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