Functional layouts are by far the most common layout you will find in organizations. These layouts can be seen in how machines and people are positioned. A functional layout is a workplace configuration in which operations/processes are organized by the type of work (function) they do. For example, a manufacturing plant that has sanders in one area, saws in another and assembly in another is a functional layout. The machines are grouped according to the function they perform.
One piece flow is the concept behind the just-in-time system. An environment that operates in a One-piece flow fashion is when items or services are processed in one piece at a time. In other words, the items move directly from one process step to the next one piece at a time. One-piece flow drastically reduces lead times and improves quality by exposing abnormalities in processes.
The future state is a reference to the aim of an individual, team or organization. It can be seen as technical, organizational or philosophical. A future state is something that will exist, happen or come to be. When we speak of a future state in Lean and Six Sigma Strategies we are referring to the improved current state. The Future State is not the ideal state. It is a realistic concept that helps guide you towards your ideal state. Future states are accomplishable in the sense that you will move from current to future and then your future will become your new current condition.
Value Stream mapping is a lean and six sigma tool used to visually understand the flow of materials and information for a given process or set of activities. The value stream map includes both information and material or service flows that identify value added and non value added activities. A value stream map is a fundamental tool used to lead waste reduction projects, cycle time reductions and other improvement activities.
Before this powerful tool gained the name value stream map it was referred to as a material and information flow diagram or map by Toyota.
The Value Stream is the entire set of activities that are required to design, produce and provide services or goods. Included in every value stream is both information and material flows. When a value stream map is used you can identify both value-added and non value-added activities.
Value is a perception of the worth, regard, importance or usefulness of a good or service. Value is added to services and items in three different ways: transformation, addition of some kind or subtraction of some kind.
Value added work is the actual work that a customer is willing to pay for. It can be described as any activity that transforms a product or service from one condition to another, is done right the first time through and somebody is willing to pay for it. With that said, value added work has three defining characteristics. We’ve outlined them in a checklist below:
Here is an example of a value added activity. Keep in mind that no process is 100% free of waste. John receives an order for a part he must machine. John begins machining his part and completes it correctly the first time through. This is seen as value added because the customer is willing to pay for it, the transformation occurred on the machine and he machined the part correctly the first time through. Let’s look at one more example. Martha requests some information from Dianne. Dianne gathers the necessary information and emails Martha. When Martha receives the information she is grateful. She reads through the email and is able to get all the information she needs to complete her task. This would be considered a value added email because Martha requested it, the email contained all the necessary information and it was performed correctly the first time.
Some activities can be difficult to determine whether they are value or not. If you are unsure as to what type of work the activity should be classified as, ask yourself the three questions shown below:
If any of your answers were a no, the activity can not be value added and is either Business necessary work or non-value adding work.
John receives a second order for parts he needs to machine. He begins machining the parts however one hole is undersized. Because it is undersized he can rework the hole. Is this activity still value added?
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Kaikaku, sometimes called Kakushin, is a Japanese Lean term meaning radical improvement in a limited time. It is a philosophy centered around creating more value and less waste in production by implementing major changes. Innovation is key to Kaikaku, and innovating new processes, new products, new management practices, and new machines can have a huge impact on the facility as a whole.
Kaikaku is often used in the context of another Japanese production philosophy, Kaizen. Both Kaizen and Kaikaku work to improve production processes but are two very different approaches. Where Kaizen is focused is focused on continuous incremental changes, Kaikaku works to make fundamental changes that will have a significant impact. Kaizen projects are typically smaller, require less resources, and project timelines are relatively short. On the other hand, Kaikaku changes are larger projects that require more resources, more staff, and a longer period of time to plan. Although more time, effort, and cost are put into Kaikaku efforts, changes will likely have a much more dramatic impact on efficiency and the bottom line.
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