Mass Production & Lean: What’s the difference?

Assembly line of mass production

3 min read Mass production is not considered to be a Lean production method. At the height of its innovation however, it did effectively lower the unit cost of many goods and improved the efficiency of facilities. In the spirit of Lean and continuous improvement, it’s important to keep finding ways to improve the organization and over time, it was clear a better solution may exist. What is mass production? Since Henry Ford’s assembly line, mass production has …

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Foundational Concepts of Lean

foundational concepts of Lean

3 min read Lean manufacturing utilizes a number of strategies and tools to improve the business by boosting productivity and eliminating waste. The following are just a handful of the most common Lean tools, many have been adopted from manufacturing in Japan and the Toyota Production System . 5S (The Visual Workplace) 5S is a system of creating workplace organization to reduce/eliminate waste created by clutter, lack of information, duplication, underutilized space, inconsistency in processes, etc. Components of …

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The Tools of Kaizen

3 min read Kaizen is the methodology and philosophy of making small continuous improvements in business. It can be both an ongoing daily commitment or be implemented in a series of short-term, rapid improvement events. This way of thinking involves employers from all levels and works to make small incremental changes in nearly every aspect of the workplace. There are many tools used in Kaizen and the following are just a few suggestion to introduce and practice effective …

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Healthcare and Workplace Injuries

3 min read When most people think of hospitals and doctors’ offices, they think of a place to go to get better from an illness or injury. When employees go there, however, they might think of it as a dangerous place where they might actually sustain a serious injury. A recent study found that healthcare workers are more likely to suffer musculoskeletal injuries than those working in any other field. Specifically the report found that nurses, nurses’ aides, …

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4 Tips to Improve Workforce Efficiency within Your Warehouse

2 min read Improving workforce efficiency is an important task of any warehouse manager. According to a recent survey most managers recognize the fact that their facility is not running at optimal efficiency, but they feel there is little they can do about it. While most warehouse managers may know that their facility is not running as it should, it is unlikely that they really understand just how much wasted time and effort they have in their facility. …

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Importance of Catchball

2 min read The catchball is an important part of any planning process, but it is something that is all too often just glossed over. When done properly the catchball encourages leadership and team members to dialogue about a particular topic in an efficient and productive manner. It can help to break down the walls which are all too often placed between management and the team members, and it can also help meetings progress much more smoothly. Unfortunately most …

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Lean and Kaizen are not meant to eliminate People

2 min read One of the most persistent problems companies experience when attempting to implement lean and/or Kaizen practices, is that people are always worried that it will lead to the elimination of jobs. Since the beginning of these methodologies, employees have feared that the increased efficiencies and other changes that take place will mean that there is less work for each person to do. The logical conclusion they feel is that there will be no need for …

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Kaizen Continuous Improvement

2 min read What is Kaizen? Many people mistakenly think that Kaizen is only used for short term improvement events and other onetime improvement hits. The fact is, however, Kaizen should be used to help build a culture of continuous improvement in a facility. This will include scheduled events but it should continue on much longer than that. The following comments really help to illustrate the fact that while continuous improvement events are essential, they are not the sole meaning …

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Kaizen

2 min read Kaizen is a Japanese word which means improvement or to change for the better, but it is also a philosophy or set of practices which many businesses use to help them focus on continuous improvement of their processes in manufacturing.  While it has been applied in many industries including health care, banking, engineering and government, it is often seen as most popular in industry and manufacturing.  When a company decides to incorporate the Kaizen philosophy …

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