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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What is a Gemba Walk?

What is a Gemba walk

3 min read Gemba walks are an important concept in your Lean toolbox. Managers and business leaders go on  (“go and see”) walks to observe firsthand how the production line is operating. The Objective of a Gemba Walk In businesses, managers often look to company leaders for direction. The value created by a business, though, exists out on the work floor. By taking Gemba walks, managers can get ideas for improvement from the place where value is actually …

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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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The Top 5 Ways To Implement & Improve Lean Efforts in the Workplace

5 min read Since you’re reading this, you probably have some notion, however small, as to what lean strategies are, but you might be struggling with implementing them into your workplace for the first time. For others, you might be seeking a lean-based solution to a specific problem you’re noticing in your place of work. Whatever your case, I’ve compiled a list below of some of the most effective lean strategies for common workplace struggles. For each listing, …

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How do you make a Factory Culture Embrace Lean?

2 min read Several years ago, I was working as a project manager for a local manufacturing company. The owner asked me how much I knew about lean, and I told them I had about three years experience working on a lean transformation in upstate New York in which we had to completely change the factory climate from a “this is how we’ve always done things” kind of mentality to one of continuous improvement and individual and team …

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OSHA and Continuous Improvement

2 min read Any organization doing business in the United States should be familiar with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA. They are a branch of the US Department of Labor and are tasked with helping to ensure all working environments are safe and healthy for those working in them. They were established in 1970, and have grown and developed over the years. OSHA does inspections, provides training, education, and other types of assistance to a wide …

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Changeover – Creating Flow and Eliminating Waste

2 min read For those in the manufacturing industry, changeover is a term which is used when talking about converting a particular machine, or a line from creating one product to another. The most well known example of this would be in the automotive industry where it is necessary to do a changeover when updating to a new make or model. Depending on what is being made, changeover can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks. …

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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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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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