Tagged with continuous improvement

Caramel Corn Kaizen

Caramel Corn Kaizen

Holiday shopping last week at one of my favorite food places, Johnson’s Popcorn, I came upon a scene reminiscent of our Lean training video Toast Kaizen. After I placed my order for eighteen one-gallon buckets of caramel corn for friends and family, the Johnson’s  kitchen shifted gears from mail order sales to my take-out order.   … Continue reading

Lean Wizards

Lean Wizards

October was Lean conference month for me: First our own Northeast Lean Conference in Worcester (pronounced “Wustah”), then the international AME conference in Dallas and finally, the mid-Atlantic Lean Conference in Timonium, Maryland.   These annual assemblages of Lean wizards are themed to inspire, inform and reinvigorate true believers and newbie wannabees;  maybe not wizards, but … Continue reading

Doormats

Doormats

One of Shigeo Shingo’s popular status quo targets was engineers, whom he placed in three categories: Table engineers—those who just sit around a table and talk about problems Catalog engineers—those who think the solution to every problem can be found in a catalog Nyet engineers—those who say no to every request. (Nyet is Russian for … Continue reading

Traditional Lean?

Traditional Lean?

Twice in the last month I’ve heard the phrase “Traditional Lean” used in public presentations.   In neither case did the presenter explain the expression, but one displayed a slide with a Venn diagram showing the overlap between Lean and Six Sigma.  I suppose this means that he defined Traditional Lean as meaning Lean plus something … Continue reading

Bump and Grind

Bump and Grind

Here’s a personal reflection from my distant past, but which might still be a current state for some of you. When I began working in manufacturing back in the pre-Lean era, the quoted lead-time for my company’s products averaged twelve to sixteen weeks. By the 1980’s, however, many customers began to routinely object to our … Continue reading

Ludicrous Speed

Ludicrous Speed

Mel Brooks fans will remember Spaceballs, his jocular jibe at the Star Wars epic. In pursuit of a rebel ship, evil Lord Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) orders his crew to accelerate their craft beyond the speed of light to “ludicrous speed.” While time travel remains science fiction, our ability to process and transmit data has … Continue reading