Tagged with kanban

Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder

Many moons ago when I was just getting started on my lean journey, I visited a large automotive supplier to benchmark pull systems.  My own factory had started a pilot kanban between two work centers and I was hoping to gain some insight from a more experienced source.  To my disappointment, when I was escorted … 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

Burning Platform

Burning Platform

A favorite Twilight Zone episode that played Labor Day weekend put me in mind of the stressful push production environment that many organizations still endure today. In a technical sense, push production refers to launching orders into production before customer requirements are known and then pushing them along, some faster than others as requirements become … Continue reading

Permutations

Permutations

For many years I worked for a manufacturer of pressure and temperature switches, a small company with a very big product selection. In our product catalog there were roughly three-dozen distinct product families with hundreds of standard products, each available with thousands of optional configurations. The average order quantity per line was two pieces. In … Continue reading

Is Lean the Dark Side of TPS?

I opened a fortune cookie yesterday, which read: “Understanding little is better than misunderstanding a lot.”   Seems to me that we Lean wannabes misunderstand a lot – maybe not everyone, but I regretfully include myself in misunderstanding-a-lot group.   There is so much to know about the Toyota Production System that one lifetime of study and … Continue reading

Accidental Revolution

Last week I visited with JVS, a terrific Boston-area organization whose mission “is to empower individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers, and to partner with employers to hire, develop, and retain productive workforces.”  I was reminded of my first experience with workforce development, one that was detailed in a 1986 edition … Continue reading