Hi, and welcome to this webinar! I’m Michel Baudin, with the takt times group, and I will spend the next few minutes giving you my introduction to Lean. I was first exposed to it as a young engineer in Japan in 1980, a decade before the term was coined, and I have been helping companies implement it professionally worldwide in many industries since 1987. I am going to be explaining it to you in the simplest possible terms I can without being simplistic or inaccurate. If you want to know more, you will find our contact information on the last slide.
By now, you must have heard of Lean, and chances are your company has had a “Lean initiative,” or “Lean program” in place for a while, and it may or may not have been successful. In fact, most Lean programs in the US have yet to deliver the benefits that their promoters advertised. If your company is in this category, you may wonder “Why bother?” Isn’t Lean just another flavor-of-the-month program that has been oversold? More than the vast number of companies that have made a half-hearted or ill-conceived attempt at Lean, you need to look at a small minority that have, through their effective use of Lean, achieved dominance in their industries. Their stories tell you why you should pursue Lean; what the other stories tell you is that you should not underestimate the challenge of implementing Lean.
Driving down American roads, you are surrounded with cars made by Toyota, Honda and Nissan, all relative newcomers to the auto industry, and even Hyundai, the latest kid on the block. And most of these “foreign cars” are made in the US, by American workers, largely from parts also made in the US. As latecomers to a mature industry, how did these companies manage to secure positions in its top ranks?Lean is essentially the Toyota Production System. The “Nissan Production Way” looks very much like it, and Honda, while fiercely independent, has also adopted much of it. What about Hyundai, a Korean conglomerate? Well, Hyundai Motors is run by Jon Kravcik, who coined the term “Lean Production” while involved in a worldwide benchmarking study of the auto industry. Digging further, you find that auto parts makers like Autoliv or Valeo have also thrived as a result of Lean, as have a minority of companies in industries like furniture, medical devices, electronics, or construction machinery. Synthes, now part of Johnson & Johnson , is a Swiss maker of orthopedic implants that started with Lean in 1984 and grew to dominate this industry. These are just a few examples of international companies that, through Lean, have achieved a success that commands attention.
The companies that fail at Lean are runners who buy imitations of Usain Bolt’s shoes in the belief that it will make them run fast. Shoes do not make a runner. A concert piano does not make a pianist. Many managers delude themselves that implementing Lean is just about deploying a few simple tools. In reality, it is a learning experience that requires practice and perseverance. It will make your company great, but it is not a shortcut.
Most managers who untertake Lean implementation misunderstand and underestimate its scope. They think it is just about involving shop floor people in tidying up their work areas, making small improvements to the work flow, and posting performance charts. A successful Lean implementation, however, starts with the manufacturing and industrial engineering of production lines, moves on to in-plant and supply chain logistics, the human organization of production and support, and the way results are measured and metrics used in operations. As Tom Berghan put it, “It’s not doing ‘fengshui’ on the business, it is the business.”
Reviewing the effect of Lean implementation in an auto parts plant after one year, I was surprised to find that the Sales Manager was the most enthusiastic supporter.“Before,” he said, “when a customer requested sample production of a new product, Manufacturing was always too busy with late orders. I am not sure what you guys have done, but now, they turn around the sample in a few days, and the customers follow up with big contracts. Our sales are up 50% from last year.” Sales people exaggerate, so it was probably more like 25% up than 50% up, but still, the fact was clear that what we had done in Production and Support was enabling growth. Incidentally, the Lean effort was also reducing costs, but that was a desirable side effect, not the goal.
Can we improve any aspect of manufacturing without making something else worse? The answer is yes, and this endeavor is in fact at the heart of lean manufacturing. I like to define Lean manufacturing as a pursuit, meaning that it has no end state. It is something you always work towards.And it is the pursuit of concurrent improvement in all dimensionsof manufacturing performance, meaning the end of management whack-a-mole. “Improving” anything by making something else worse is simply not improving at all. And this a genuine improvement is only feasable by addressing all dimensions of operations: Engineering, Logistics, Organization, and Accountability.
Where does this all come from?TPS did not arise in a vacuum. Its creators actively sought knowledge and ideas from abroad but, as the timeline shows, primarily in the early days. TPS is still a work in progress. It has been and still is primarily an original development. The main outside contributions date back 60 years and more. The bulk of TPS has come from the minds of inventor Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro, engineers TaiichiOhno and Shigeo Shingo, and hundreds of thousands of Toyota employees over decades. A trade secret until Toyota started training suppliers in the 1970s, TPS has been a source of ideas for others since the publication of TaiichiOhno’s book in 1978.The American influence, particularly Ford’s, is readily acknowledged and played up in Toyota’s official literature. The US is Toyota’s largest export market, and emphasizing the American origin of many TPS concepts is useful in defusing nationalism.The German contribution, on the other hand, is in small print. It took place at a dark time for both Japan and Germany, but takt is a central concept in TPS, and it came to Toyota from German aircraft manufacturer Junkers, via the Mitsubishi Aircraft plant in Nagoya. Toyota also learned automotive technology by reverse engineering a 1936 German car, and its first postwar model, the 1947 SA, looked like the Volkswagen beetle.
“Logistics” covers all the routine operations of a plant except production, and some of the best known Lean tools are in this area, including:In-plant milk runs, using small trains to deliver parts and kits are a regular pitch from storage to production.Carts, designed to hold kits of parts and sometimes double as assembly fixtures. The kanbansystem, with cards regulating and sequencing a line.Supplier milk runs, with trucks making the rounds of suppliers, delivering empty containers and picking up matching quantities of many items along the way.
In the organization designed to support Lean,you do not have a high-level manager in charge of all machining and a different one in charge of all assembly. In a Lean plant you have instead managers in charge of product lines, with control over all the resources that can be dedicated. On the floor, going Lean does not mean gutting supervision. Quite the contrary. First-line managers have fewer reports than in traditional organizations, and devote part of their time to leading improvements and planning the careers of their people.Production itself is organized in small teams of multi-skilled operators, each led by its most experienced member. Support groups, for maintenance, quality, engineering, or human resources are also set up differently and have different missions.
Performance charts, posted on the floor, are updated and reviewed at the start of every shift to provide immediate feedback on results and keep employees engaged. The template you see has a column for each dimension of performance and rows for:Current statusAn aggregate historical trendA breakdown of the aggregate into categories, and A list of actions in progress.
Lean is a rich subject, and this is an elevator pitch for it. I could go on for a week. What is visible when you visit a Lean plant is more detailed than what I covered today, but still a small part of a technical and managerial substance that you cannot see unless you live long enough with the organization. Then you realize that, beyond practices, the competitive strength of a Lean organization is based on behaviors and beliefs shared by members at all levels and transmitted to new members. In other words, it’s a culture.
If you would like more information about what we do and the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your attention.We wish you the best success in your implementation of Lean.
Tools of Lean - EngineeringCells:
bag sewing Operator instructions in SMED in plastics auto parts extrusion Visual systems/5S in Mistake-proofing in aerospace car engine assembly 3/16/2013 11
Tools of Lean – Logistics/Production
Control In-plant milk run in forklift Kit cart used as work station manufacturing Kanban board in Supplier milk runs electrical products 3/16/2013 12
Tools of Lean – Organization
and People Product line manager Machining supervisor Assembly supervisor Cell team 1 Assembly line segment 1 Cell team 2 Assembly line segment 2 Cell team 3 Assembly line segment 3 ... ... 3/16/2013 13
Philosophy of Lean: Underlying principles•
Focus on how you use people.• Search for profits on the shop floor.• Make is easy to do what you do often.• Make all the work flow.• Improve, don’t optimize. 3/16/2013 16
Contact us• Address questions and
inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org• Visit my blog at: http://michelbaudin.com• Visit our website at: Worldwide: http://takttimes.com US: http://wefixfactories.com With Spanish partners Roberto Cortes and Jose Ignacio Erausquin 3/16/2013 18