News archives 2013 - 2017
Below, you will find the most important articles that were published on this site in 2013-2016
[ news 2010-2012 ]
The Lean transformation of Philips Lighting
February 15, 2017: category Lean | Enforcing a Lean transformation does not work. Instead, you should show the benefits! This is the conviction of Bart Evers, Lean deployment leader at Philips Lighting. ‘Seeing is believing, and believing is copying’, he says. Evers tells how his team leaders started to connect their production steps smoothly to one another, after he had given them the experience of close coöperation. Next, Evers demonstrated the importance of standardization, by showing how Leader Standard Work makes his own work more effective.
Lean versus Agile? Improvement and Change are like Yin and Yang
November 21, 2016: category Lean | Being Agile, adapting your company rapidly, seems the opposite of being Lean, improving continuously. Several methods can make you Agile, examples are Scrum, Lean Startup and Holacracy. These are based on the same principle: sense and respond. Options for change are pointed out, actions are taken, and it is checked whether the results are like they were intended. This sounds familiar to Lean specialists, since here is a large overlap with the PDCA-cycle. Lean and Agile are like Yin and Yang!
Holacracy at Springest: continuously changing roles and responsibilities
August 10, 2016: category Lead & Change | Springest calls itself a Holacracy. This means that they have no fixed positions. Roles, needed at a particular moment, are distributed among circles, which are internally self-managing. Nevertheless, a Holacracy introduces more structure rather than less. For each role, all responsibilities are recorded in detail. A holacratic company responds quickly to problems, by adjustment of the roles. Does this work, and what is the resemblance with Lean and Scrum?
The long Lean journey of Auping: Everyone feels the customer
February 10, 2016: category Lean | At the bed specialist Auping, mesh bases and mattresses move smoothly through the factory! Everywhere the customer is visible: the employees feel for whom a product is made. Auping shows that it is possible to preserve the craftsmanship of a family business, while transforming to a Lean business. The first success factor that explains this is perseverance: in a Lean journey of ten years, this result was achieved. The second success factor is the centralization of all production activities.
Unilever's new and integrated program for World Class Manufacturing
October 19, 2015: category WorldClass | Companies with a lot of experience with process improvement often say that they apply World Class Manufacturing (WCM). TPM, Lean and Six Sigma are then applied simultaneously, with one method as foundation. This add-on approach is however a bit unsatisfactory. It is like dealing with shortcomings in your 'house of improvement', by adding outbuildings! Unilever discovered a new WCM-program within Fiat, developed by professor emeritus Hajime Yamashima.
The self-steering and care-driven teams of Buurtzorg
May 06, 2015: category Lead & Change | The Dutch home care provider Buurtzorg has no managers. Small local teams decide what care matches best with the wishes of their customers. Their CEO, Jos de Blok, criticizes the bureaucratic control of the Dutch home care. It has the aim to serve nine 'standard products' as cheap as possible, but the result is overconsumption. Buurtzorg has a lot of Lean characteristics, but despite of that De Blok thinks that 'Lean is terrible'. How come?
Value Stream Mapping as breakthrough strategy
January 12, 2015: category Lean |For real breakthroughs with Lean manufacturing you need a strategic vision, to which the improvement work can be directed. To that end, you need to make a so-called future state value stream map (FSVSM), for each family of products or services that your company delivers. During a workshop, organized by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, professor Dirk van Goubergen expounded his recipe to make a good FSVSM.
Virupa breaks the Response Time Spiral
September 02, 2014: category QRM | Virupa Visual Solutions experienced significant growth in the last twenty years. However, this was taking up increasingly more energy. The root cause were the business processes, which had been compartmentalized. This resulted in increasingly more work in progress, backlogs and rush orders to 'fight fires'. In QRM jargon this is called the Response Time Spiral. To break this, Virupa disbanded the office departments and replaced them with Quick Response Office Cells or QROC's.
Reinventing Organizations: free and agile like a soccer team
June 23, 2014: category Lead & Change |Do workers need targets and bosses, or can they manage themselves? Can a company be organized like a swarm of birds, that freely can move in any direction? Such an organization would behave like a soccer team. The players sense what is needed, and with their collective intelligence they steer the company in the right direction. Frederic Laloux thinks this is possible. In his book Reinventing Organizations he studied 12 organizations that rely to a large extent on self-management!
Operator in the role of Sherlock Holmes at Danone
April 22, 2014: category TPM |By monitoring the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) during each production shift, it is precisely known when problems occurred. Yet, as Nutricia (Danone) in the Netherlands discovered, the current reporting methods are not adequate enough to determine the root cause of all problems. Therefore, the operators were recently trained to capture as much information as possible in the case of any significant disturbance. They even secure evidence as if they were detectives!
The durable Lean transformation of Océ
Januari 8, 2014: category Lean |Lean can be implemented in a technical way. Guus Cox, operations manager at Océ, compares this with using a bulldozer to push the waste out of the factory. This gives fast but temporary results, because the behavior of the people did not change. It is far better to encourage the employees, to remove the waste bit by bit themselves. This requires a lot of management attention, but the end result is much better: a real Lean transformation, in which all people jointly solve problems every day.
Scania's organizational structure for continuous improvement
May 29, 2013: category Lean | To stay ahead of the competition, Scania Zwolle Production raised its productivity with about 6% every year in the past period. Scania achieved this by constantly striving for the ideal process, in which all components flow seamlessly together to form complete trucks. The epitome of lean manufacturing! To that end, having self-managed teams turned out to be not enough. The workforce also needs resources and structure. Therefore Scania carried through two organizational changes.
Fast and cost-efficient customer-specific production with QRM
March 01, 2013: category QRM | Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM): The faster your production chain, the better! To that end, you should transform your entire supply chain, by creating loosely connected Quick Response Cells, each handling groups of similar tasks. This will make it much easier to produce-to-order, with short delivery times. It will also save you money because of a reduced overhead in the form of unnecessary handling and stock keeping. Which companies are successfull with QRM?
Adding maximum value during product development, with rapid cycles of launch and see
January 7, 2013: categorie Lean | Lean companies improve themselves by successive logistic experiments. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, states that startup companies should apply a similar approach. They should continuously improve their business plan by repeatedly releasing minimal viable products. What is called go and see in lean – always visit the place where the real work is done – is replaced by launch and see: Try to determine as fast as possible which product features your customers like.
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