Increase in Manufacturing Causing Slower Delivery: How to Take Control of the Situation to Improve Lead Times (Part 2)

posted on: Thursday March 23, 2017

In part 1, we celebrated the recent PMI that showed February 2017 had the highest monthly growth in manufacturing since August of 2014. With growth come new challenges for manufacturers, one being that suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand, and therefore, delivery times from them are slowing. This can hurt lead times for… Read more

Increase in Manufacturing Causing Slower Delivery: How to Take Control of the Situation to Improve Lead Times (Part 1)

posted on: Tuesday March 21, 2017

The manufacturing industry is reaping fantastic growth. The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) monthly Manufacturing Report on Business uses the PMI to measure growth in the industry. The February 2017 PMI was the highest monthly PMI since August of 2014. (Read more details about the report here.) The growth is worthy of celebration, but it… Read more

For Manufacturers who Want Alternatives to Lean

posted on: Thursday March 2, 2017

Not every manufacturer will benefit from Lean. Even when applied correctly, a method that works for a company like Toyota is not tailored to benefit every operation. Manufacturers producing low volume or custom-engineered products, for example, would not improve with a technique like Kanban. These kinds of companies have to look at improvement strategies a… Read more

How Continuous Improvement Saved a Major US Manufacturer Twice

posted on: Tuesday February 21, 2017

Did you know that the lean strategy Just-in-Time (JIT) was modeled after a supermarket? Taiichi Ohno, former Vice President of Toyota, promoted the idea of JIT from the concept that at a grocery store, the “next process” (or customer) goes to the “preceding process” (the supermarket) to retrieve the exact “parts” that are necessary in… Read more

TQM vs TPM: Distinctions Between Similar Lean Concepts

posted on: Thursday February 16, 2017

Total Quality Management (TQM) and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) share similarities and are therefore often used interchangeably. Together they’re recognized as the key operational activities of a quality management system. However, they are two separate approaches to what we understand today to be Lean Manufacturing. You may think TQM is a bit outdated, as it… Read more

How to Identify Needed Improvement in Manufacturing

posted on: Friday February 10, 2017

We’ve been discussing different lean models in manufacturing and what makes them successful. No matter what strategy you implement, lean is a continual mindset, not a one-and-done plan to execute. So if you want lean to benefit you, everyone at your company has to approach work from a Continuous Improvement point of view. This is… Read more

Drilling Down Continuous Improvement in Cellular Manufacturing

posted on: Wednesday January 25, 2017

Any effort in Lean Manufacturing falls under the much more general umbrella of Continuous Improvement. Also called Kaizen, it’s the mindset that the employees of Toyota innately have that makes all of their other efforts so successful. Approaching your business strategy in terms of Continuous Improvement rather than solely Lean, Just-in-Time (JIT), or any other… Read more

How to Design a Lean Workcell to Support Just-in-Time Manufacturing

posted on: Saturday January 14, 2017

We’ve posted some recent articles on some of the struggles that American manufacturers have had adopting lean strategies in their plants. There are many various “tools” you can use to achieve lean, some easier to implement than others. Cellular workcells, however, are successfully bringing about huge improvements in the American Just-in-Time (JIT) environment. Cellular manufacturing… Read more

Are you Leveraging Just-in-Time to “Whip-the-WIP”?

posted on: Thursday January 12, 2017

Until its end destination, any widget that has left its initial starting point in the manufacturing process is considered to be work in process (WIP). The component may have many stops in its journey from point A to point B, and along there, it can rack up a lot of wastes. WIP can require more… Read more