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Visual Management: Seeing is Believing

One of the many advantages of Lean is its ability to connect team members with standardized methodologies on a shared platform to foster greater collaboration. The value of everyone being on the same page delivers tremendous value in helping stakeholders understand and respond to the challenges and tasks at hand. Going Lean can deliver even more […]

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Five Whys: Understanding the Root Cause

In our continuing journey of exploring the operational benefits of leveraging Lean principles, we find ourselves back in the hallowed halls of Toyota. A true pioneer of continuous improvement and one of the legendary manufacturing success stories, the founder of Toyota Motor Corp. were among the first to understand and apply rigid quality assurance techniques […]

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Spaghetti Diagrams: Mapping flows for optimal outcomes

As we’ve examined in several of our Lean articles, understanding the processes in place within your organization is foundational to implementing Lean methodologies. All processes contain flows which can be mapped in several ways. In a previous installment we explored Value Stream Mapping (VAM) and how it helps evaluate processes in place to find inefficiencies […]

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Define, Evaluate, & Optimize Processes with Value Stream Mapping

Why is “process” central to Lean and Six Sigma? The simple reason is that processes are the foundational series of actions which bring order, control, and efficiency to activities within an organization. Therefore, tools which allow stakeholders to evaluate and improve processes are a necessity for pursuing the goal of continuous improvement. Value stream mapping […]

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Creating a Kaizen Culture – Continuous Improvement Awaits

In our previous discussions about Lean, we’ve described how the continuous improvement model and principles behind Lean. In this article we’ll explore Kaizen, another concept widely used to root out waste and inefficiencies. The unique characteristic of Kaizen is it places a strong emphasis on empowering the rank and file worker to take action to make […]

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Back to Basics: Metrics of Six Sigma

Six Sigma. These two words have probably done more to codify and make comprehensive processes for removing defects to better serve the needs of the customer than any other single business concept.   Sounds great, you might be saying, but what has it got to do with my business?  As we’ve discussed in previous articles, Implementing Six Sigma […]

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Defining Processes Using a SIPOC Diagram

In seeking to reduce waste, create greater efficiencies, and improve the value-benefit delivered to the customer, everything must begin by defining the process. Or, if one already exists, the task at hand is to enhance the process it to make it more useful. To accomplish this, a helpful tool called a SIPOC can be used. […]

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Have You Checked Your Production Line Process for Inefficiencies?

The watchword for measuring success in any business or organization is “efficiency”. In manufacturing, achieving target levels of productivity can mean the difference between success and failure. Having the insights of data inputs and ongoing analysis of productivity metrics is essential to reaching ever-great levels of efficiency. This is just one of hundreds of benefits […]

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How to Remove Non-Value Activities from your Purchasing Process

In meeting with hundreds of stakeholders in the manufacturing, distribution, and service industries, we found that many of them face highly similar challenges: -Lack of Inventory Control -Poor Customer Service, Missed Ship Dates -Lack of Quality Control Validation -Cost Inefficiencies -Inconsistent Shop Floor Reporting -Inefficient Equipment Utilization -Waste -Supply Chain Problems We assess these costly, […]

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Implementing Six Sigma with Attivo All-In-One

When discussions of quality assurance (QA) come up in management meetings, Six Sigma inevitably enters the conversation. Although a highly recognizable catchphrase, its guiding principles are often misinterpreted as vague ideologies for enforcing quality control. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Six Sigma is a tightly defined set of techniques and […]

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