We are excited to have a group of experienced industry professionals joining us for Spring Blackbelt this week. They are now embarking on an intensive Lean journey where it will take them on a whole new level of strategic understanding and team building experiences.
Lean Assessment module will definitely set new challenges and learning opportunities for the group!
Join us this Spring for our Second Benchmarking Tour!
Last year's trial tour across six of our client's facilities was incredibly well received. In response, we've decided to run the tour again this Spring and to offer two Executive Credits towards our Lean Executive Program.
When: March 14th and March 15th 2012
Where: There will be two pickup/dropoff locations in Downtown and South Vancouver. All you need to do is join us and jump on our top of the line executive charter.
Why: This is a great opportunity to network with the Lean Community and see for yourself how these leading companies have implemented lean at their organizations!
Space is filling up quickly- please contact us for more details!
It has been a busy month for LSI. Just as our 'Operational Spring Greenbelts' were ending their first Module at a Retail Clothing Distribution Center- our Winter Greenbelts were coming into Vancouver to get ready for their second Module. This group had a particularly difficult Cycle Time Reduction Assignment for this large manufacturer of heavy duty equipment. Friday will be their chance to present their improvements to a team of Executives.
The Fisker is a remarkable car company with true lean approach to product development. David talks about the car and the company itself after visiting with Fisker executives in California last week. David is truly impressed with the car after driving it for some hours in southern California ... and learned a great deal about Fisker's corporate strategy from talking to Fisker president and its senior engineers.
David is meeting up with executives of Fisker automotive to drive and discuss about their innovative Fisker electric luxury sports sedan, the Karma. Having spent a day driving and talking to Mr. Fisker himself provided a lot of insight about this revolutionary car company based in California.
These last few years have tested Japan's resiliency. In addition, to the global recession, they've had to cope with a frightening Tsunami, earthquakes and nuclear meltdown. While these natural disasters have disrupted manufacturing and demand within the country- Japan has also had troubles competing on the International automarket with such a high Yen- counter benefiting them.
In the midst of these national and global setbacks- Toyota has struggled to hold on to its reputation for exceptional quality.
The article below describes how Toyota's relatively new President, Akio, has gone back to Toyota's founding principles to hopefully revive the company and reestablish its top position in the industry.
After two days of lectures on lean principles and tools and some active team-building, this group is ready for their on-site training!
Here our hosting company representative presents the projects for consideration- including any pertinent information relating to the inherent frustrations with the current area or process.
Andrew reinforces....that's right....SUSTAINABILITY! The most important of the 5S! The teams are forced to come up with procedures for sustaining their 5S once its completed. Tools for this include checklists, process supervisors, reward systems etc...
The class decides on which project caught their eye.
Smaller groups form to focus on their assigned/desired project! Good luck to you all :)
What a lovely day! Our Winter Service group had its first session this morning. It was a very lively group of 13 participants from all across the Lower Mainland. Our coach Andrew led the kick-off- putting these strangers into team building exercises.
Here the teams have to come up with a Name, Logo and Chant. This team named themselves Lean Infinity.
Beautiful structure out of tin foil- but your guess is as good as mine- as far as what it stood for...
Next. The infamous egg-dropping game- where teams have to work together to build a structure around a large egg in order to protect it from being dropped. This team had a complex anti-bouncing concept.
I dubbed this one, "the porcupine"
All four teams came up with some fantastic designs. It took three rounds to declare the winner!
After lunch, the group was divided into two teams for the Tea & Coffee Simulation. In the first round the teams had to organize themselves into a new coffee shop. There were many mistakes in the first round- but having designated an observer and customers to provide feedback- the teams were better able to provide service in Round 2.
By the end of the day, this group of strangers had now formerly bonded with eachother. They are sure to use their skills and minds to solve some real problems during this week's 5S Kaizen!
'Lean' as in 'lean manufacturing' or the 'Toyoto Way' was born out of the little factory that could.
Lean Philosophy for Services
Due to its roots in manufacturing many have overlooked the applicability to everyday services. But- those who truly understand lean and its principles will tell you how 'lean' is less about tools to evaluate manufacturing processes and more about philosophy and corporate culture!
In fact, many companies who have attempted to implement lean tools into their practises without first embracing lean culture- have failed miserably. Instead of blaming their failure on their short-sighted viewpoint (lean as a quick hit way of eliminating waste-thus improving profits) they give-up entirely and propagate the belief that lean was just another flavour of the month initiative by management.
Anyways, this post is not about 'lean failures' but about lean in services...
Well, if we can see 'lean' as a philosophy, we hold the key to why and how it can be applied to services.
Our Greenbelt Programs for Operations and Service
In both programs lean history and philosophy are explored and covered. We believe in practical learning and so both programs will incorporate hands-on-experience at our clients facilities.
Module I: The first module covers 5S- these principles of creating an organized workplace with Visual Management and Standard Operating Procedures are applied either at a service-based organization such as an office or storeroom if you're in Service- or on the shopfloor, inventory room, shipping and receiving area if you're in the Operations program.
Module II: Creating flow. In Services we call this 'Process Time Reduction' and in Operations we refer to it as 'Cycle Time Reduction'.
Business processes such as financial reporting, information filing and recuperation, performance measurements, sales order, service calls etc... will be evaluated and reorganized to minimize waste. These processes are at greater risk of a) over-processing (too many people handling the same document), b) waiting (having to wait on another department), c) rework (insufficient information). Creating 'flow' through these processes by using value stream mapping, spaghetti diagrams will enable service providers to strengthen their processes.
Operational processes may include setup/changeover time and assembly/packing lines as examples. Use of kanban systems, line balancing, creating one-piece flow, re-arranging the line and poke yoke strategies are just some of the tools which can be applied to reduce the 'cycle'.
Module III: Whereas Operations will go through a Lean Office Kaizen- this is similar to what our Service group performs as part of their Process Time Reduction Module- our Service group will study Value Innovation.
Value Innovation looks to all aspects of improving the customer experience. The focus in this module is to evaluate what customers truly value and appreciate and work on improving these touchpoints. Examples of touchpoints could be a customer opening up a new account, navigating the corporate website, making a payment etc... Taking the time to evaluate a customer's experience from start to end and determining how you can set yourself apart from the competition- the WOW factor- is all part of Value Innovation. This module cements the fact that lean can improve services just as clearly as it has in manufacturing!
Welcome to Lean Sensei International’s blog. Here you’ll find stories to inspire you as you and your organization progress on your journey towards excellence.
Lean Sensei International is recognized by companies around the world as an organization that delivers the purest form of Lean. We specialize in implementing Lean strategies and helping companies embark on their journey to excellence by providing authentic, Japanese-style coaching. Our approach is not to operate as consultants, but instead, to fulfill the role of a sensei (coach in Japanese) within companies, on a long-term basis, as if we were a part of your team. Together our coaches have had 50 plus years of experience working in Japan and/or with Japanese companies to implement Lean. From large Fortune 500 companies to companies across Canada, we strive to provide the expertise necessary to make your Lean journey a remarkable and successful one. For more information on our programs and services, please visit our website at www.leansensei.com.