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Opening the Garage Door

In automotive, business, Lean Implementation, Lean manufacturing by Alicia CheungLeave a Comment

Digital technologies have upended the automotive industry. Formerly based solely on a business model of car ownership, the industry is fundamentally redefining itself into a multifaceted digital ecosystem. In a recent study from the IBM Institute for Business Value, 80% of executives said “comprehensive connected vehicle services” will be a key differentiator for consumers. Today’s car manufacturers and suppliers face intense competition from startups and internet companies with new business models, agile processes and rapid releases. To innovate and scale, industry leaders will need to combine the creative skills of a startup with the traditional strengths of an industrial enterprise.

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Reducing Customer Wait Times and Saving Sight with the Toyota Production System

In Continuous Improvement, Lean Implementation, manufacturing by Cressida MurrayLeave a Comment

Jamie Bonini, VP, Toyota Production System Support Center at Toyota, joined us at the American Automotive Summit to discuss “Driving Profitability for the Future: Redefining Competitiveness through Achieving and Sustaining Lean Excellence.” Bonini describes the Toyota Production System as “an organizational culture of highly engaged people that come to work every day to do their work and make their work better.” This culture is created and sustained by a system that has three elements: a philosophy (on how to operate and how to treat your people), some technical tools, and a managerial role, which is to relentlessly engage and develop people to solve problems to drive improvement. The Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) aims to share this organizational culture to improve businesses and the world. Their mission is “to contribute to society by sharing the Toyota Production System (TPS) with nonprofits, government entities, and manufacturers throughout North America to better serve customers or people in need.” Bonini shared with the audience a few case studies about how they are bringing the TPS approach to varied organizations, including a family-owned job shop making stainless steel components in Chicago, and the State of New York. One case that was particularly touching was about the work they have done at an ophthalmology clinic in Los Angeles, where TSSC has applied TPS to reduce speed and wait times for eye surgeries.

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Sustaining a Culture of Continuous Improvement

In Continuous Improvement, culture, Lean Implementation, manufacturing, workforce by Cressida MurrayLeave a Comment

Implementing lean initiatives can be a challenge, but sustaining them is even harder. As Mark Reich, COO of the Lean Enterprise Institute, told the crowd at the American Manufacturing Summit, “to be sustainable, it has to be more than a program. As long as it’s a program, it’s not going to be sustainable. Because as soon as whoever’s program it is leaves, it’s not going to sustain. So it has to be built into the company’s fundamental way of doing business.” In other words, it needs to become part of the culture. Once you have made the case for change and built the concept of continuous improvement into the culture of your organization, it is leadership’s responsibility to continue to nurture this culture. In his presentation, “Culture: The Definitive Piece in your CI Journey,” at the American Manufacturing Summit, Mark Gooch, GVP, Operations & Lean Enterprise at Pentair, gave the following tips to the audience on sustaining a culture of continuous improvement.

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Why your lean initiative may not be working

In Lean Implementation, manufacturing, workforce by Cressida MurrayLeave a Comment

At the 2016 American Manufacturing Summit, Byron Greene, former VP Manufacturing at FCA (now VP Manufacturing at Whirlpool), told us: “Over the last 20 years at Chrysler, we’ve had at least four versions of the Toyota Production System. Each started with fanfare, great enthusiasm, and intent, and they failed. The focus was on the tools, the technical side, without understanding the essence of the method as a whole.” He says that where many organizations go wrong is that they emphasize the technical aspects of TPS, “which totally misses the cultural change that is necessary to make it work over time.” To really implement lean properly, and bring about cultural change, you need to first understand the culture, then go slow, and build trust. Learn from our thought leaders about how they have done this in their organizations. 

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How Does Technology fit with your Lean Initiative?

In Continuous Improvement, culture, Digital Transformation, Lean Implementation, manufacturer, manufacturing, Plant Optimization by Harshini SrikanthanLeave a Comment

With rapid innovation and the proliferation of data, technology promises improvements in nearly every area of manufacturing. The implications for increased efficiency are tremendous, but our experts warn that technology will not solve all your lean problems. At our 2016 American Manufacturing Summit, we spoke to some lean leaders about how you should think of technology within the framework of your lean initiative. The consensus is that while technology can be a great complement to your lean initiatives, providing you with insights you wouldn’t otherwise have, it cannot entirely replace the human aspects of lean. Learn what they had to say on this topic. 

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