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Shainin Red X–Is it Worth the Money?

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  • #55373

    68rs327
    Participant

    My company just hired a new manager who is big on Shainin Red “X”. My company in the past used TPS and was warming up to Six Sigma. The new manager doesn’t like either of these and wants people trained in Shainin Red X. To be honest when the manager started talking about this, I had to Google it because I had never heard of Shainin Red X.
    What is more the industry standard? Six Sigma or Shainin Red X?
    Shainin Red X seems VERY expensive, seems only the Shainin Corp. is the only ones who can certify people? Is there no other place and is it used in the manufacturing world. This manager use to work for the Shainin Corp. as a consultant. Seems shady that the manger is wanting to get a few people trained in Shainin and the cost is VERY high, I mean, it’s crazy high…. Seems shady to me. Opinions on the industry standard? Six Sigma of Shainin Red X.

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    #199722

    Strayer
    Participant

    You are correct that Shainin is proprietary and expensive. In Six Sigma we follow a methodology to identify the critical few variables, especially the inputs (x’s) that have most impact on quality. Similarly Shainin looks for the one most critical x (the red one). They have their own proprietary methodology and tool kit for finding it and then for doing analysis and improvement. It has traction in some industries and I’ve heard claims that it works better than Six Sigma. Also claims that it’s a more expensive way to accomplish the same thing.

    I’ve had no experience working with Shainin Corp. but I share your trepidation. I’ve had some experiences where a new manager brought in consultants with whom he/she was familiar. Before long we were being trained to use their stuff, and more and more of their consultants showed up. Keep in mind that many large consulting companies incentivize their people to sell more services and extend contracts. Senior management saw that things weren’t getting better but we were paying more and more. Eventually they were all gone. But sometimes it works and is worth the money.

    One thing I can advise is that if you see the train leaving the station and you lack authority to stop it you either need to get on board or get off the tracks.

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    #199723

    68rs327
    Participant

    Strayer,
    Thank you, good advice on the train station. :)
    To be honest, I never heard of Shainin or Red X, before this manager showed up.
    No one in the company has either… But the manager sold it and now we start training soon. They hired the Shainin Corp. to train us, and it is Very Expensive. Thankfully I am not paying for it. So, I am up for free training, always willing to learn new things.

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    #199724

    Robert Butler
    Participant

    If you type in Shainin on the on this sites search engine you will come up with a number of discussion threads on the topic. If you are looking for a comparison of Shainin methods vs. standard DOE the thread below might be of some help.

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    #199725

    Robert Butler
    Participant

    Well, that’s interesting – first time I’ve seen this on this site. Just click on the Green title “Shainin and Classical DOE – A Comparison” in the post above and it will take you to the thread.

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    #199726

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    We’ve taught Shainin techniques as another tool in the tool box of the analysis phase. Embrace–just don’t forget you can’t get good results without a good gage.

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    #199736

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @68rs327 I assume that is a 1968 Rally Sport with a 327? I like some of the Shannin stuff in particular Component Search.

    Is it industry standard? Probably not but does that really matter. Fixing things matters.

    Is it worth the money? That is a personal judgment. Some of his stuff was published in Keki Bhote’s books. Never thought it was complicated enough that I needed someone to teach it to me. As far as getting certified – does certification really matter? If it does then that becomes part of your personal Judgment deal.

    Here is the issue I would have with your new manager. How do you not like Six Sigma or TPS? is it that it abusive to Standard deviations, obsessive compulsive use of box plots, an infatuation with residuals analysis, etc. That is just a stupid statement. We have gone through all the “I’m a Six Sigma purist,” “I only do Taguchi designs.” etc. BS. That is just about the dumbest kind of intellectual bigotry I can imagine. The question you should be asking is “do I want to work for someone who will say stupid things like that in public?” (if the answer is yes then at least don’t sit beside them just incase someone takes a picture. You probably will hit a time when you won’t want that documented – trust me I know. Throw one little chair.)

    Just my opinion

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    #199738

    68rs327
    Participant

    Mike,
    The 68rs327 is a 1968 Rally Sport Camaro with a 327. It’s an all original 4 speed car… Anyway, I agree with your statement. I am up to learning new things and starting soon, I will be trained in Shainin “Red X”. I am sure like anything else, it will have good and bad points. I have learned that most all lean thinking is very similar. Six Sigma and TPS have similar tools and similar mindsets. I am sure Shainin is no exception. It just bothers me that Shainin is being sold to us and I don’t think we need it when we already have all the tools in place to do lean activities. Shainin training is Really, Really, Really Expensive. But, I may be wrong and it may be the best thing since the ballpoint pin?

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    #199739

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    @Mike-Carnell

    Miss those stories and quips!

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    #199740

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @68rs327 Sounds like a nice car. That was when a Camaro was a real Camaro. That kind of makes a person sound old but maybe I am just figuring out how old people think. Love those cars and with the 4 speed there is virtually nobody left in the US that could steal it because they have no idea how to drive it.

    The up side is you don’t have to pay for it so it is free education that you probably would not pay for out of your own pocket. If you have the Lean stuff in place I would just keep doing it and not talk about it.

    Have you ever seen that movie where this man and woman are kidnapped by a couple dumb guys. They are going to the airport and see a sign that says arrivals and another that says departures and they get confused because they are going to arrive and then depart. They eventually pull up to the curb and the guy says “If you do anything stupid I will kill you.” the woman looks at him and says “How would you know?” That is kind of the tactic I would use and wait the guy out. He can’t last long.


    @cseider
    Thank you. Consuelo wants to see your place in NO so invite us down and we can hit the Famous Door Saloon and I will buy. Do Café du Monde about 2 am for some café au lait and beignets, then sleep till noon.

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    #199747

    Strayer
    Participant

    One thing I might have said about “trepidation” in my initial response to this post is that whenever someone says “I know some great secret but you’ll have to pay me a lot to tell you and you can’t tell anyone else”… Well, most of us know this isn’t how knowledge is developed and disseminated. It is often the way the unscrupulous suck people in to keep paying more and more, thinking they’re getting closer to learning the secrets.

    Dorian Shainin was a noted contributor to the process and quality improvement body of knowledge. Search and you can find publications and learn about his insights. Do the Shainin consulting companies that he founded know some “secret sauce” that he didn’t reveal to anyone else? Your guess is as good as mine and you’ll have to pay to find out.

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    #199748

    68rs327
    Participant

    Thank you all for the replies. Since I am not paying for the training, I will go in with an open mind and see if the Kool Aid is worth drinking. My company has issues on many lines with fluctuation in the process… Machine Downtime, work balance of the line, small parts delivery issues… This is what I am currently working on to help improve output. The new manager said I should be working on scrap reductions. Scrap on this line is .02% . I tried to explain that if the line doesn’t produce parts, scrap doesn’t really matter at this point. Improving output to meet customer demand is first on my list. The manager said that’s not the job of the lean group, that’s the engineering departments job… I disagreed again. So needless to say, this isn’t going well… But, if all this manager want’s me to do is focus on the .02% scrap, then so be it. And if Shainin is what the manager want’s us to work with and put Six Sigma to the curb, then I guess that’s what we will do for now. I don’t see this manager lasting very long.

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    #199753

    Johnny Valentine
    Participant

    Like you, we just hired a new ME manager and he has mentioned Red X. I’m a new LSSBB, and our company hasn’t fully implemented Six Sigma as of yet. We don’t have many people trained in it and not sure we ever will. But I like the idea of it, and I don’t want to see it go away before it ever gets a fair shake.

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    #199757

    Andrew Parr
    Participant

    @68rs327

    Please keep coming back and updating us on this one. My curiosity has been piqued and I’m dying to know how long this guy is going to last in your business and how much of the learning you find useful or different!

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    #199817

    R Bubb
    Guest

    Hi All,

    RE: “The new manager said I should be working on scrap reductions. Scrap on this line is .02% .”
    If this scrap rate is The Highest scrap rate you can find in your facility, by all means, work on reducing it. I read this and was reminded of a former manager (in name only, not ability to be sure) demanding that we work on a process’ scrap rate that was approaching 5 sigma while nearly every other process in the plant was Significantly worse. Any reduction of scrap is important, but the process should make common sense. If there are other places to improve that are worse in terms of performance/FPY, work on those first. Read another way: Patching little holes in a sinking boat before patching the largest holes will almost guarantee you boat will sink quicker than you can bail it out, e.g., always fix The Biggest problem first. This is the basic local optimization vs. globally optimization concept (from my knowledge of TOC (Theory of Constraints)).
    Having all your processes VSMs would be helpful too. Having actual data (instead of other types: squeakiest-wheel, loudest-shouter, most pitiful-whiner, etc.) in-hand are a compelling argument in and of themselves. And be sure to update your VSMs as conditions change.
    Shainin’s methods (Red X, etc.) are good tools, and I taught myself using Keki Bhote, et al book World Class Quality, 2nd edition. If possible, I would get that book and read up on the techniques before attending the courses. It’s available on Amazon. Mr Bhote does rail against all other methods, and if you can get past that, the book has really good content.

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    #199821

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    Playing devil’s advocate–if that 0.02% has HUGE dollars at stake versus another process that has 10% scrap but at much lower RM cost or volume–one might prioritize the .02%

    My two cents.

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    #199833

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @cseider Nice catch on the dollars attached to the scrap. I worked in an electronics factory that had been so indoctrinated with the sigma value deal that I could get virtually nobody’s attention in Supplier Quality that I was having issues with a processor on an engine controller meanwhile the SQE were all focused on some light bulb that was worth less than $0.01 each. That is what happens when people stop thinking.

    Regards
    Mike

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    #199834

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    There’s a reason I learned from the best of my mentors (GC and MC) and other awesome folks. It’s amazing how different experiences from good folk can lead to unfathomed synergies.

    TY @Mike-Carnell

    At least in my present business situation, I’m getting cover from some above me to tackle yield and scrap and not worry about OEE as much during highly unutilized asset times.

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    #200297

    Richard D. Shainin
    Participant

    Gentlemen,

    I feel that I’m coming a bit late to this discussion. However, it only recently came to my attention. As one of Dorian’s sons, perhaps I can shed some light on the question.
    In all honesty, I’m not in a position to answer “Is Shainin worth it?” directly. However, I can share what we bring to our clients above and beyond what they are getting from TPS and Six Sigma. I can also tell you that more than 850 companies around the globe have engaged our services and believe the investment is worthwhile. Our clients see bottom line returns that are 10 to 25 times what they spend with Shainin. More importantly, they are seeing problems solved, that were not being solved with other methods.
    Shainin Red X problem solving compliments and enhances our clients’ continuous improvement programs whether they are based in Six Sigma or the Toyota Production System (TPS). What we provide is a disciplined structured process that finds the hidden causes that are keeping systems from meeting expectations. If your only exposure to Shainin has been Keki Bhote’s books or ASQ articles, then I understand that you wonder ‘where’s the beef’. Those sources focus on a handful of statistical tools developed or promoted by Dorian. While the tools are simple, statistically sound and effective, they are only a part of the Shainin problem solving system.

    What we do is not a secret. We have written a number of articles explaining the logic and discipline of Y to X thinking. How we do it is proprietary. Red X Problem Solving is a developed skill. While classroom training is essential to sound development, the real understanding occurs when the discipline is applied to a real problem. Our students learn to analyze the structure of complex systems (products or processes) and develop strategies to isolate the Red X. Each convergent cycle requires planning, disciplined execution, sound analysis and clear documentation. Most problems require multiple convergent splits to uncover the hidden cause keeping the system from performing as expected.

    We provide independent third party certification to ensure that our exacting standards are met. A Red X Journeyman has demonstrated the skill to develop strategy, execute that strategy with discipline and communicate the findings effectively. A good problem solver must not only convince themselves of what they have discovered, but also other disciplines, corporate leadership, suppliers and customers. People need to be convinced that the money they are going to spend to implement a corrective action is a worthwhile investment. As of this posting, there are 3200 certified Red X Journeymen. A Red X Master is a highly skilled problem solver who has demonstrated the further ability to coach and develop others. Master candidates have led three challenging projects beyond their journeyman certification; attended a class that focuses on coaching skills; and then developed two Red X Apprentices and two Journeymen. There are 550 Red X Masters.

    So, is Shainin worth it? If your products and processes are simple systems and you are able to solve your problems without deploying workarounds (a workaround is a bypass of a recognized problem), then you don’t need Shainin. On the other hand, if you are dealing with complex systems with hidden causes and you find that too often a workaround becomes the permanent solution, then we can help you eliminate that waste. We often find that the hidden cause keeping your system from performing properly is an interaction. Our technology excels at discovering interactions. We have solved problems where the Red X was a four or five factor interaction. Those have to be discovered. They are not going to appear on an Ishikawa Cause-Effect diagram or a fault tree.

    One final thought. One comment cautioned that consultants have their own agendas. We absolutely have an agenda. To deliver so much value with every engagement that our clients not only want to do business with us again, but they want to tell their friends. Our certification program helps our clients become self-sufficient so, as time goes by, they are less dependent on us. We are also committed to building on Dorian’s legacy.

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    #200298

    68rs327
    Guest

    Mr. Shainin, Thank you for your reply. The Red X training we received was very good, actually made me look at things different. The issue I had was the consultant we hired who set up the Red X training with your company.. It seemed like this person was only using our company to help build their resume. This person constantly criticized our company, criticized TPS, Six Sigma, and our people. Thankfully, This person has since been fired. Red X and Shainin methods are a different way of looking at things. Learning new things is always good. I would suggest, maybe screen the consultants who set up Red X training… The consultant we had, pushed Red X on our company like they were selling Avon, like it was the best thing ever, and TPS and Six Sigma is useless. Many wondered what this persons commission was… There may have not been a commission.. But, this persons actions made many wonder..

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    #200299

    Strayer
    Participant

    This has been an instructive thread and an example of what I’d like to see more often in this forum. A frequent failing of six sigma, TPS, ToC, etc. is that we fail to find the most critical problem and spend time and effort on some improvement that, while worth doing, isn’t the best place to focus. Regarding whether Shainin was worth the money, if it only confirms that reducing scrap where they already planned to do so and then drills down to root cause, then certainly not. If it finds the Red X is something they hadn’t considered, maybe yes.

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    #200310

    Richard D. Shainin
    Participant

    @68rs327
    Thank you for your response. I’m glad you enjoyed the training and I hope you have been able to apply what you learned.

    The behavior of your manager is not consistent with our business practices or ideals. We work hard with each client to fit in with their existing culture and improvement programs. Our goal is to enhance what they are already doing, not to criticize or blow things up.

    We do not pay commissions to former employees. We expect them to work for the interest of their new employer and only engage our services when it benefits their company.

    I am disturbed that we have an individual out there who is hurting our reputation. Would you be willing to share the name? I will keep it in confidence, but I would like to head off future situations like this. Please feel free to send me a private message. Most of our former consultants behave in a manner consistent with building our reputation and partnering with other disciplines. I’d like to think that this individual is an outlier.

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    #200332

    Ajit Jain
    Guest

    Mr Shainin, thank you for your detailed response. I actually have got some idea about Shainin system from a different perspective. Till date my knowledge about SS is from the Keki Bhote’s book.

    Is there a repository of knowledge about Shainin System in addition to the mentioned book. Can one not gain the knowledge about this technique as we can learn about TPS or Six Sigma of ToC. I mean not in depth to become a Red X Journeyman or Red X master but to know about the techniques little deeper.

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