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What is Lean?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General What is Lean?

This topic contains 109 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by  EdG 11 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #48129

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

     

    A strategy, philosophy, process and leadership approach for operating in a superior way.
     
    Results include:
    ØReduced cycle times (product development and production)
    ØIncreased quality
    ØReduced costs and inventory
    ØIncreased capacity potential
    ØImproved customer service
    ØHigh levels of worker involvement, ownership and commitment
    ØImproved financial returns
     
    Lean Masters – Please add your thoughts
     
    Warm Regards,
     
    Steven Bonacorsi

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    #161169

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

     “A  manufacturing  philosophy  that  shortens  the  time line between  the  customer  order  and  the  shipment  by eliminating  waste.”
    – John  Shook
    Toyota’s first (and still only) American “Kacho” (manager) in Japan

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    #161233

    EdG
    Participant

    Well,
    Merriam – Webster says:
    Main Entry: 3lean
    Function: adjective
    1 a: lacking or deficient in flesh
    1 b: containing little or no fat
    2: lacking richness, sufficiency, or productiveness
    3: deficient in an essential or important quality or ingredient
     
    Personally I like #2 or #3; lacking productiveness or deficient in an important quality (i.e.: value)…

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    #161241

    Ron
    Member

    Lean is a tool kit in the continuous improvement weapons bin. Lean by itself does NOT have adequate tool to cover all of the continuous improvment issues that may occur.
    The lean toolkit is focused on velocity, whereas the six sigma toolkit includes  the DMAIC process (a methodology) along with variation reduction tools.
    You need these two toolkits and more to be successful at continuous improvement.

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    #161245

    howe
    Participant

    Best response I have seen to date.

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    #161247

    howe
    Participant

    Seems that lean is a process of cutting fat with a meat cleaver. And six sigma is a process that uses a scapel.Lean actually uses shock tactics to reduce costs and amplify pressure to produce with less. But sometimes lean, in its effort to eliminate waste, actually cuts the actual heart from an orginization, rendering it unable to function.

    I have seen success with lean and I have seen it bring about misarable failures.Seems that the supporters of lean say “when you are successful you have implimented lean correctly and when you fail you did not impliment it properly.”Leansters cant lose with a philosophy like that. However it is the same argument that was used for TQM, Reengineering the Corporation, etc.Six sigma, on the other hand, is a much better defined process that according to statistics will improve conditions. The catch is, in order for six sigma to be effective the assumption that lean is in place has to exist.And since lean can not actually be measured by any standardized system the assumption that a process or organization is lean or not cannot be made.

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    #161250

    Mikel
    Member

    Mike,
    I think you have just won the dumb post of the day award.
    Congats, it takes work to achieve.

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    #161251

    Snow
    Participant

    Yeah, those Toyota guys sure are a bunch of lucky bastards.

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    #161252

    BritW
    Participant

    I second Stan’s vote.  Hope nobody believes this drivel.

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    #161255

    howe
    Participant

    Toyota  = Lean ??
    I agree that Toyota is a sucessful firm. Does that mean that it is lean?
    General Motors had an increase while toyota had a decrease in sales the last quarter.
    Does that mean that General Motors is now lean and Toyota is getting fat?
    Lean is just the latest buzz word…line blancing, theory of constraints, JIT, non-stock production, cycle time reduction are all traditional IE concepts that have been around for a long long time.
    I really like the part of lean when the sensa walks thorugh the plant and demands a huge head count reduction along with a large reduction of machinery. He does this with just a walk through….Womack and Jones actually want you to believe that people who truly understand the meanng of lean have this power.
    The only problem with this is that no one can actually agree on a definition of lean..this discussion forum is proof of that.
    If you can’t define it it can’t be measured..if it can’t be measured it doesn’t exist……..Try doing six sigma without defining and measuring and see where you get…maybe all you need to do get some magical sensa to declare the solution….save a lot of work and statistical analysis.
    As far as Toyota being lucky..we all know that the sun don’t shine on the same dog everyday..Today Toyota, WalMart, etc. Yesterday, IBM, K-Mart, General Motors, Tomorrow…no one knows.
    As far as Toyota guys being bastards, I have no idea…mommas baby daddys maybe.
    Mike
     

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    #161257

    howe
    Participant

    Interesting post.
    Reffering to lean & 6 sigma you state:
    “You need these two toolkits and more to be successful at continuous improvement.”
    I am curious, pecifically, what is the more you are referring to?
    Mike
     

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    #161258

    howe
    Participant

    Stan,
    You are a ama of few words. That said,
    What could you posibly know about achievement?
    Mike
     
     

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    #161259

    Mikel
    Member

    Mike,
    Great comeback, whatever it means.
    Still one of the dumber posts I have ever seen.

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    #161260

    howe
    Participant

    Another statement without any argument to back it up.
    Somehow that statement makes sense to the Lean guys..after alll they actually don’t have to justify thier muda reduction actions…it is an inherent ability to the lean guru …oops….sensa.
    Mike

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    #161261

    Ron fake
    Member

    Typing and spelling skills would be a start for you.

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    #161262

    Mikel
    Member

    Mike,
    Go look at your post. What arguement have you got to back it up? Just emotion and ignorance.
    When you present an arguement, I’ll do the same.
    For example, Your statements about Lean, TQM, .. apply to Six Sigma too. When SS fails (and it does more than it doesn’t) it is blamed on lack of leadership, lack of involvement, …..
     

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    #161263

    Joe BB
    Participant

    StanBoy,Still around with you stupid comments.

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    #161265

    Mikel
    Member

    Joe honey,
    Welcome back, I’ve missed you. Now go away.

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    #161264

    Joe BB
    Participant

    StanStill aound with your dumb comments

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    #161268

    howe
    Participant

    Right,
    Failure is always atributed to not following the program.
    When I was just a greenie for a consulting firm we used to guarantee results. The problem was that the firm had to follow our recommendations. Well when it didn’t work we could always say that the recommendations were not followed exactly, that is why it didn’t work.
    That is what happens with Lean, I have been in the business as a practicing IE for forty years  and from my experience with new breakthroughs has convinced me that that the lastest and greatest is just more of the same on a new bandwagon.
    six sigma is realy not new…just commonn sense coupled with statistics..I agree with demming that an understanding of quality requires an understanding of statistics. but other than that that six sigma as a concept has been around for quite a while it just wasn’t formalized as a method.
    Lean is good philosopy..reduce muda and continue to improve. However the marketing of this phylosophy is what is distasteful to me.
    It is intersting that there is no method to lean only an outcome. the method seemd to be “BANISH WASTE” where waste is everything that does not add value to a product or is not a process that the customer is not willing to pay for.
    Now to me, anyone in business should already be aware of this concept.
    If on the other hand you believe that lean is a collection of classical industrial engineering tools combined with kaizans. I would say that again, nothing new.
    So what is the big deal with Lean???
    Can you provide any evidence to back up your claim.
    I will end with congratulating you with arguing a point with pure emotion. namely namecalling…usually the realm of stupid people..but I will hold judgement and give you the benifit of the doubt that you are just namecalling out of igorance.
    Forgive my spelling and grammer,,I am slightly dyslexic, however it gets worse with age.
    Mike

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    #161269

    howe
    Participant

    Jack,
    These are all results of a well run business.
    My questionis if this is your definition of lean then are all frims who achieve these results are lean, irregarless of what they may call it?
    And what was it called when companies achieved these objectives before Womack and Jones??
    Mike

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    #161270

    Mikel
    Member

    Mike,
    I agree with your take on nothing new. I am an IE who did his senior project on a factory that flowed with almost no in process inventory – in 1975.
    I am sorry your experience with Lean implementation is so bad. We use it to free up resources to focus on the tough improvement projects. Done right, the workplace is a better place.

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    #161271

    Mikel
    Member

    Mike,
    Look at Jack’s name – you really want to talk to a guy that puts that out there in a public forum?

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    #161275

    GrayR
    Participant

    Don’t confuse what some people call ‘lean’ as being the same as TPS.  The philosophy of TPS is not to ‘reduce waste and continue to improve’, it is more closely to ‘continuous improvement through problem solving’ — meaning that its’ success is based on an ability to identify & solve problems — which is defines the methodology that you say is missing from TPS.
    While you also say that companies were successful before Toyota, no company has developed a better system for improvement — not even close.  Many companies are successful because they are only better than their competition, not necessarily because thay have a good business system.  I don’t work for Toyota, nor drive a Toyota, but if you really understand what they are doing (and that is a big “IF”, since it seems that you confuse lean and TPS), you would bet that they probably will be around for quite a while.

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    #161274

    DavyT
    Participant

    Hi Mike – I’ve used aspects of both Lean and Six Sigma. Trouble comes about, though, when we try to segregate tools between Six Sigma or Lean or TQM etc. The name is not too important, it’s the content that makes the difference…
    In fact, improvement methodologies dont have to be called Lean or Six Sigma – as long as they involve Management of Change, a Structured approach and Various Tools and Techniques – they have a chance.
    You are correct though, failure of improvement programmes are often blamed on the Management of Change part – because this is the one that varies most depending on leadership, culture and the key drivers/triggers for embarking on the programme in the first place. The others (Structured Approach and Tools and Techniques – whether you want to call it Lean or Six Sigma) are proven – time and time again, to be effective when used properly. We do see negative feedback on Six Sigma as well…
    It’s not really a get out (although I do agree that many consultancies will use this is a safety net). Many consultancies now will take responsibility for  the change management as well.
    In short – I dont really find it necessary to split Lean and Six Sigma – they go so well together.
    Davy T

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    #161282

    howe
    Participant

    I have been involved in “Lean” for a few years.
    Years ago I attended a Lean seminar at the Juran Institute. This was shortly after the first release of Lean Thinking. Since then I have taken numerious grtaduate coursed in lean and has assisted in researching lean and assistited in designing an undergraduate course the is Lean based.
    I am not sure of what you mean when you use the acronym TPS. I was under the assumption that this was a discussion on the meaning of lean.
    TPS may have a diferent definition than lean, but at this point I don’t think that we cn determine that as a fact because I have not heard a good definition of lean.
    Although I have completed numerious hours of lean study and am a central lean advisor where I work. I myself cannot define, nor have I, in all of my research and study and experience seen, heard, or read a good definition of it.
    Therefore I conclude that “IT” does not actually exist.
    The Toyota system is not the lean system becuse the Toyota system will not work for anyone but Toyota. Any who patterns his business after Toyota will fail unless they make and distribute Toyotas.
    Continuous improvement is just that. Is there a methodology to improving? Can it be incorporated across functions? Or is it just a persitance and a philosophy to remain humgry?
    Mike

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    #161286

    Regression
    Participant

    Mike,
    John Krafcik’s coined the term “lean”. I think you can still reach Krafcik at Honda.
    The following article by Krafcik  is the first article published based on the internal reports of NUMMI and IMVP Center for Technology Policy and Industrial Development at MIT that outlines the rationale behind the usage of the term “lean”:
    J. Krafcik (1988). Triumph of the Lean Production System. Sloan Management Review, MIT. 30 (1). Fall.

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    #161290

    howe
    Participant

    I have not read:
    J. Krafcik (1988). Triumph of the Lean Production System. Sloan Management Review, MIT. 30 (1). Fall.
    However I do know the following about him.
    John Krafcik did not really coin the phrase “lean”.
    While he was working with James P. Womack on the International Motor Vehicle Program at MIT whe he helped coin the phrase “lean manufacturing” which became a worldwilde catch phrase with the publication of the best seller “The Machine That Changed the World.”
    He did however coin the phrase “fragile production system.”in his thesis titled “Comparative analysis of performance indicators at world auto assembly plants.”
    He recognized that when companies were “fragile, or as I like to term it, lean”( for example low inventory levels) they could fall apart and break down very easily due to inventory outages etc. However, when he studied the Toyota System he realized that there was a clear need for strength within a fragil production system and Toyota demonstrated this strength.
    He was the first American Engineer to be hired at the Toyota-GM joint venture in Fremont, California. e was let to MIT as a result of his experiences at Toyota and that is where he and Womack gave birth the whole lean phenomenon.
    In addition to Toyota he also worked at the GM Oklahoma City Assembly Plant, The Ford Motor Co, Hyundai Motor America. However, I do not believe that he ever worked at Honda as you claim.
     
     

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    #161292

    jack mahogoff
    Participant

    Time out you and I know that what I posted was all results of a well run business. Lean is for the disabled people in manage who don’t know how to achieve it.  and if the lean cook book doesn’t do it. It teaches the disabled management how to cook the books and claim big improvement that are smoke and mirrors.  TMB teaches that well.  I now know what TMB stands for. Total Bull S— Management.  Correct?

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    #161294

    Regression
    Participant

    Sorry, but I can’t help a “know it all” who hasn’t even read half of the literature (published or unpublished … and I doubt that you have access to the unpublished litetature). Good luck anyway. But you’re not worth my time!

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    #161301

    howe
    Participant

    You my friend are an insulting bore.
    Not only have I read, researched, and studied the subject I have also helped to design an undergrate course in lean.
    I am definatly not worth your time, ignorance has time for nothing but more ignorance.
    You are a prime example of someone who cannot blind with brillance, so you resort to ttying to baffle with bulls*^%.
     

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    #161302

    howe
    Participant

    Sorta like when we first tried to impliment JIT…We learned the true meaning of the acronym….”Jammed In Trucks”
    But anyway here is my academic definition of lean:
    I arrive at this definition from my graduate studies and resuarch into the subject
    Lean is:
     a philosophy to systtematically identify and eliminate waste.
    a lean enterprise:
     1.) lines up value creating activities in best practices sequence.
    2.) conducts activities only when customers request
       
     

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    #161303

    howe
    Participant

    Sorta like when we first tried to impliment JIT…We learned the true meaning of the acronym….”Jammed In Trucks”
    But anyway here is my academic definition of lean:
    I arrive at this definition from my graduate studies and resuarch into the subject
    Lean is:
     a philosophy to systtematically identify and eliminate waste.
    a lean enterprise:
     1.) lines up value creating activities in best practices sequence.
    2.) conducts activities only when customers request
        
     

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    #161304

    howe
    Participant

    Lean is:
     a philosophy to systtematically identify and eliminate waste.
    Alean enterprise:
    1.) lines up value creating activities in best practices sequence.
    2.) conducts activities only when customers request
         a.) It is flexable to the demand and the variety of the customers    needs
         b.) It has quick turnaround for the customer
         c.) It produces high quality and reliable delivery at the lowest possible costs.
    3.) It contributes learning and innovation to improving its products and its services
    4.) It has a commitment to continuous improvement.
    I base this definition on many hours of research and study of the subject.
    So you can see that according to this definition an enterprise can actually be lean and at the same time fail.
    The shortcoming of lean is that it does not address the changing market. If the market were to decide that it no longer wanted to buy Toyotas Toyota would still be lean, but it would also be out of business.
    I believe that Toyota actually owes the bulk of its success to being at the right place at the right time. The time was the during the gas shortage and Toyota’s were economical on gas and were of higher quality than American expectations. Had the gas crisis not happeed when it did I really doubt that we would be having a discussion about lean, period.
    And thats about all I have to say about it.
    Mike
    no matter how well you do something if it does not produce revenue it fails…

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    #161305

    Ahsan
    Participant

    Dear Mike
    i like your first two points about lean that one was
    1.) lines up value creating activities in best practices sequence.
    2.) conducts activities only when customers request
    This is all about lean
    thanks
    Ahsan

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    #161312

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    Well said

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    #161322

    Mikel
    Member

    Wow, given your opinion of Lean, that undergraduate course must
    have been a hoot.

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    #161325

    howe
    Participant

    It’s easy to put down someone when you have no argument.
    However you will not succeed in bringing me down to your level.
    Try to find a little self esteem, it would do wonders for your personna.
    Mike

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    #161326

    Regression
    Participant

    cheers … they should offer you in pill form. you’d be a real competitor to ambien :-).

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    #161327

    Mikel
    Member

    Maybe you should offer him some Lean -https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?
    messageID=126222

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    #161332

    howe
    Participant

    A lot of SME and AME videoswere ncorporated into the course. We could not find a decent textbook for the course so “Lean Thinking” was required reading. After reading the book a paper on what lean principles are and show how a company can become lean using an action plan. The paper also includes an excutive summary at the begining and a conclusion section at the end.
    In addition to the paper, lectures covering the following topics are presented and exams are give based on the lectures.
    Here is a breakdown of the course topics:
    Define Lean and CI
    Creating a culture of CI
    A Lean simualtion
    Kanban systems
    Value stream mapping
    Visual controls
    Conducting kaizans
    Total Production Maintenance
    Quick changeover (SMED principles)
    Layout improvements for Lean , JIT
    Lean tooling
    Poke Yoke
    The Lean office
    Activity based accounting
    Velocity in the supply chain
    Theory of constrants
    Baldridge criteria
    Lean supply chain management
    And that is it.
    It really wasn’t anything new, just more of the same packaged in a new wrapper called “lean.”
    Mike

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    #161336

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    Very informative,Please  continue  your  great  contributions  ,don’t  allow  those …………….to  furstrate you,keep  it  up 
    best  regards

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    #161337

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    Well said

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    #161338

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    Just read the  book : Getting the Right  Things  Dobe  by Pascal Dennis.
    You  may  then  recognize that  “it’s  not  the  sun shining  on  the  same  dog everyday”….just  read  it

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    #161339

    BritW
    Participant

    Why do we try to pigeon hole everything in terms of what works and doesn’t?  There are age old systems out there that work- find what works for you and do it.  Lean isn’t better than Six Sigma and visa versa. It is implementation dependent, based on the needs of the system at hand.  Tools from both (and others) are to be used as needed.  Basically an IE approach – solve the issue with scientific methodology using the tools that apply.  An improvement toolbox needs to be open – allow for more tools to be added.  There’s not a whole lot of new tools being developed anyway – why disregard any?
    On another note – how can a class be taught with the first item “Define Lean and CI” when from an earlier post:
    Although I have completed numerious hours of lean study and am a central lean advisor where I work. I myself cannot define, nor have I, in all of my research and study and experience seen, heard, or read a good definition of it.

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    #161341

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    This  why  it is called Lean-SS

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    #161342

    GrayR
    Participant

    It is more of the ‘same package’ because it is the ‘same wrapper’. In comparison, this is Toyota’s course outline (from TSSC.com):
    OVERVIEW:   TPS Overview
    BASIC THINKING & SKILLS: Standardized work I, Problem Solving I, Changeover I, Pull System A, Material & Information Flow
    SHOP FLOOR ACTIVITIES: Standardized Work II, Problem Solving II, Changeover II, Pull System B
    INTENSIVE TRAINING: Kaizen, Standardized Work
    Three courses on ‘standardized work’ and two on ‘problem solving’?  Sounds like they missed the concept of lean since they should be spending more time on VSM, Baldridge and Activity Based Costing.  Well, as they say . . . you don’t know what you don’t know . . . 

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    #161345

    Chad Taylor
    Participant

    Britw
    In reading your last post, I am somewhat confused at what you are trying to say: “Lean isn’t better than Six Sigma and visa versa”
    First, Lean cannot bring a process under statistical control, and Six Sigma alone cannot dramatically improve process speed or reduce invested capital. So why are you comparing the two. As I read further down your post, I know you fully understand the difference in the two, but that one little sentence has no meaning.
    The closest definition I have seen for Lean is that Lean is not just raw material procurement strategy, but rather a process, with three puposes.

    To eliminate wasted time, effort, and material
    To provide customers with make-to-order products
    To reduce cost while improving quality
    If you take these three statements and create a mission statement you have probably created a pretty good definition of Lean. How one acheives those 3, is a combination of many tools and approaches, which can all be labeled under Lean Methodology.
    Chad Taylor

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    #161347

    Totally nailed
    Member

    Britw, I never thought we’d ever see the day when you actually become really “sharp” with a poster on this site. (I mean that in the nicest way, i.e. you really nailed down a logical  contradiction). You and QualityColorado deserve a medal just for your patience with some of the nonsense that’s being posted on this site. Thanks for a good laugh!

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    #161351

    howe
    Participant

    I have posted the defnition that was used in the course in an earlier post.
    Each student was also incouraged to come up with their own definition of lean, because employers tend to want to know the what Lean means to a candidate.
    The fact that we mutually arrived at an academic definition for lean does not mean that I agree with it.
    To me lean and six sigma are all about trimming the fat from an organization. Lean philosophy and methods remove huge chunks of waste, or fat as i like to see it, in a relatively short period of time. Six Sigma on the other hand assumes that the bulk of the fat has been cut before it can work. I see six sigma as a scapel used for the same purpose.
    Lean to me,  is actually a vision tthat requires continuous improvement to achieve.
    let me give you an example of the last lean project I worked on.
    Cererbus hired me to help strreamline (lean out) a bankrupt company that it had recently acquired. A completely new management team replaced the old team. We had one objective…turn the company into a profitable firm.
    To make a long story short.  Out of four sites in the particular division I was in three were shut down, the one that was left had two of its three production departments eliminated. Salary head count was reduced by 95%. A 24/7 (168 hr/wk)  operation was turned into an 80 hr/wk operation, a reduction of 52%. Wage roll employee head count was reduced from 400 to 100, a 75% reduction. The profit margin of the company reached record levels and have been relatively increasing over time.
    There is constant pressure to move the needle..from the board room to the shop floor.
    It really sickens me to know that I am part of this massacre and will probaly be a future vivtim. Sorta like the guy who helped buid the gas chamber and was later executed in it.
    The complete lack of humanity is appalling….I hate to draw parallels to Nazi Germany but Hitler also believed in eliminating anthing that did not contribute to the productivity and efficency of his third empire, like hanicaps, the mentally ill, etc. Sure seems like a lean concept to me.
    I hope it can last two more years, because I don’t want to be a 60 year old job seeker in today’s market…Sorta gois against the whole idea of out with old and in with the new lean philosophy doesn’t it?
    Enough of this blah blah blah
    Mike.
    Lean has left a bad taste in my mouth ever since the masacre. It worked for the time being but at a terrible cost to the human factor.

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    #161352

    howe
    Participant

    Thanks,
    I think I wil read it.
    Mike

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    #161353

    BritW
    Participant

    I try – thanks.

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    #161354

    BritW
    Participant

    As an improvement method, there are those that try to say Lean is Best or Six Sigma is Best.  Those people are close minded, to say the least. I was not trying to compare the two.  My contention is that I don’t care what you call improvement – just don’t eliminate tools from the box.
    Couple things wrong with your statement.  Lean can bring a process under statistical control and Six Sigma can improve process speed.  I have used both (and combinations), and if you need proof, an easy google search can provide a number of examples of SS decreasing TAT and Lean improving customer satisfaction and quality.  It is this narrow view of LEAN or SIX SIGMA that I get passionate about.
    People try to implement cookbook implementations for these improvement ideas and think that their box actually has walls!  “If I do lean, how could I possibly perform a regression analysis!!  It’s not a Lean tool!!”  It kills me.  I think, along with insifficient management support, the number two failure of either of these ideas is simply pigeon-holing them.  No empirical data, but doubt anyone could prove me wrong.
    Your 3 bullets could easily fit into the DMAIC format as well.  They could also fit into PDCA.  Again – don’t care what you call it – just do it.

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    #161355

    BritW
    Participant

    Sorry you had a bad experience.  Not all of them are that invasive and seems like they couched a plant reorganization in “lean speak.”  Sounds like downsizing to me – along with some strategic business building.  Not a nice way to go for the human factor, but not sure I would have classified your example as a lean implementation based on waste reduction and continuous improvement.

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    #161362

    Chad Taylor
    Participant

    BritW
    Did a little research as you suggested and confirmed my point.
    When used in conjuction with each other, Lean & Six Sigma, you can do as you say, but just using one by itself will not do as you say.
    Six Sigma without some sort of lean methodology (or whatever your wish to call it) cannot improve TAT time. Implementing Lean tools may be the result of a six sigma process such as DOE experiments but is not Six Sigma by itself. As Lean Methodology without Six Sigma tools cannot improve Process Control.
    If you have some real example I am willing to listen as I am always wanting to learn more. However your first thoughts of a google search did not.
    Chad Taylor
     

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    #161371

    BritW
    Participant

    I tried to post the google results, but administrator wouldn’t allow it.  Be glad to send examples offline – send email.
    So – you are saying that by reducing defects or minimizing variation, that a six sigma project cannot affect TAT?  When you pigeon hole, you really pigeon hole!  Do you think that by applying lean techniques such as kanban, buffers, etc., that the chance for defects might be reduced? 
    Also – that last statement really proves that you have no idea of the power of either tool.

    0
    #161373

    Mikel
    Member

    Lean cannot improve Process Control?
    Who told you that? What BS

    0
    #161374

    Chad Taylor
    Participant

    BritW & Stan
    Lean Six Sigma by Michael L George with very documented case studies from Caterpillar, GE, Honeywell, International Truck, ITT Industries, NCR, Northrup Grumman, Lockhead Martin, Rockwell, Raytheon, and Many others. Specific page is 7. You will also find a link to the George Group Site at the Top Right hand corner of this site.
    Many footnotes from Jack Welch, Taiich Ohno, Dr Deming, and Dr, Taguchi.
    cstaylor74@hotmail.com
    please send me what you have. Like I say I’m always wanting to learn more, I’m trying not to be argumentive, and truely want to “broaden” my thinking as you say.
    Chad Taylor

    0
    #161378

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Hi Chad,
    I was a Director at George Group for a number of years, and your correct that Mike George does include case examples in his books. I think Stan is referring to Lean only which is historically weak on process controls, while Mike George’s examples refer to Lean Six Sigma where the Control phase of Six Sigma have helped plug the holes inherent in Lean.
    What I do like about Mike George’s thinking in respect to lean is that he believes the entire methodology has a foundation of Little’s Law which is the Process Lead Time equals the work-in-process count divided by the exit rate (or throughput) which is teh units over a period of time. This viewpoint leads to a differnt way of thinking in that Lean is all about the “Speed” or “Efficiency” of a process while the Six Sigma is the “Quality” or “Effectiveness” of a process.
    Thanks for your contribution to the dialogue,
    Steven Bonacorsi
    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

    0
    #161379

    Darth
    Participant

    Stan, it seems I never left. I come back after a long absence and still find you making dogmatic statements and providing little help to innocent posters.

    0
    #161389

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Hey Mike,
    Good one, I never heard JIT referred to “Jammed in Trucks” before – your a hoot as usual.
    Warm Regards,
    Steven Bonacorsi

    0
    #161423

    GrayR
    Participant

    Sounds like a very bad experience with what some people think lean is.  Unfortunately you have not only been a victim of this experience, the academic course that you have outlined is putting the next generation onto the same path . . .
    A previous poster suggested Pascal Dennis, ‘Getting the Right Things Done’.  A quote from the book is from Pascal’s sensei . . . “Very strange, in North America you manage business the way the Soviets managed their economy”.
    If you still have influence on the design of the college course, it would do well to spend more time on Pascal’s approach.

    0
    #161435

    Chad Taylor
    Participant

    So I post my email, and all I get is an advertisement for your company, Thanks, but no thanks
     

    0
    #161436

    howe
    Participant

    I assisted two professors in preparing the course.
    One has a PhD in Industrial Technology
    The other has a PhD in Industrial Engineering
    Both are retained by an Industrail Consulting Operations that provide lean consulting and training.
    I was just a grad student warking n a MS degree in Quality.
    Seems that everyone has their own opinion about lean. I believe that is the case because there is really no accepted common definition of it.
    I actually believe that lean is a concept that came about by studying the Toyota and other Japanese systems and noting the extreme differences between it and traditional American production systems.
    One stock production verses mass prodution.
    Quick changeover to decrease cost of changeover verses large lot sizes to justify the relatively high cost of changeover
    The high degree of attention to quality verses an acceptable defect level and the widespread use of AQL’s
    The use of statistics to understand and cntrol quality rather than inspection and MRB’s.
    Unfortuatanly these types of changes are caused by desperation.  Toyota was in desperate straits after WWII and had to do somethng to survive, fortunatly they had a few very talented and gifted people like Toyoda and Shingo to lead the way.
    However the Toyota system is NOT the same thing as lean even though the Toyota is considered to be lean.
    Lean is only a concept that a firm can strive to achieve. The concept, I believe is doing the best that can be done or a quest for excellence.
    Excellence, however is a matter of opinion. Our two party system is an example of this….less government on the one hand is considered better by some but more government is considered better by others.
    The basic problem I have with lean is that it takes the goal of achieving high profits to the extreme so much so that other values are subordinated to it.
    It seems to be a product of the ME generation when greed was considered to be a good thing and the idea that each individual should be able to have the best healthcare he could offord.
    Mike (forgive the spelling and grammer)
     

    0
    #161437

    GrayR
    Participant

    Mike — I agree with many of your comments.  Lean was supposed to be based on Toyota’s system, but over time and through different interpretations, it has ended up to be basically a set of tools like, kanban & 5S.  Here’s the typical approach — go into a process with 5S first, and the use a VSM to identify where to install the kanbans, reduce the changeover time on one of the machines and guess what — now we’re doing lean.  Or, they use the approach you experienced — lean out the workforce.
    And because of this activity, graduating engineers, or business people, or lean practicioners all think that is what lean is really about.  In Likers’ book, another ex-Toyota employee, he mentions that the tools are at the bottom levels of understanding TPS, with problem solving and continuous improvement being at the top.  Unfortunately, the tools are only a very small tip of the iceberg.

    0
    #161439

    howe
    Participant

    Lean is supposed to be good and lean has always been associated with the Toyota and Japanese systems.
    This was due to the times. In those times the Japanese, or so it seems, wee moving toward world domination in manufacturing and distribution.
    However, ust as everything goes in cycles so it was for the Japanese phenomena.
    But at least, the main enterprise that lean was based on,Toyota, still seemed to be destined to become the world leader in the Automobile market.
    But alas nowdays it appears that General Motors is overtaking Toyota after being down by a significant margin at halftime.
    The game isn’t over yet, but I will say this, if General Moters reclaims its place as the number one automotive manufacturer and distributor in the world, lean will stop being a common tem in our vocabulary. it will then be replaced by a new word or phrase that will have exactly the same meaning….which is….follow me to success.
    It is all really akin to the author who writes a book titled “How to Make  a Million Dollars” and inside the book are instructions on how to write a book on How To Get Rich Quick….
    The first author will probably make his million, so will some who follow his advice, but once people catch on the books die and new scam arises.
    The tools mentions that are associated with lean are nothing more than age old industrial engineering tools that have been around for decades. 5S..new term for housekeeping
    VSM…new acronym for where are we at ..where are we going…were do we wont to go…and what are we doing about.
    Contimuous improvement…..still means staying competitive
    So they is actually nothing new here other than the knowledge of the phrase….”When You Find Yourself in a Hole…Quit Digging!” which is what Toyota did to pull themselves out of financial ruin back in the post WWII days.
    Mike

    0
    #161440

    GrayR
    Participant

    Mike — again, there is some agreement here, but not fully.
    I don’t know how you measure GM ‘overtaking’ Toyota — maybe you mean by market share? That may happen, or it may not. There are external factors as well, including tax basis, subsidies, market influences (China, India), etc.  So, time will tell on that point.
    Also, much of Toyota’s system is not new — however, don’t confuse ‘not new’ with ‘not different’.  They manage differently than you think; and they manage differently than GM. 
    You say that the goal of continuous improvement is to be competitive, but you are missing the point on how it is done in TPS.  As before, you don’t know, what you don’t know.  And also as before, as long as there are ‘lean experts’ that don’t understand TPS, lean will eventually evolve into what you have described as a bad nightmare, a set of tools (kanban, VSM, etc.) used to downsize a company . . .

    0
    #161444

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Hey Mike,
    How all is well with you. I like your response and agree with your points. I own a Toyota and it never breaks, never. I’ve had a 1998 Lexus SC (Sports Coupe) 300 since 2002 and have only had to bring it in for the 90,000 check-up. Now this is my first time owning a Toyota and a Lexus at that, and was to say the least, shocked to learn the bill was just over $2,000. Note: there was nothing wrong with the car, they just rewire everything, flush everything, turned the sucker inside out and it still runs like a champ every time. So other than the ridiculas service charge, I will stand by the Toyota product as being reliable, comfortable, fast, luxurous, and overall cost of ownership is low. Now, others may have experiences where the car actually breaks and it costs a fortune to fix or it takes a long time – but I have just noit had anything go wrong to know anything about that kind of experience and that is worth the product to me.
    So while a agre there is some facts behind Toyota being in the right place at the right time, they are also lean and they have made a great product and while I could leave and go to another product, I beleive their are alot of other customers out there that feel the same way as I do about the Toyota products – they they are really really good and I’m coming back for another one. Probably when I get the bill for the next service overhaul. lol.
    Again, thanks for your and the many other great contributions to this discussion.
    Steven Bonacorsi
    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

    0
    #161450

    JimM
    Participant

    Hey Steve, great post regarding the Toyota experience you have had. One thought or concept – which helps explain the overall superior reliability, which is completely alien to most in the automotive world, with the exceptions being (largely) Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and the like – is that of ‘functional build’. These industry leaders have long recognized that given the series of overall objectives of complex design and assembly, for an item such a vehicle – it is not necessary, nor economically practical to design, nor demand that all components meet nor exceed a threshold Cp / Cpk of 1.33.
    In other words, by and large those Japanese-based automakers understand that the expense and pursuit of those ‘perfect’ parts does not equate to better quality for the system as a whole; i.e. a more reliable and less-prone-to breakdown vehicle. Neat concept, and one which hasn’t gained much traction (yet) by the domestic US automakers – at least as evidenced by all the parameters you have mentioned in your post. As a group – they clearly miss the concept of functional build.
     

    0
    #161454

    annon
    Participant

    Wow.

    0
    #161455

    annon
    Participant

    Where is Hope when you need her?

    0
    #161456

    Chad Taylor
    Participant

    Steve and Jimm
    I would like to make a comment or more of an observation about vehichle reliability. Over the past 13 or so years I have driven strictly Dodge trucks, before that Ford trucks, My farm vehichle is a 96 model toyota truck. I have only had one vehicle ever in the shop for repair and it was a factory recall. The 5 Ford trucks I have owned all had over 175,000 mile when I traded off and other than normal wear items were great trucks. The Dodge is the same. As for my old farm truck Toyota it takes a beating everyday its used and some things break and needs repaired alot, it currently has 115,000 miles and I do consider it a good truck, I have had a couple fords for farm trucks as well and not really any difference in the amount of repairs that have to be made.
    I say all this to make a point about driving habits that often dictate product reliability. Some people just break things, they drive eraditic so on and so forth. Any of todays big automakers produce an equally quality product. How you treat your investment is directly related to its longivity.
    Lets face it. In todays market all that GM, Ford, Dodge, and Toyota do is assemble vehichles with components that are often times produced  in the same shop for all 4 manufactures. I know this because I used to be the operations manager for one such tier 1 shop in Chicago.
    Chad Taylor

    0
    #161462

    Brandon
    Participant

    Good point Chad. I did work with Siemens VDO – Tier 1 for instrument panels, transmission electronics, radio components et al.
    They sell to Chrysler, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault etc.

    0
    #161464

    hi darth
    Participant

    Good to hear from you again. Watch mike, his opinions are just too precious.stan,s been needing some of your encouragement too. He,s becoming too warm and fuzz.

    0
    #161466

    Mikel
    Member

    Just a few serious thoughts — first, I want to tell Mike that what started out looking like a rant
    turned into a nice contribution. I look forward to more from Mike.- who is right about superiority is debatable, Lexus and Buick tied
    for 2 year reliability in the latest data, but the differences in the top
    10 are probably not detectable when the typical consumer has a
    sample of 1 or 2 every 3 -5 years (just go work the stats).- nobody has brought in the perspective of the employee (except
    Mike back when he was ranting), but there is something to be said
    about respect for the intelligence of the employee. Many Lean
    implementations completely disregard it or respect it for the week
    of an “event” and then stick it back on a shelf for another 2 or 3
    years. I believe the the concept of respect for the individual and the
    idea that we are more alike than different is better respected in a
    Honda or Toyota plant/supply chain than in a big three plant/
    supply chain.- the idea of functional build is a valid point, there are far fewer
    things specified on a Toyota print than a Ford print. The other
    thing to consider is Toyota would not tolerate an environment
    where everyone pretended to have good measurements and good
    capability when they in fact did not.

    0
    #161468

    howe
    Participant

    Don’t blame you for having Toyota’s I won’t buy anything else.
    I got 350,000 miles on my frst camry….had no maintenance other that changing ol and filter every 3,000 miles and changing antifreeze every year. That’ it !!! 350,000 miles I gave it to my nephew to drive around while he is away at school..Still running well !!
    I now have another 2007 camry. My wife bought a Yaris is you can believe that…to her it looks like some kind of organic bug…she is into everything organic…..organic today, low carb yesterday….sorta like lean today, reengineering yesterday.
    If what you are doing is succesful and you are caling it lean, then lean is a good thing for sure…just don’ get cought up in the terminology and think that the toolkit is the end all and be all of toolkits..
    Everything passes with time and so will lean, be sure to keep that in mind. I still believe that keeping your mind on he prize is the number one contributor of success.
    Anyway here’s to all the 101 definitions and methodologies that is lean.
    Don’t forget….lean can equal fagile as one of the people who coined the term recognized…he sressed that strength has to be present as a part of lean.
    Analogy: thin can be weak but thin with muscle mass is strengh.
    I like your posts…your optimism is refreshing

    0
    #161469

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Chad,
    Excellent points, I agree, I used to own a Ford Truck myself – it was a clunker so really beat it up offroads and all, while my Lexus gets treated like a Princess. Mainly because I got that one service bill frtom Toyota that I could have used to buy 2 Ford clunkers. LOL
    I do agree that the complexity of parts is a true cost factor – where the manufacturers (or assemblers) you name all share components across vehicles to reduce overall part management and cost.
    Warm Regards,
    Steven Bonacorsi
    Lean Six SIgma Master Black Belt

    0
    #161474

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Hello Jimm,
    Agreed, and will add that I am disappointed in all manufacturers low miliage designs. I want a vehicle that does not need to have its tank filled 3 times a week at $40 buck a pop.
    Its almost as if they seek to suboptimize the design to ensure they are profitable on the services side. Thoughts?
    Steven Bonacorsi
     

    0
    #161487

    EdG
    Participant

    Steve,
    You mentioned in your first paragraph that the service bill for your Lexus could have been used to buy “2 Ford clunkers.”  How many could you buy if that Lexus was a Benz or BMW equivalent?
    2X or 3X???  Okay, maybe 1.5X…
    ;->

    0
    #161520

    Respect
    Participant

    stan, since when are you using the thesaurus and look up complicated words such as “respect”. that has never been part of your vocabulary. are you getting sick? do you need some help with mental health? what’s wrong with you? do we need to get worried?

    0
    #161573

    JimM
    Participant

    Steve,
    In reply to your comments…’Agreed, and will add that I am disappointed in all manufacturers low miliage designs. I want a vehicle that does not need to have its tank filled 3 times a week at $40 buck a pop.
    Its almost as if they seek to suboptimize the design to ensure they are profitable on the services side. Thoughts?’
    There is some valid concern regarding planned obsolesence in vehicle design these days – but I would attribute general lack of quality and poor reliability with short-term thinking about next quarter’s profits. One interesting approach, again is that of Toyota – where they seem to have the ability to design and build in quality – across multiple platforms and vehicle sizes. It’s as if Toyota (and other auto industry quality leaders…Honda, Nissan, and now Hyundai) fully recognize that improved as-delivered vehicle quality using robust design and manufacturing – will actually gain and retain customers…what a concept!
    Among other basic principles mentioned previously; functional build, long-term mentality, quality designed and built-in – I’m not sure the domestic automakers yet ‘get it’! Even after the lessons of the past 20+ years from the competitors listed, and steadily declining market share. There seems to be some fundamentals either missing, or twisted priorities – on behalf of the US domestic automakers.
    Fianlly, on the consumer side – as a group – can we finally get past the JD Power stats…please?! If the ‘initial 90 days measurement’ can be shelved, or at least tempered with a more long-term yardstick…maybe a look at vehicle dependability through the typical four or five-year financing period!?

    0
    #161587

    Alderman
    Participant

    Hey just a footnote on the quality and reliability issues. Does anyone remember that in 2002 or 2004 (don’t remember)Toyota recalled more vehicles than it made. Not to mention they still lead in all vehicles recalled…The one thing most don’t know.

    0
    #161589

    Mikel
    Member

    And your point?

    0
    #161592

    Alderman
    Participant

    My point is do not always believe what you read or hear about Toyota being number 1 in quality.. basically in agreement with an earlier post about the quality being pretty much even across the MFG’s.

    0
    #161619

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    Agree.This  is  not our usual “Stan” ,this  is “fake  stan alert”?

    0
    #161621

    JimM
    Participant

    Capt. Kaizen – no one in these posts has stated that Toyota is number one in quality. Maybe number one in corporate sales, or certain market shares. Also, recall that for the past few years – every auto maker has had record recalls; Ford, GM, DC, Honda, Toyota – nearly all have been affected. For example, the Ford Focus (current generation) has been recalled multiple times (three, maybe four) for the same defective fuel pumps! The Ford F-150 (1999-2003) models that eject spark plugs due to defective design cylinder heads. By the way, even if occurring during the 3 yr. / 36k warranty – Ford was denying responsibility! Now’s that action sure to retain customers!
    The point is that with Toyota there are several a fundamental differences and methods of doing business; focus on long-term quality and not forsaking the customer when defect issues arise, respect for the employee; identifying and eliminating waste by harnessing ideas of the employees on the factory floor (improved communications / relations = no labor unions necessary), employing mistake-proofing to an average of eight (8) per workstation to eliminate defects at the source, and on and on. Many of the so-called quality ‘flavor-of-the-month’ practices at the domestic automakers; TPM, QFD, lean, waste reduction – are the everyday methods of doing business at the Toyota, Honda, Nissan factories. It’s ingrained into the business culture to make incremental improvements at each level, every day. This philosophy and self-auditing approach takes places everywhere; design, sales, order entry, purchasing, HR, production – every aspect of the company is scrutinized under a common magnification.
    At most US companies we tend to make a six-sigma project out of it – package it using Power Point, whoop-it-up and high-five each other – like it’s something extraordinary. 
    Like I said – there’s a fundamental difference in the way of conducting business……

    0
    #161631

    Alderman
    Participant

    Jimm, no doubt that the culture is very different in Japanese companies. Working for one and having been in Japan I can say I agree. It is often very difficult to try to explain this to many people who haven’t witnessed this culture with their own eyes. In my post I was just mentioning that yes Toyota is now number 1 in sales worldwide but many people fail to realize that they also lead in recalls… so can it be that they might be exchanging quality for quantity??? Who knows…

    0
    #161682

    GrayR
    Participant

    It is well publicized that Toyota has been having problems training employees in their methods, particularly as it relates to having and finding senior employees that can teach the method. This problem has been exacerbated by the growth they have undertaken in Asia (China, SE Asia, etc.). They are aware that has caused quality problems, so there is some truth to the quality vs. quantity question. It has caused them to cut back on some of their growth plans (wouldn’t stop GM . . .)I have recommended this before, and it is a good story on how an ex-automotive plant manager had problems keeping up when he was hired by Toyota — Steven Spear, “Learning to Lead at Toyota” (available from HBR.com). The employee had a couple university degrees, and managed a major automotive plant for a competitor. He was trained by Toyota for three months before he was placed in the position that he was hired for.Of course, we should direct Toyota to this website and they will find out they just need to hire some more IE’s to fix their problems.The functional quality methods are also true. While it may seem that means ‘just good enough’, it really just relates the process of setting output standards for each process, and problem solving to countermeasure if the standard isn’t met. Sounds kind of sloppy, but it seems to get the job done in most cases (unless the skills of the employees are not up to par).

    0
    #161683

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Hello Gray,
    Thanks for the contribution.
    Warm Regards,
    Steven Bonacorsi

    0
    #161684

    GrayR
    Participant

    Thanks — didn’t really want to slam any IE’s with the post, especially as it relates to an engineering profession . . . but if we keep training our next generation of engineers in pseudo-TPS, then we won’t need any more IE’s any way . . .

    0
    #161685

    EdG
    Participant

    Cap,
    Your point may be to “not always believe what you read or hear about Toyota” but you know, I still think I will continue to go with Toyota.  And, why?  Because inspite of your statement that they are leading in recalls, I have yet to experience any major problem with ANY Toyota’s that my family has owned (my wife and I have owned nothing but Toyotas since 1989). 
    Oh, and it wasn’t because of anything that I read that made us decide to go with Toyota.  Rather it was probably the fact that my parents went through a series of five different Dodge cars from the late 1980’s through the early 2000’s and had major issues with EVERY one of them PRIOR TO THEM REACHING 50K miles on them.  By the way, in the early 2000’s I finally convinced them to try SOMETHING else so guess what they tried… A Camry and they are now on their second one.
    So I will heed your advice on not always believeing what I read but then again…  But then again I guess I will stick with Toyota given ALL of those that we have owned have handled >200k miles and continued to run just fine.  Although I do acknowledge that there are varying levels of quality, my Corolla is no where near what my Camry was but even then.  But then it does have >170k miles on it and is still running strong, unlike my first car (a Ford Escort – and last non-Toyota that I have owned) which had to be laid to rest after just over 100k miles.
    Just the same, I do enjoy reading about Toyota, studing what they do with TPS, and speaking with Toyota folks.  It is amazing what you can take away if you just listen with an open mind…
    Have a nice weekend.

    0
    #161686

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    Steven
    I  have prepared an impressive PPT tackling some  major  aspects  of  Lean-SS,I’m  ready  to  exchange those  slides with  you if  you are(as  a real  expert) ready  to send  me  some of  your  excellent prepared PPT
    (as well).
    If you  agree ,just  send  me  your  email 
    Best Regards   
     

    0
    #161687

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Hello Fake,
    Agreed – sbonacorsi@comcast.net
    Steven Bonacorsi
    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
     

    0
    #161690

    Darth
    Participant

    Guess you haven’t been on this website before.  Stan and xxxxx (you fill in the name) will always be going back and forth, exchanging insults and acting childish.  I, on the other hand, am always mature, straightforward and a fountain of knowledge.

    0
    #161693

    White Party
    Member

    Darth, “a fountain of knowledge” and “straightforward”, I think you can back that up with data. But “mature” … let’s just hope that will not happen any time soon :-).

    0
    #161695

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    Thanks  for  the  response.
    Just  wait  sometime  as  I  have trouble  in  connection.
    Hope  to  receive  some  good  slides  from  an  expert  as  well
    best  regards

    0
    #161702

    Darth
    Participant

    WP, was hoping the newbies didn’t know me and I could slip that one by them.  Guess there are still some old posters who remember me before I retired.  Thanks for keeping me straight, no pun intended.

    0
    #161704

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    Fake,
    I have a lot of material from over the years, are there specific areas where you need more assistance to meet a particular client need?
    What are you planning on using the material for? Knowing the purpose and depth (White Belt vs. Sponsor vs. Executive vs. MBB, etc…) will help me understand what level to pull from.
    Warm Regards
    Steven Bonacorsi

    0
    #161706

    ATIGGGuy
    Participant

    Fake,I have complete materials from both ATI and GG. I’d be happy to give
    you soft, editable copies.

    0
    #161716

    Steven Bonacorsi
    Member

    ATIGGGuy,
    Your circulating soft copies of George Group oe The Advanced Integrated Technology Group’s material would be illegal use of intellectual property and copyright laws. Not well advised to just circulate materal that is not your own. I am sure both GG and AIT would not approve of your circulation of their material.
    Warm Regards,
    Steven Bonacorsi
    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

    0
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