Lean Manufacturing Innovation Award Winner

Lean Manufacturing Innovation Award Winner

There Europeans have created a new lean manufacturing award to recognize companies that are demonstrating their use of innovation to create growth and jobs. The first lean manufacturing innovation award winner is Brillopak, which is a packaging company in the UK. Yes, that’s right, a packaging company. Lean principles can and are being applied and integrated into all types of business environments. Here is a snippet from the original article:

Lean Manufacturing Innovation Award Winner

Lean Manufacturing Innovation Award Winner
Lean Manufacturing Innovation Award Winner
Brillopak is among the first recipients of a new award for companies which are using innovation to create growth and jobs.

The company was chosen as an inaugural winner of the Medway Innovation Voucher, towards the development of its new lean production control package. This is being developed to support small and medium manufacturers, using Brillopak’s new COMPACT C Series and robot cell packing and palletising solutions.

Brillopak Director David Jahn said: “We are very proud to have received this award, which supports our vision of building systems that have a demonstrable impact on efficiency through effective deployment of lean methodologies.

We are confident that the system will support our clients in eliminating bottlenecks across the end of line at a tactical level…[read more]

Today everyone is talking about jobs and how to create more of them. However, what’s actually happening is lots of talk and not much action. Apparently, with the current political standoff here in the US, ignoring the situation is the best way forward, well until after the election in November, when we all get to see how things will play out.

I am not sure how you feel about it, but I think the folks in Congress might do well to take notice what is happening across the pond to see how the Europeans are dealing with the same issues. They are identifying a lean manufacturing innovation award winner, while the politicians here in the US are doing nothing. 

I would prefer to see more action and less political theater here in the US Congress. Weight and tell us what you think? Leave a comment below and share this article with your friends and colleagues. 

If you enjoyed reading this article: Lean Manufacturing Innovation Award Winner

You will enjoy reading this one too: Is Your Business Staisfying Customer Needs?

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Is Your Business Satisfying Customer Needs?

Lean Manufacturing Metrics

The purpose of this article is to get you to ask this question: “Is your business satisfying customer needs?” This seems like a pretty straightforward question. However, it is not always that easy to get a straight-forward answer. Most business owners will tell you that they are “definitely satisfying their customer needs.” How do they know for sure? Are they telling the truth? Or, are they in denial?

The follow-up question will always throw them if you dare to ask it: “Where’s your metrics to prove it.” BAM…WHAM…KAPOW! A this point in the conversation you’re either going to be shown the door, or experience an awkward silence followed by rapid change of subject. It seems perfectly normal to ask an executive management team to share their customer satisfaction feedback or their on-time delivery metrics to demonstrate their ability to fulfill their customer needs. In fact, you would think they would be extremely excited to let you see them! If they are truly satisfying their customer needs, they are consistently delivering their products or services to them on time, every time, right?

Lean Manufacturing Metrics

You see the problem with asking the question is that the answer you receive is not always grounded in reality; it’s often based on perception.  So, does this means they are telling lies or being dishonest? No, of course not, they are simply seeing things from a different perspective, and that is all fine and dandy. What is based on reality? How do we get to see the real picture? Well, that would be simply a matter of listening to what your customers are saying about your products and services. A business owner or management team can fool themselves, and many do but they cannot fool their customers, well not for long anyway! You see, in the 21st century, a customer has many choices and they can and will change their supplier at any time if they are unhappy with them.

So, back to the original question: can your business satisfy customer needs, or not? I have created a simple flow chart that will guide you through an easy  process to discover what and how you are dealing with the current situation in your company when it comes to customer needs. Take a look at the graphic to see the customer needs algorithm. Click here to see a larger size.

Answer the first question and then follow the path to see where it leads you. Now, you get the chance to become a character in your own version of Alice in Wonderland as you follow the white rabbit. However, try to keep a tight grip on reality as you enter and go deeper into the rabbit hole.

Can Your Business Satisfy Your Customer needs?
Can Your Business Satisfy Your Customer needs?

If you answer the first question honestly, it will clearly identify whether your company’s has the ability to satisfy customer needs or not, and it will tell you what action to take. On the other hand, if you’re in denial, or unaware of the reality of your current situation, it will lead you to where you believe your company is today, and it will tell you what action to take.  Enjoy your journey down the rabbit hole!

Make sure you read my next post to get the next installment about the way companies deal with this issue and try to answer the questions: Is your business satisfying customer needs? If you enjoyed this article please share it with your friends and colleagues by email, or the social media buttons below.

If you enjoyed reading this article: Is Your Business Satisfying Customer Needs?

You will enjoy reading this article too: Does Lean Management Increase Profits?

Lean Management

lean management

Does Lean Management increase profits?

How Lean Management is using a new cost model to stay ahead of their competitors!

In this article, I want to take a look at the advantages of lean management and its effect on any business. There is a direct correlation between the style of management and the success of any business. Why is this? All business owners, no matter what type of field they are in are trying lean managementto make a profit. However, to understand an important business process we need to start by asking a simple question “what is profit?” A traditional business owner will say that profit is the difference between costs incurred to produce an item and the selling price to the customer. In a traditional company, the costs incurred are usually production costs, which include raw materials, labor and overhead. Profit is the amount of money added on top of the production costs to generate the selling price of a finished product. They used a traditional cost model or formula for calculating the selling price for a finished product.

Traditional Cost Model:  Selling Price = Production Costs + Profit

In today’s global markets, there are very few companies that are driven by supply and demand in the traditional sense. Today, the world markets are consumer driven, which changes the dynamics of selling and setting the sales price for any item. What does this mean for the business owner? It means they must realize that, unless they are in a niche market, there are hundreds of companies competing for the same customers. Therefore, the traditional formula for calculating profit is not going to work in this business environment. Companies must use a different formula to ensure their selling prices are competitive in the global markets. However, if they set their prices too high the consumer will not purchase their products because they will be too expensive compared to other similar products. If they set their sales prices too low they will reduce their profit margins, and this will impact overall business growth. So, what does a company need to do to compete in global markets?

As we moved into the 21st century the old business cost model has changed dramatically, to one of collaboration between consumers and businesses. Product branding has become the buzz word for any items being sold in these new vibrant global markets. Countries like India and China are expanding economies that are generating huge numbers of new consumers.  In the traditional cost model, higher prices were due to higher demand and a limited supply. However, today it is the opposite! The demand for products is still high but the selling prices of finished goods are determined by the consumer, not the business owner. If the consumer believes the selling price is too high they will go find another business selling the same item at a cheaper price. The internet has made the world a smaller place for the consumer in that they can purchase products from anywhere in the world. Modern companies are turning to lean management to change their way of thinking and developing a better understanding of what consumers want and how to meet their needs.

What is Lean Management?

Lean Management is using lean thinking to improve business practices by implementing lean principles to identify and eliminate waste. This has created a paradigm shift in business strategy and product development for the 21st century. The consumer driven markets also demand a new cost model for any business to stay competitive and thrive. A lean management team understands the needs of the global markets and how to establish a new level of thinking about setting the selling price of their products. There is a new lean cost model for defining the selling price of a product.

Lean Cost Model is:   Profit = Selling Price – Production Costs

A lean cost model is forcing companies to review their current business practices to reduce costs and increase profits. The reason for this is because the selling price is determined by customer demand. Lean Management teams understand that they have no control over the selling price, this is determined by the consumer, and therefore, they must find ways to reduce costs. Forward thinking companies are developing lean management teams to use lean principles to improve the quality of their products, while at the same tie reducing costs. The consumer has many choices to take their business anywhere they want to. The business owner has one choice, and that is to find a way to reduce costs. Lean Management is helping them to do this more cost effecively, click hereto learn more…

What to do before implementing Lean Concepts!

lean concepts

5 things to know prior to making use of Lean Concepts!

Ignore these and your lean concepts will be nothing but dreams!

Changing lean conceptsany enterprise into a Lean Business may be a daunting job if the person participating in the project does not have the knowledge and experience of lean concepts to grasp what needs to be done.    Listed here are 5 factors that each business owner should really know prior to implementing a lean program.

Five factors to consider before turning your lean concepts into reality!

#1. Developing a Lean Culture:

Many organizations employ lean principles on an unplanned basis, they do not think about the consequences of their actions when attempting to develop and establish a Lean Culture. They must change their focus towards using lean concepts. The only way any enterprise will not become another failed lean implementation statistic will be to obtain the appropriate setting to support the identification and elimination of waste to increase value for its customers.

#2. Genchi Gembutsu:

A business owner is unable to know what is happening in their workplace if they are not applying “Genchi Gembutsu.” It is a Japanese phrase that loosely translates into “Go to the place where the work is being done and see it with your own eyes.” It requires employees to understand lean concepts to change their approach to finding solutions. Don’t try to improve company processes while away from the workplace, such as inside a conference room or training office. Go to where the process is currently being performed and watch it in action to get a true understanding about what is occurring.

#3. Kaizen:

The concept of Kaizen is based on two factors contained within the phrase, which are “Kai” and “Zen.” The meaning of these 2 terms is “change for the good.” It is important to understand that this implies never changing something for the sake of change itself. Make it a rule to adopt lean concepts to encourage a different way of thinking.  Only change a process when it increases value for the customer. Doing anything other than this is a waste or muda!

#4. Problem Solving:

Identifying improvements on the job sounds like an easy task, nonetheless, realistically, it is rather difficult, and the reason for this is that people don’t know the place to begin. Most organizations get their workforce to spend their valuable time concentrating on the wrong things. This causes more problems since it increases cost instead of minimizing it. Educate your workers to understand lean concepts and become problem solvers and authorize them to seek and eliminate the waste.

#5. Lean Training:

A technique to get a traditional enterprise to become more profitable would be to train their workforce about Lean Principles and how to utilize them to remove waste and improve their own workspace. This is usually a win-win for any business, its people and its customers. Get the right individual, and that is someone who has a good knowledge of implementing Lean Principles into a company. Ask them for details about previous final results for continuous process improvement (CPI) projects to demonstrate how they applied Lean tools.

Understanding these 5 simple points will get you targeted on doing the right activities and make your Lean implementation successful. Education is important but it is only by individuals following through and also employing their understanding Lean Principles that they will begin to transform their company into a Lean Enterprise. To learn more click here

Chris Turner is the CEO and Director of Training and Development for Radical Transformation LLC. He has 27 years of experience in the Continuous Process Improvement field. During this time, he has integrated Lean Principles, Lean Six Sigma and Change Management into his skill’s portfolio. He has worked with major organizations in the UK, USA and Canada such as the US Air Force, Canadian Ministry of Health, Siemens, Medtronic, APW, English China Clay to name a few. He participated in the design and development of Lean Certification Online, which allows learners to have 24/7 access to online training materials to improve their understanding of lean concepts.

Which first, People elimination or Problem elimination?

lean thinking

It’s a toss up between – Mean thinking or Lean thinking!

Lean thinking is the way of a progressive CEO!

I am often asked why it is necessary for a business to adopt lean thinking! Well, it’s will allow an organization to train its employees about Lean principles and to apply them into their business practices. A business that is not improving on a consistent basis is not growing. A company that is not growing is standing still, it is the same as treading water and it’s only a matter of time before they will sink and drown. This has already happened to many US businesses. It almost happened to the US auto industry and they were suppose to be participating in lean thinking!

I believlean thinkinge that it’s a given in today’s global economy for every company to implement Lean principles into their business practices. Why? Because the results are evident in those companies that use lean thinking to improve their processes. Those business leaders who have followed this advice are finding that  their organizations are improving and staying afloat.

We hear the latest gossip on the 24 hour news channels about how companies are improving productivity. We also hear about how many businesses are reducing their inventories. What we do not hear is why this is happening now, when we know the economy is still going south and will be for a while.

Lean thinking is easy conceptually, but not so easy to put into practice!

When one realizes that according to economists, 70% of the US economy is consumer driven. This means that people are buying things such as houses, goods, cars, etc. The Government and Business leaders alike need to change their thinking about how to overcome the key issue that faces every business today. They need to adopt a process of problem solving using lean thinking. How can consumers go out and buy things, when they do not have money in their pockets to spend? I suggest a dose of  lean thinking might be a good start! What are the root causes of the problem?

One of the root causes is the definition of financial success. The traditional CEO has one goal in life and that is to do everything possible to increase the dividend value to the company shareholders. The traditional way they achieve this is by cutting costs to increase profits. What is the number one method they use to do this? Well, they achieve it through people elimination. This is the worst kind of muda or waste because this leads to a reduction or elimination of the intellectual capital, which is the horsepower that drives service or product innovation. This is why the US is lagging behind many other countries including India and China. These countries have undertaken a paradigm shift by using lean thinking to shape their economy and their future in the global markets.

The traditional CEO will also direct their sales people to go out to find more customers and sell more services or products to drive up sales revenue and increase profits. However, they continue to ignore the simple fact that it is actually costing them 25% to 40% of their annual revenue to maintain the hidden waste that currently exists within their business systems. A 10% increase in sales is a small improvement to the bottom line compared to the effort required to generate it. However, a 10% increase in productivity as a result of eliminating waste will improve cash flow with less effort. Which is better, profit or cash flow?

A CEO of a business that has implemented Lean principles will see it from very different perspective. They will challenge all their employees to find ways to overcome the impact of the downturn in the global economy. The CEO will ask them to participate in kaizen or rapid improvement teams to use problem solving to find solutions to reduce costs and increase value for their customers. These actions will help to ensure long term employment and business prosperity.

These progressive CEO’s have taken on another challenge. They understand that the only successful way forward for any business is to adopt lean thinking and implement lean principles. Today, this is achieved through the implementation of a top down, bottom up communication system, which will encourage collaboration between employees and management. The old methods of management, which are based on a manager having power over the actions of employees is slowly being replaced. The new paradigm is one of shared responsibility and accountability between employees and management. Their focus is to create value for their customers by using lean thinking to improve their workplace.

So, the choice is simple! Increase profits through cost cutting and people elimination? Or, Increase profits through lean thinking and using problem solving to support employment and business prosperity? If you want to learn more …about lean thinking

What is Strategy Deployment?

strategy deployment

strategy deploymentEvery business needs to know about Strategy Deployment!

Why is strategy deployment so important?

It’s very important for any business to have a clear understanding of what is stopping it from achieving success. Without knowing this important piece of information they will continue to repeat the same mistakes. However, that everyone should know is there are no failures, only results. An organization just has to find the right result to match their needs!

Strategy Deployment helps any business to learn about themselves. It creates a common focus for everyone in the organization. This focus is called a “vision”. Often a vision is referred to as the companies “North Star.”

Strategy Deployment is like a compass, it helps a company to get its bearings and know its moving in the right direction!

The Japanese term for Strategy Deployment is “Hoshin Kanri.” The term for Strategy Deployment is aligned with the concept of a compass guiding a traveler to help them determine the direction of magnetic North or the North Star. Many companies have successfully implemented Strategy Deployment to guide their business process improvement projects to align with their own North Star or vision.

Many organizations struggle with the need to improve their business processes and maintain their revenue stream. Business Process Improvement requires time and money. It s therefore very important for a business to ensure they are putting their money into sound improvement projects.

Many companies lose their way and find it difficult to get back on track. A great tool for helping any business to do this is “Strategy Deployment.” It is an easy system to learn and implement throughout an organization. It does require a change in thinking and the discipline to follow through with the defined activities.

It’s very important for any business to have a clear understanding of what is stopping it from achieving success. Without knowing this important piece of information they will continue to repeat the same mistakes. There are no failures, only results.

It’s very important for any business to have a clear understanding of what is stopping it from achieving success. Without knowing this important piece of information they will continue to repeat the same mistakes. There are no failures, only results.

Many companies lose their way and find it difficult to get back on track. A great tool for helping any business to do this is “Strategy Deployment.” It is an easy system to learn and implement throughout an organization. It does require a change in thinking and the discipline to follow through with the defined activities. Click to check out this website for training about Strategy Deployment.

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