Tag: Factory Examples

Throwback Thursday – What Did a Mid 1990s Textbook Say About Lean?

Throwback Thursday – What Did a Mid 1990s Textbook Say About Lean?

My friend Ryan, who works at a hospital in Canada, sent me a few pictures of an Industrial Engineering textbook that he used almost 20 years ago. He wrote: I was cleaning up my upstairs when I came across a textbook from 1996 from my Industrial Engineering undergrad studies.  On a hunch, I wanted to […]

Why is the Hawthorne Effect Nothing to Brag About or Hope For?

Why is the Hawthorne Effect Nothing to Brag About or Hope For?

Forgive me for being a bit of an Industrial Engineering geek here in this post. After all, my bachelor’s degree is in Industrial Engineering, even though I sometimes get called “a healthcare guy” after focusing on healthcare for just about ten years now. One of the things we learned about in our IE organizational psychology […]

What’s Interesting About This Toyota Executive Rising from the Factory Floor

What’s Interesting About This Toyota Executive Rising from the Factory Floor

I hope you might have access to this interesting article from the Wall St. Journal: “Toyota Veteran Rises to Corporate Office From Factory Floor.” I was able to access it while logged out from my WSJ account. Mitsuru Kawai, pictured, started working at Toyota in 1963, at age 15.  After 52 years of employment, Kawai […]

Lean Factories and Lean Hospitals Are Safer and They’re Better Listeners

Lean Factories and Lean Hospitals Are Safer and They’re Better Listeners

When we introduce the idea of Lean to healthcare organizations, it’s very common for somebody (often a senior physician) to say something like, “But we don’t want assembly line medicine.” The implication is that assembly lines and factories are cold, rigid, uncaring places that focus on ruthless efficiency and making the numbers at the expense […]

#ThrowbackThursday: #Lean Manufacturing Training from 2002

#ThrowbackThursday: #Lean Manufacturing Training from 2002

It’s time for another “Throwback Thursday” post, which is, as always, accompanied by one of my thoughtful-looking baby pictures :-) Back in 2002, back when I worked for a software startup, Factory Logic, I was able to sit in on some Lean training that was created and presented by a large electronics manufacturer that will remain […]

Throwback Thursday: GM Got Gamed & The Original Intent of Their Standup Meeting

Throwback Thursday: GM Got Gamed & The Original Intent of Their Standup Meeting

Continuing the “Throwback Thursday” theme for the 10th anniversary of my blog, today’s post looks back at and builds upon one of my favorites from 2007. The post is a “GM War Story” from 1995 when I was just starting my career: “GM Got Gamed (Or, How to Fudge Your Production Numbers)” There was a […]

By January 15, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
This Date in Lean Blog History: August 6

This Date in Lean Blog History: August 6

My blog will turn 10 years old in February, 2015. You’re probably either thinking, “Wow, that’s awesome!” or “Get a life, dude.” :-) Here’s a look back at some of the posts from August 6 in past years… what was I writing about? 2013: Podcast #183 – Scott Sambucci, Lean Startup Ideas for Sales 2012: Dr. Donald […]

Picking on the PICK Chart

Picking on the PICK Chart

The so-called “PICK chart” has become a pretty common sight in healthcare as a way of visualizing and prioritizing Lean or Kaizen improvement ideas. The concept was supposedly invented at Lockheed Martin, but it’s a pretty common-sensical approach that’s used to sort and rank ideas based on two dimensions: Impact the idea would have (low […]

America’s Oldest Bike Company Could Use Lean Manufacturing to Remain the Oldest?

America’s Oldest Bike Company Could Use Lean Manufacturing to Remain the Oldest?

Mark’s Note: Today’s post is by Andy Wagner, who contributed regularly to this blog from 2007 to 2010. This CNN video caught his eye and he couldn’t help blogging about it. Recently, CNN ran a short piece on Worksman Cycles of New York City highlighting them as the last major bicycle manufacturer left in the […]

Guest Post: Book Chapter on VIBCO and “Captain Karl”

Guest Post: Book Chapter on VIBCO and “Captain Karl”

Mark’s note: Today’s guest post is an excerpt from the book Remarkable by Toby LaVigne. Toby’s bio can be found at the bottom of this post. In this chapter from the book, Toby writes about a good friend of mine and of this blog – Karl Wadensten, the President of VIBCO. You can watch or listen […]

By December 16, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
Podcast #178 – Drew Greenblatt, President of Marlin Steel Wire

Podcast #178 – Drew Greenblatt, President of Marlin Steel Wire

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 29:41)  |  Read a Transcript Joining me for Podcast #178 is Drew Greenblatt, President and Owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products, a manufacturing company based in Baltimore. I was really impressed with Drew’s keynote talk at the recent AME Southwest Region conference here in San Antonio.  Drew’s […]

Live Blogging AME Spring Conference: 17 Years of Lean at Autoliv

Live Blogging AME Spring Conference: 17 Years of Lean at Autoliv

I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to visit an Autoliv factory in Utah – a great Lean company that makes air bags and protective devices for cars and passengers. I was really impressed with Autoliv, as were the healthcare leaders from across North America who visited as part of the Healthcare Value Network efforts. […]

Kaizen on the Boeing 737 Line

Kaizen on the Boeing 737 Line

There was a nice article in the Wall Street Journal this week about the Boeing 737 and some of their Lean and Kaizen (continuous improvement) work: “Boeing Teams Speed Up 737 Output — Jet Maker’s Innovation Crews Search for Ways to Streamline Production as Aircraft Demand Soars.” Boeing needs to increase production by more than […]

By February 10, 2012 2 Comments Read More →
An Inc. “Best Small Company Workplace” & Their Lean Culture

An Inc. “Best Small Company Workplace” & Their Lean Culture

As I was cleaning out a pile of stuff in my office, I found an unread issue of Inc. magazine from June 2011. One of their “Best Small Company Workplaces” was Hopkins Printing in Columbus, Ohio: “Survival of the Smartest: Hopkins Printing has staked its future on cross-training.“) Far too often, “best workplaces” profiles focus […]

By January 10, 2012 3 Comments Read More →

Lean Lessons for Healthcare from a Boeing 737 Factory Video

Podcaster Cali Lewis (a fellow DFW-area Texan) hosts a show called GeekBeat.tv, where she normally highlights new consumer tech gadgets and nerdy robots from MIT. Her most recent video features video from her visit to Boeing and their 737 assembly factory. In the brief visit, we can see a few Lean practices in action, or […]

Funny ‘Family Guy’ Clip that Illustrates Disdain for Manufacturing; Plus a Clip from FastCap, a Lean Company

Friday, I blogged about a WIRED Magazine piece by Joel Johnson that was pretty disrespectful of manufacturing, in general, as he wrote that “every single manufacturing job ever” was “repetitive, exhausting, and [an] alienating workplace over which you have no influence or authority.” That might describe some factories, but hardly ALL. I stumbled across this […]

By February 27, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Looking Ahead to a Toyota Tour by Looking Back

I’m excited that I have a chance, on Wednesday, to tour the Toyota plant in San Antonio, TX. I’m going with a “Lean Austin” group that has a group tour (I’m flying down from DFW for the day, establishing some ties between our local “Lean DFW” efforts and the Austin group. As I look ahead […]

By September 13, 2010 2 Comments Read More →
Ships Passing in the Night – China Builds U.S. Factories

Ships Passing in the Night – China Builds U.S. Factories

In an era where it was a “no brainer” to move factories to China, chasing cheap labor, the Lean world has often spoken out loudly against this. Back in the day, people said “Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM,” in this era you might say “No CEO ever got fired for moving factories to […]