Tag: Factory Examples

Improving Thanksgiving Dinner Operations

Improving Thanksgiving Dinner Operations

It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the United States, so I’ll be taking the rest of the week off from the blog to enjoy some downtime with family. Improving operations, usually through Lean, was my main job in different manufacturing companies that I worked for before moving to healthcare in 2005. read more

By November 22, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Why It’s OK That This Suggestion Box Was Full of Cobwebs

Why It’s OK That This Suggestion Box Was Full of Cobwebs

As I guy who started his career in manufacturing before moving to healthcare in 2005, I don’t get many opportunities to visit the “gemba” at a factory very often anymore. I get to occasionally visit a Toyota plant (in the U.S. or Japan). As I’m getting settled back into the Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) […]

The Biggest “Bang for Your Lean Buck?” Respecting Your People

The Biggest “Bang for Your Lean Buck?” Respecting Your People

Mark’s note: Today’s post is a guest contribution from Paul Critchley. Check out his previous posts here. As a long time Lean practitioner (and now Lean consultant), I have been asked lots of questions about Lean over the years. There’s one I have gotten more often than the others, though, especially from business owners and […]

“Practicing Lean” Excerpt from a New Chapter – Bob Rush from Tesla Motors

“Practicing Lean” Excerpt from a New Chapter – Bob Rush from Tesla Motors

Chapter 8 is written by Bob Rush, who currently works as a Lean Manufacturing Group Leader at Tesla Motors. Tesla, of course, is in the building that was the former NUMMI factory…

By January 15, 2016 1 Comments Read More →
Podcast #234 – Mitch Cahn, President of Unionwear on #Lean Manufacturing

Podcast #234 – Mitch Cahn, President of Unionwear on #Lean Manufacturing

Today’s guest is Mitch Cahn, president of Unionwear, a manufacturer of hats, bags, and apparel in Newark, NJ. I first learned about Mitch and his company because of a display they had at the Northeast LEAN Conference, which I blogged about here. What caught my eye was their display of politician hats they produce, including the…

By November 16, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Going Cheap Vs. Leading and Being Lean

Going Cheap Vs. Leading and Being Lean

I’ve worked with a lot of companies whose primary operational strategy boils down to “cut costs”. Others on Mark’s blog have written about the many unintended consequences of cutting costs as a myopic strategy. But I’d like to share a trend among small manufacturers I’ve seen…

Donald Trump’s Red Hat (and Other Politicians’ Hats) Brought to You by Lean Manufacturing

Donald Trump’s Red Hat (and Other Politicians’ Hats) Brought to You by Lean Manufacturing

These Donald Trump hats (and hats for other candidates including Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush) are made by a Newark company, Unionwear. Lean is their strategy and their production system. That’s how they are competing against China.

By October 4, 2015 2 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: #Lean Equipment and a Lean Layout Isn’t Enough

Throwback Thursday: #Lean Equipment and a Lean Layout Isn’t Enough

Going through some old files, I found an article that I wrote back in late 2005. I wrote it for somebody within our J&J Lean Healthcare circles, trying to help draw parallels to the idea that a hospital lab couldn’t just copy a “Lean layout” without also changing the way they work. I never published it

By October 1, 2015 2 Comments Read More →
Captain Jack’s Cannonball Polish – Buy One, Get Two Free!

Captain Jack’s Cannonball Polish – Buy One, Get Two Free!

Mark’s note: Today’s post is by Paul Critchley and he raises important questions that I’ve seen in both factories and hospitals. Here’s his post… As I’ve moved through my career and Lean journey, I’ve been blessed to have met and worked with some really fantastic people…

By September 30, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Why is There a Scrap of Paper with “5S = Failure Pls address” on My Desk?

Why is There a Scrap of Paper with “5S = Failure Pls address” on My Desk?

Mark’s Note: Today’s guest post is by Paul Critchley and while it shares a story from a manufacturing company, I could see a situation like this taking place in healthcare or in any large organization that doesn’t quite get what Lean is about. By Paul Critchley: Lean can be many things to many people; a […]

By September 4, 2015 4 Comments Read More →
Looking for a Manufacturing-Focused Lean Blogger to Join the Team

Looking for a Manufacturing-Focused Lean Blogger to Join the Team

I’ve been blogging since early 2005. After 10 years in manufacturing, I transitioned into healthcare in August 2005 (10 years ago this month). Naturally, my focus in my writing and podcasts has shifted more toward healthcare, although I try to write about topics that are relevant to manufacturing companies and other industries. read more

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)” read more

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 read more