Article about Delphi and Lean


    Kokomo Tribune Online:

    “Guggina said Delphi implemented lean manufacturing in the early 1990s. The company's standardized approach is now known as the Delphi Manufacturing System.

    ‘It means build only what you need when you need it — nothing more, nothing less,' Guggina said. ‘We hold a very specific amount on the line. It's kind of like the supermarket mentality: We only use what we need.'”

    It's always interesting to me to think about the concept of “build only what you need ” (a build-to-order or Dell type model that certainly eliminates the waste of inventory) vs the concept of heijunka or leveling. In some cases, especially when capacity is expensive, it can actually make more sense to build at a steady rate and build some inventory before you really need it.

    But, as with many things, there are no easy cookbook rules — the sweet spot in that balance depends on your company and your industry, factors including capacity cost, inventory cost, risk of obsolescence, quality risk, etc.

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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