Shingo Recognizes Lean Bombs

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Sandia's neutron generator production wins Shingo Prize – New Mexico Business Weekly:

I'm surprised that the U.S. government would spent time and energy trying to win a Shingo Prize. I don't doubt their lean efforts, don't get me wrong.

Sandia produces neutron generators in support of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Lab officials say the production center has applied lean manufacturing concepts over the past five years that have led to a 67 percent increase in capacity, a 55 percent reduction in inventory, and a 75 percent decrease in cycle times — all while taking on three new assignments with no increases in budget or staff.

I think we're all glad that the nuclear weapons are a “stockpile.” We'd rather have them be the “waste of inventory” rather than being used. Necessary to have, but good to not use them.

Do you think the Sandia management applied for it as a way of recognizing their employees' efforts? Something to be proud of and recognized for? That's what might make sense to me.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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