Lean Thinking: This question often comes up in Lean discussions. I think it has been best answered by W. Edwards Deming.
He’s maybe a little harsh in saying that businesses may not know what they are doing. However, we would argue that without being able to describe what you do as a process, your clients are probably having a different experience of your product or service depending on who they are interacting with.
Imagine being recommended the roast duck at Emilio’s by a colleague when visiting her town. After relating your mediocre experience next day, she said, “Oh no, you should have waited until Thursday. That’s when Emilio himself comes in and he can make a mean roast duck”. Marvellous!
There’s also been much talk lately about ‘process’ in sports. If any team is unsure of the process, then improvements are simply trial and error as opposed to building on what has already been established as best practice.
So, can we describe Marketing as a process? Finance? Purchasing? Retail? Hospitality? Healthcare?
Lean Thinking in the Business
Our argument would be that any function in any business needs to be understood as a process.
The individuals in that organisation need a baseline process and those individuals need to be supported to improve that process.
Errors, Complaints and Accidents should all be viewed as feedback and opportunities to strengthen the process.
Staff should be encouraged not to accept errors. They should be encouraged to highlight when they are unable to perform their tasks effectively. Everyone should be encouraged not to pass on problems.
This is a brave undertaking for any management team, but it is the start of the Lean journey for everyone!
The ETAC Solutions Team
The level 5 “Lean Manufacturing Tools” programme will be run in a new format in 2015.
In the early 90’s the concept of Lean Manufacturing was introduced by Womack & Jones. The team studied the automotive industry at the time and found dramatic differences in performance and bottom-line profitability particularly between US and Japanese companies. They found best practice results at Toyota in japan.
The Toyota Production System is concerned with maximising value in any process and eliminating waste whilst transforming the value chain, the sequence of events that deliver the client requirements. The tools target improvement in quality, reliability, workplace organisation, and streamlining material and information flows.
This Level 5 programme is designed to give the delegates an overall knowledge of how to use these key tools. As part of the programme, the learner will apply the tools to an improvement project within their operation. The attendants will be presented with the concepts and techniques allowing to practically apply the tools by using simple exercises and modules.
This is a 5-day programme run over 12 weeks. All participants are required to deliver a Lean improvement project within their business. On successful completion of the course, candidates are awarded a Level 5 credit on the National Framework of Qualifications.
Task 1: Lean Thinking
Task 2: Project Charter
Task 3: Kaizen
Task 4: 8-step process improvement
Task 5: Value Stream Mapping
Task 6: Workplace Organisation (5s)
Task 7: Kanban
Task 8: Quick Changeover (SMED)
Task 9: Standard Work
Task 10: Asset Care (TPM)
Times: 9am till 5pm
For more information
please contact: ETAC Limited
Docklands Innovation Park,
128-130 East Wall Road,