Each month new articles, book reviews, and other content are added to the Superfactory website. The new content is featured in the free monthly e-newsletter which goes out to 50,000 subscribers worldwide, and we will also post a monthly heads-up on this blog.
New content in May includes:
The featured article is from Bob Emiliani and is titled The Leadership Problem. The following is a brief excerpt, and you can read the entire article here.
The closest parallel to today’s challenge of advancing Lean management lies in the work done by proponents of Scientific Management 75 years ago. It was then they realized for certain that their movement would not gain broader acceptance nor be correctly applied unless the people who ran businesses exhibited a completely different type of leadership.
The challenges we face today in advancing Lean management are strikingly similar to what the proponents of Scientific Management faced in the 1920s. Around that time they began to realize that while the impact of Scientific Management in industry over the prior 30 years was substantial, it had fallen well short of expectations in terms of the level of improvement that could have been achieved and the favorable outcomes they anticipated key stakeholders would realize.
This was due largely to the widespread misunderstanding of Scientific Management as a set of efficiency improvement tools, rather than as a system of management that consisted of both principles and tools. The principle that people seemed to forget or ignore was the “intimate cooperation of the management with the workmen”. Today, in Lean management, this idea is more fully developed and called the “Respect for People” principle.
The Other Perspectives section has an article by Richard Ligus titled Organizational Development: The Missing Link of Lean Transformations. The following is a brief excerpt, and you can read the entire article here.
Lean Manufacturing is an operational strategy oriented toward achieving the shortest possible cycle time by eliminating waste. It is derived from the Toyota Production System and its key thrust is to increase the value-added work by eliminating waste and re-ducing incidental work. The technique often decreases the time between a customer order and shipment, and it is designed to radically improve profitability, customer satisfaction, throughput time, and employee morale.
The benefits generally are lower costs, higher quality, and shorter lead times. The term "lean manufacturing" is coined to represent half the human effort in the company, half the manufacturing space, half the investment in tools, and half the engineering hours to develop a new product in half the time.
Lean Manufacturing is in direct opposition with traditional manufacturing approaches characterized by use of economic order quantities, high capacity utilization, and high inventory. In changing from a traditional environment to one of lean production, cultural issues emerge quickly, as well as resistance to change. A managing change program is needed to accompany the effort.
But becoming a lean, world class company requires overcoming organizational inertia. Often overlooked are outdated cultures, ineffective management skills, untrained workers, bureaucratic red tape, and traditional pay and reward systems that do not fit. In a Lean Manufacturing transition, factories, systems, and organizations have to be streamlined. Lines of communications have to be opened. Barriers between departments have to be dismantled, and you must put an end to the "we’ve always done it that way" argument. To be successful, employees must be highly involved in assuming new skills and responsibilities.
We continually update the other major sections of the website, including:
- Events Calendar: a listing of lean excellence seminars, workshops, training, and conferences worldwide
- Topic Information: Summaries and resources on over 40 enterprise excellence topics.
- History of Excellence: A growing timeline of notable events that helped shape current-day enterprise excellence
- Online E-Learning Center: Fourteen interactive online presentations on the core concepts of lean manufacturing.
- PowerPoint Presentations: Over 50 downloadable PowerPoint presentations on lean manufacturing, quality, enterprise, and safety concepts.
- Factory Toolbox: Almost 300 downloadable forms, procedure templates, assessments, and tools to help you not reinvent the wheel.
- Tools and Assessments: Downloadable assessment tools.
- Virtual Factory Tours: Web and streaming video tours of over 100 factories.
We are always looking for new articles and other content. Contact us via the Superfactory website if you would like to contribute to our knowledge base.