Ever since I started doing the One Day Assessments about a year ago I have been getting hit with people asking how I can possibly evaluate so many aspects of a company in one day. While I have tried to convey the idea that it is the result of some deep, Zen-like wisdom with which I am uniquely endowed, the fact is that it is more of a parlor trick than anything else. I developed an Excel application with about 100 questions that I can ask and score a company and it rolls it all up and tells me where the big holes are in someone's lean effort. The computer can't do it all, but it organizes things and helps me sort out the most glaring issues. It took me a long time to develop and a lot of thinking went into it, and it's pretty good.
On an unrelated matter, the Special Excellence program has taken off like wildfire and I am having an impossible time keeping up. I went into it thinking it would be something I could handle in my spare time, but the folks running the centers that employ handicapped people to do contract manufacturing seem to take to lean like ducks to water. So a lot more time and money is going into developing and shipping out different lean training materials that are adapted to the unique circumstances of handicapped manufacturing. So much so that I have brought someone on board part time just to handle Special Excellence.
So I came up with a way to combine the two issues for everyone's benefit. I cleaned up my assessment tool and have it driving some pretty charts and graphs and I am selling it for $35 with all of the proceeds going to pay for the Special Excellence program. Strikes me as a win-win all the way around. For about the price of taking your sweetheart to the movies you get the tool that I have used with very good effect to convince people that I am a very good lean assessor so you can assess yourself just as effectively, and if I can peddle a few of them I can keep Special Excellence on its absurd trajectory and a lot of handicapped folks can get lean.
The assessment tool is 100 questions covering everything from how you use OEE to whether your IT folks are involved in lean; from the details of your factory scheduling to how you set your selling prices. For each question you rate yourself along a scale from 1 to 5, and there are milestones between the 1 and the 5 to guide you. For instance, to the question "Do you use OEE you rate yourself from (1) What's OEE, (2) On a few very expensive machines, (3) On constraint machines, (4) On every machine, to (5) On every machine and the results drive our kaizen efforts. So you pick a point that best describes where you are and plug in the number.
If you're interested, check it out here. Send in the form, we will email you the tool and a bill for the $35, and everyone comes out ahead.