An interesting article over at Industry Week:
Lean’s High Tech Makeover – Toyota matches its Toyota Production System with advanced automation tools to create a high tech ballet of lean manufacturing
This is the article I mentioned for which I was interviewed a while back.
New Lean Management Article
If you are so inclined, you can read my latest article on the fundamentals and importance of management in the lean journey over on my web site.
Two cents worth of coffee
Kevin wrote a piece the other day likening the Keurig single cup system to lean. Lots of good comments. Seems to me many of those suggesting that making less than full pots with old style drip coffee makers and the French press advocates (including the author of the lengthy email Kevin and I received argiung in favor of EOQ and forecasting to solve the problem of coffee waste) ignored the part of Kevin’s post that mentioned “the varying demands of a crowd“.
Making a partial pot in a drip maker is efficient enough so long as there is only one kind of coffee needed. Introduce two products, however – she drinks regular and he drinks decaf, for instance – and the math changes. Brewing a partial pot of one, then cleaning out the pot and reloading it for the other type wastes a lot of time. The Keuring beats that approach hands down. Having more than one product is the norm in production and Kevin’s analogy of the Keuring system to one piece flow in the factory is right on point -IMHO, of course.
The Unlean Education System
One reason the cost of a college education is totally out of whack relative to the value it provides is the propensity for academia to create bureaucracy. This article about “The Troubling Dean to Professor Ratio” over at Business Week should leave you shaking your head.
Mark Welch says
The Troubling Dean to Professor Ratio article had me more than shaking my head – it had me nearly nauseous. I’m currently helping put my 3rd child through college. It’s clear that those in the higher levels of higher education have very little concept of what value to the paying students – and paying parents – truly is. Are any of those administrators actually TEACHING?!?!
Mark Graban says
With education inflation outpacing that of healthcare, where is the outcry for “education reform” and the need to “bend the cost curve” in education?
Not to mention quality… are we getting better quality education for the higher price???
Maybe “big education” is in bed with government in a way that healthcare can’t even imagine so they aren’t a political target the way healthcare is?
Bob Emiliani says
Bill – You should have said: “…propensity for academic administrators to create bureaucracy.” Faculty have been very frustrated by this for more than 20 years.
Mark W. – Most administrators don’t teach.
Mark G. – There is a big outcry for HE reform. Big education is not in bed with government. We’re a big target anyway, rightly so.
I pay two college tuitions. It hurts.
For some ideas on how to improve higher ed, see the second video “Lean in Higher Education” http://www.gembaacademy.com/webinars/emiliani.html
Paul Todd says
I believe we will see higher education begin to contract in a harsh way. Kids are realizing that entering the workforce with $40,000 in tuition debt and a weak degree is a recipe for a lifetime of poverty. Next stop: plunging enrollment at colleges that have been expanding their campuses for the the last ten years.
David Hallsted says
The teacher article seems in line with industry. The teachers/workers who add value are paid ½ to a ¼ of what the non-value adding administers/managers are paid.
I was in the store on Black Friday and the network was going down. I saw the IT person running around trying to trouble shoot while customers were figuring out “do I wait in a long line for one working register” or just leave. No one has the manual credit card imprinter which would have been a simple backup plan.
Which takes me to relying on IT for manufacturing, “What is the backup plan for an advance assembly line?” There is none because you got rid of the folks who knew how to assembly the cars.
I guess the word “advance” stands for, “Any dumb variance in automation never beats clever employees”
Yeah I am still working on it.
Steve Hodgson says
Bill’s post just made me realize the solution to the coffee problem is to simply have BOTH. There. Problem solved!