4 min read

Additional Capacity vs Additional Inventory: Which is a Better Solution?

By Gauthier Duval on Jun 6, 2022 9:52:58 AM

You’ll sometimes hear inventory referred to as “crystallized capacity,” the idea being that when you have limited capacity, building inventory is a solution that helps you meet customer demand. The typical example is a seasonal business, like a manufacturer of skiing equipment. 

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence
7 min read

Value Stream Mapping: Trap or Treasure?

By Gauthier Duval on Apr 21, 2022 4:08:29 PM

Value stream mapping seems like a cryptic artificial constraint to the outsider, but it can actually be a powerful tool for your business. If you get past seeing this as a documentation exercise and explore the possibilities it exposes for operational improvements, you’ll see how a value stream map is worth your time.

Topics: Lean Methodology
5 min read

The Six Ideals of the Toyota Production System

By Gauthier Duval on Apr 1, 2022 11:00:00 AM

Many people know about the two pillars of the Toyota Production System (TPS): just-in-time and jidoka, and they probably know the two principles of TPS – continuous improvement and respect for people.

Topics: Lean Methodology
4 min read

Why Standard Work is the “Secret Weapon” of the Best Lean Companies

By Gauthier Duval on Mar 4, 2022 9:51:26 AM

In this blog, we’ll provide a solution to a common problem across all industries: insufficient standardization, leading to quality issues and inconsistent throughput rates.

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence
4 min read

What is Kaizen?

By Steven Calhoun on Feb 11, 2022 11:00:00 AM

Kaizen is a term you’ll hear thrown out casually in conversation with many manufacturing leaders. If you’ve been using context clues to get by this far, you’ve likely figured out that it has something to do with always improving. So what exactly is kaizen, and why are people talking about it?

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence
7 min read

Why Most Businesses Can’t Sustain 5S

By Gauthier Duval on Feb 2, 2022 3:24:10 PM

Want a real challenge? I challenge you to find a factory with more than 20 people that doesn’t at least try to apply 5S.

Topics: Lean Methodology
6 min read

Andon Systems: Definition, Types, and Benefits

By Steven Calhoun on Jan 28, 2022 11:21:08 AM

You’ve probably encountered a scenario in which you needed to stop production to solve an issue causing defects. And you probably lost more productivity than you would have liked, especially if you didn't find out about it until a few hours later when someone casually mentioned the problem at the water cooler like it was common knowledge.

Topics: Lean Methodology
6 min read

Pull Production Systems: Push vs Pull, Types, and Tools

By Steven Calhoun on Jan 12, 2022 3:34:10 PM

Stacking inventory as a buffer is a common practice, but it often goes too far. In the worst cases, businesses produce everything ahead of time and then hope to sell it all, only to find that engineering made an urgent modification to the product or that the forecasts were way off.

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence
6 min read

Visual Management in Manufacturing and Logistics

By Steven Calhoun on Dec 30, 2021 10:45:00 AM

There are likely many times you’ve encountered problems that arose from something being unclear. Communication is key, as the saying goes. That’s where visual management comes in.

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence
4 min read

What is Poka-Yoke? (Definition, Examples, and Benefits)

By Steven Calhoun on Nov 17, 2021 11:15:00 AM

Have you ever gone through the steps of a process and thought, “Wow, that was easy”? If you have, there’s a chance that poka-yoke was involved. There’s a common refrain that good design goes unnoticed. Maybe that’s why you haven’t heard of poka-yoke until just now.

Topics: Lean Methodology