Lean Workforce in Hospitals

I've been a big fan of Mark Graban's for years, but only just had the opportunity to work with him. About 2 weeks ago we delivered a webinar focused on Lean in hospitals. If you haven't heard of Mark, he's a highly respected Lean expert and author of Lean Hospitals among other books on the … Continue reading Lean Workforce in Hospitals

Turning the soft term “employee engagement” into hard operational results

Last week I was in London where I participated in Works Management's “The Great Productivity Debate” which was hosted by WM editor Max Gosney. Max began the event with some statistics from the Office of National Statistics that rated the UK as having low productivity compared to other European nations as well as the US. … Continue reading Turning the soft term “employee engagement” into hard operational results

Competitive Manufacturing in the UK

I was in the UK last week and had an opportunity to participate in a production tour of a local manufacturer. This company produces consumer goods for yard care and is a great example of a manufacturer that sees the extremes of variability in their business. Imagine if your company received five percent of its … Continue reading Competitive Manufacturing in the UK

You’ve been commoditized, now what?

Commoditization of a product is a natural evolution of the market and is not the worst case scenario. If you are responsible for a commodity product, that means there is still a viable market for what you build. This is a much better proposition than being obsolesced. Your main problem is that while you have … Continue reading You’ve been commoditized, now what?

Why Lean Fails

Lean desperately needs a political advisor. Political campaigns are difficult because the candidate must become the person that provides a vision for a wide range of issues to a broad base of constituents. When candidates get into the details, people get lost, bored or they begin hearing things they don’t like. As a result, successful … Continue reading Why Lean Fails

Hitting the Continuous Improvement wall

Ask a manufacturing engineer or production supervisor how long they have been under pressure to reduce costs and improving productivity and they’ll most likely say since they started working. Improvement methodologies such as Total Quality Management and Design for Manufacturability come on strong and manufacturers rally around them as a new approach to wringing incremental … Continue reading Hitting the Continuous Improvement wall

Variance reports apply to Timekeeping and Payroll too

As I introduced in my book Lean Labor, the Perfect Paycheck is a concept borrowed from the manufacturing term “Perfect Order”. A Perfect Paycheck one that is accurate, delivered on time, and at the right price. Delivering a Perfect Paycheck is a good first step in achieving Lean Labor. That’s because not only does it … Continue reading Variance reports apply to Timekeeping and Payroll too

Human Resources: We need your help to optimize the labor supply chain.

As the topic of finding skilled workers to work at manufacturers continues around the world, leave it to China to push a solution forward. China’s Ministry of Education has announced the cancellation of majors at its colleges that have not found employment for more that 60% of its graduates for 2 consecutive years. I read … Continue reading Human Resources: We need your help to optimize the labor supply chain.

Can productivity and innovation be compatible co-workers?

“Improve productivity” is one of the oldest goals in manufacturing. We’re told with higher levels of productivity come lower unit costs and all will be good. Market share improves, jobs are secured and even the standard of living can increase. It’s such an important metric that it is measured by government agencies around the world … Continue reading Can productivity and innovation be compatible co-workers?