Larry Fast in Industry Week, June 23, 2015, reported that fewer than 5 percent of organizations that try continuous improvement sustain it for more than 10 years. While Alan Nicol, in an article in Quality Digest, revealed that continual improvement events such as kaizen events don't work, at least not beyond their specific application.
The Ford Motor Company created what we now call the Toyota production system, and then forgot its own achievements to the extent that, when it next saw the productivity and quality methods it had developed, it believed them to be Japanese. Henry Ford emphasized standardization of the best known way to do a job because "the benefit of our experience cannot be thrown away". What he didn't do, however, was to standardize the lean manufacturing system that had made his company so successful. This system was therefore dependent on him and less than a handful of key personnel, including his son Edsel and his production chief Charles Sorensen. When they died or retired, the system fell apart very quickly. This underscores the need for a standard, whether official or unofficial, for a lean manufacturing system that will piggyback onto ISO 9001.
There are three main components to this standard's development:
First, the adoption of four lean key performance indicators (KPIs): waste of the time of things, time of people, materials, and energy. These are easy for the entire workforce to remember and cover almost every conceivable form of waste.
Next, an integrated lean assessment procedure called IMAIS (Isolate, Measure, Assess, Improve, and Standardize). This means to isolate each process analytically, measure the wastes, assess the situation for opportunities to remove the waste, improve the process accordingly, and standardize that improvement. IMAIS adds the concept of setting out to look for trouble, rather than reacting to trouble—the focus of traditional corrective and preventive action. This is important because, unlike poor quality that will knock on your door and tell you it is there, the wastes that are the focus of lean improvement activities are asymptomatic. They can waste 90 percent or more of a job's resources without causing obvious trouble.
Finally, creating a standard that piggybacks onto ISO 9001 is important because a quality management system (QMS) is a prerequisite for an effective lean management system (LMS). The LMS will use, for example, the QMS's document control system and control of quality records. The standard requires organizational commitment with reciprocal obligations for management and labor. These include provisions similar to those of ISO 9001 for planning, infrastructure, realization of the product or service, and measurement and continual improvement besides providing a formal, disciplined, and ongoing system for the identification and elimination of waste.
This webinar with quality, productivity and management expert William A. Levinson will focus on using a standard that everyone at the company can understand and implement as a means of building leanness into the very structure of your manufacturing system.
Who should attend?
William A. Levinson P.E.
William A. Levinson, P.E., is the principal of Levinson Productivity Systems, P.C. He is an ASQ Fellow, Certified Quality Engineer, Quality Auditor, Quality Manager, Reliability Engineer, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He is also the author of several books on quality, productivity, and management, of which the most recent ... More info