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Superfactory is operated by Factory Strategies Group, which provides training products and lean transformation strategy consulting to small and medium-sized companies.
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From the Editor
Welcome to the Superfactory Newsletter!
We just released our first major product in nearly two years, the Lean Enterprise Strategy Kit.
This Kit includes all training presentations, forms, worksheets, and tools required for an organization or smaller company to develop a lean-oriented strategic plan. It combines the best of traditional SWOT/PEST-based strategic planning with lean hoshin-style strategy and policy deployment. The kit includes a detailed 40-topic Lean Assessment that, unlike most lean assessments, focuses on behaviors and characteristics instead of tools, as well as a traditional Strategic Environment Assessment.
In true lean fashion the Kit first develops core principles and vision before diving into long-term strategy, three-year breakthrough objectives, and annual improvement plans. This is followed by the critical alignment and execution phase using concepts such as accountability boards, daily meetings, and gemba walks. Finally we emphasize continuous improvement of the plan itself through a focus on results and hansei reflection.
Learn more about the Lean Enterprise Strategy Kit here.
Our partner, Gemba Academy, also just released a new thirteen module video training course called The Kaizen Way. This in-depth course, part of The Complete Lean Package, includes a real-life kaizen event at a company that increased profits by 25% in the face of falling sales. Learn more here.
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- Kevin Meyer
Manufacturing Excellence News
Stories of interest to the lean community.
- Southern Folger's Lean Revolution
Correctional News - Bryce Hubner - ?21 hours ago?
- Quality Castings able to maintain employee base during hard times
Wooster Daily Record - Paul Locher - ?Oct 31, 2010?
- Tie Lean Six-Sigma To Tangible Business Impact
Automation World - Gary Mintchell - ?Oct 29, 2010?
- New plant will be 'best of Boeing'
HeraldNet - Michelle Dunlop - ?Oct 21, 2010?
- At Starbucks, Baristas Told No More Than Two Drinks
Wall Street Journal - Julie Jargon - ?Oct 13, 2010?
- What agile software development can do for government
FCW.com - Larry Albert - ?Oct 15, 2010?
- GE: Millions of $ for greener refrigeration
Greenbang - ?Oct 19, 2010?
- Medtronic Keeps Innovation on Pace
CFO.com Magazine - ?Oct 19, 2010?
- Hospitals Should Embrace What They Learned In Kindergarten
Xconomy - Lisa Suennen - ?Oct 26, 2010?
- Trimming the Fat of Labor Management
Software Advice - ?Nov 2, 2010?
- Analysis: Fixing relations to manage risk
Procurement Leaders News - ?1 hour ago?
In the Evolving Excellence Blog
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Those of you with iPhones and who regularly read a variety of lean blogs including Evolving Excellence will want to check out Lean Daily, a new, and free, lean blog aggregator app. More information.
Recent posts in the Evolving Excellence blog include:
Visit the Evolving Excellence blog...
The Superfactory LinkedIn
Group has over 5,000 members networking and discussing various aspects of lean manufacturing. Hot discussion topics this month include:
- Indicators for a non-continuous process
- What is the one thing you can do to keep employees motivated?
- Is manufacturing coming back to the U.S.?
- Three minutes to lean accounting.
Join the Superfactory LinkedIn Group to network with and learn from a group of lean leaders!
|11/04/2010||Lean Simulation - Atlanta, GA - Definity Partners|
|11/04/2010||Lean Purchasing - Dayton, OH - U-Dayton|
|11/08/2010||Lean Systems Certification - Week 2 - Lexington, KY - U-Kentucky|
|11/08/2010||Lean Purchasing - Dayton, OH - U-Dayton|
|11/09/2010||5S Visual Workplace - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/09/2010||Building the Lean Fulfillment Stream - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/09/2010||Key Concepts of Lean - Understanding TPS - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/09/2010||Value Stream Mapping for the Office and Service - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/10/2010||Developing People with Capability for Lean - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/10/2010||Standardized Work: The Foundation for Kaizen - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/10/2010||Sustainable Lean Culture: Connecting the Product and People Value Streams - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/10/2010||Inventory Management - Morris Plains, NJ - NJ MEP|
|11/11/2010||Principles of Lean Manufacturing - Morris Plains, NJ - NJ MEP|
|11/11/2010||Coaching Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/11/2010||Kaizen: The Culture of Continuous Improvement - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/11/2010||Optimizing Flow in Office and Service Processes - Los Angeles, CA - LEI|
|11/11/2010||Creating & Managing Service Level Agreements - Belleville, ON - EMC Canada|
|11/12/2010||Kaizen Approach to Cost Reduction - Mississauga, ON - EMC Canada|
|11/13/2010||Lean Simulation Hands-On Workshop - Cleveland, OH - Definity Partners|
|11/15/2010||Lean Product Development Certification - Ann Arbor, MI - U-Michigan|
|11/15/2010||AME Annual Conference - Baltimore, MD - AME|
|11/16/2010||World Class Logistics and Supply Chain Strategy - Atlanta, GA - Georgia Tech|
|11/16/2010||Managing to Learn: A3 Management - Cambridge, MA - LEI|
|11/17/2010||Lean Simulation - Cincinnati, OH - Definity Partners|
|11/18/2010||Lean Problem Solving - Cambridge, MA - LEI|
|11/19/2010||Creating & Managing Service Level Agreements - Brockville, ON - EMC Canada|
|11/30/2010||Columbus Lean Simulation - Columbus, OH - Definity Partners|
|11/30/2010||Lean Service - Dayton, OH - U-Dayton|
View the full events calendar...
The A3 Workbook
By Daniel Matthews
The A3 Workbook: Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind is designed to teach A3 Problem Solving to workers at every level of an organization.
This workbook provides a practical tool for solving specific problems or for making a specific proposal, while also encouraging the development of a corporate culture that empowers all employees to support continuous improvement. The workbook follows the progression of a basic A3 Problem Solving format, offering instructions every step of the way.
More Information | Previous featured books
How those with the condition can thrive in a lean environment
By Mike Micklewright
There’s a good chance that 20 percent of the people reading this article have dyslexia. Are you one of them? Are you proud that you have dyslexia? You should be. People with dyslexia typically are smart and creative. I wish I had it. Perhaps then, I would be leading my own huge consulting and training company rather than working as an independent consultant and trainer for the past 16 years.
I’ve asked my wife, Donna, if she thought I was dyslexic (kind of hoping she would say yes, as if that would suddenly make me more creative). She didn’t think so, but did feel I had at least one symptom of someone with dyslexia. She thought I did have… um… what was it again? Oh yeah, “word-finding issues,” which is oftentimes, but not always, a symptom.
I thought I might be a little dyslexic because I believe I have one of the positive characteristics of dyslexia—an ability to look at the big picture, think conceptually, and see relationships between two unrelated topics to form a third relationship or product. Maybe this is why I’ve been able to do stand-up comedy every so often, and how I linked “dyslexia” with “lean.”
A brief pause here for the collective, “Huh? How are they related?”
A couple months ago, my wife and I combined forces and gave a joint presentation at an American Society for Quality (ASQ) section meeting in Fox Valley, Illinois. I must say there was a great deal of interest. I then mentioned this presentation and the same general content as the emcee of the TWI Summit (Training Within Industry) in Las Vegas in May; again, there was a great deal of interest, especially from those with dyslexia or who have children with the learning disability—about 20 percent of the population. You see, people with dyslexia have suffered for years in an archaic school system that doesn’t know how to properly teach them, and continues to make them feel stupid and see themselves as complete idiots. They continue to suffer in the workplace as we in the workplace continue to not know how to teach them and continue to make them feel like idiots. We tend to treat them with disrespect.
Some of the attendees, especially those with dyslexia, came up after the presentations and, with tears in their eyes, thanked us for bringing up this sensitive subject. One person, a renowned TWI expert, confessed to me that he has dyslexia, and that he had struggled his entire childhood in school and failed many classes throughout his academic career. He also believed that this is why he became such a strong advocate of TWI—which many believe is the foundation for lean—because it teaches workers in an action-oriented and hands-on way, using multiple senses in its approach. Multisensory teaching is what those with dyslexia need to gain understanding of the topics, and it’s a standard part of TWI methodology.
Read the entire article | Previous featured articles
One Option is Competence
by Bill Waddell
The Washington Post wrote a story about Lighting Science Group decrying the loss of manufacturing jobs that result from American innovators. The gist of the article is that the US doesn't throw enough money at companies like LSG to compete with Mexico and China to keep the manufacturing of their whiz bang inventions here. As an ardent proponent of local manufacturing - no matter where 'local' is - I would normally be in favor the idea of helping outfits like this ramp up their production in the US. In their case, however, my concerns as a US taxpayer drive me to hope that not a thin dime from the government coffers flows their way.
CEO Zach Gibler says, "Like any manufacturer, we have to look at our options." One option he might want to consider is taking manufacturing seriously. Gibler is the head guy and has a pedigree in sales from Acuity Brands (a company boasting that 58% of its American sold stuff is either made in Mexico or by a third party, and is "reducing its manufacturing footprint" and laying people off as fast as possible). I don't think tossing taxpayer cash at anything he runs and expecting manufacturing jobs to magically appear is particularly wise. This is especially true in light if the fact the VP of Supply Chain also came from Acuity Brands and the Chief Operating Officer is a finance guy. There is not a serious manufacturing professional among the seniormanagement team.
Any question about whether these guys know anything about manufacturing can be dispelled by a quick glance through their most recent 10Q in which they acknowledge a lack of inventory control, the pictures of their stone age batch production operations including one showing 50 sub-assemblies being handled on wooden slabs, and their recent presentation to JP Morgan in which they describe China, Mexico and automation as their manufacturing strategy. In short, these folks are inept manufacturing managers and no amount of government money can change that. Better to have them fail on Mexico or China's dime than ours.
Technically innovative companies that fail as a result of the idea that inventions and money are all that matters, and manufacturing will somehow take care of itself, abound. LSG is hardly alone. Johnson & Johnson needed nine recalls to figure out that the women in charge who sees products as 'brands' and whose background doesn't appear to have included a single day actually working in a factory isn't going to get their manufacturing debacle straightened out.
Examples abound of companies that fail to see manufacturing as a serious endeavor, then conclude that they must run off to some cheap place or outsource production all together when - not too surprisingly - it is not done too well. Investors would never put their money into the hands of a senior management team that had finance run by an engineer with no accounting knowledge or experience, or sales and marketing in the hands of a guy from the factories who had never sold anything in his life, yet they routinely back companies that put production in the hands of people with no manufacturing qualifications whatsoever. While private investors certainly have the right to throw their money away so foolishly, the mere fact that someone claims to be a manufacturer is hardly justification for the government to throw my money down the drain in like fashion.
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