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  • Don’t go Lean

    Don’t go Lean

    Tom Southworth || April 19, 2012
    That got your attention, didn’t it? What on earth do I mean, don’t go Lean?

  • Gemba walks

    Tom Southworth || March 8, 2012
    Let me start off by asking you a question. Have you heard of the word gemba before and, if you have, what does gemba mean to you?  Gemba is a Japanese word that means the real or actual place. Walking the gemba, the real or actual place, is a k…

  • The 3P’s of kaizen

    Tom Southworth || January 18, 2012
    Lean practitioners are familiar with Production Preparation Process, or 3P, which enables organizations to eliminate waste using a rigorous, structured process. Many companies are familiar with eliminating waste through kaizen, or continuous improvem…

  • A War on Waste

    May 24, 2011
    There are approximately 12 million people working in manufacturing in the United States at roughly 332,000 companies. Most of these employees work for small to mid-size firms, those employing 250 or fewer people. Ninety-seven percent of manufacturing…

  • Developing a Lean Thinking Workforce

    August 27, 2010
    So much time and energy has been spent and will continue to be spent on learning and using the tools of Lean that we've all become very familiar with. Tools like value stream mapping, 5S, point-of-use-storage and kanban can be easy to understand sinc…

  • Words of the masters

    November 16, 2009
    For this month's column I've decided to publish some quotes that I've come across over the past few years that, I feel, help drive home some of the basic precepts of Lean Manufacturing. The first quote comes from a United States Army manual titled…

  • Don't fall back

    October 7, 2009
    I was struggling to come up with a suitable topic for this month's issue when my wife suggested something related to the upcoming autumnal equinox, "falling back," and "What could a company do with that extra hour?" Light bulbs (eco-friendly, of cour…

  • Training

    July 7, 2009
    If you were to do a search of company mission statements you would probably find that many companies, if not a majority, make the claim that their employees are their most important asset, or something to that effect. It's a nice statement, but is it…

  • Steering the wrong course

    October 8, 2008
    Over the past year I've written about ways that you, the label converter, can make successful inroads on your Lean journey. This month we'll take a different tack and discuss how things can go wrong, terribly wrong, and derail or even stop your journ…