Lean Article Features

Jody Muelaner's picture
Jody Muelaner
The seven basic tools of quality are a standard set of graphical methods for improving quality. They can help with understanding variation and determining the root cause of errors in processes. The...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Lean production is built on the explicit assumption that each step is operated predictably and capably. Predictable operation can only be achieved and maintained by using process behavior charts....
William A. Levinson's picture
William A. Levinson
Almost half of Americans work in low-wage jobs despite the nation’s low unemployment rate. Aimee Picchi, writing for CBS News, cites a Brookings study that says “44 percent of U.S. workers are...
Casandra Robinson's picture
Casandra Robinson
Perhaps for as many as 40,000 years, people have been protecting their feet with some type of covering, initially using animal hides and fur. Today, footwear has become high-tech, sophisticated, and...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
As readers of my columns know, I am an ardent student of the Toyota Production System (TPS). One of the core philosophies of TPS is kaizen, often translated from Japanese as “continuous improvement...
Paavo Käkelä's picture
Paavo Käkelä
After two decades of offshore productions in low-cost countries, manufacturers are now struggling with the rapidly growing salaries and countereffects of cheap production. The question that...
Phanish Puranam's picture
Phanish Puranam
Machine learning, the latest incarnation of artificial intelligence (AI), works by detecting complex patterns in past data and using them to predict future data. Since almost all business decisions...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
‘It’s the shoes!” Spike Lee yelled into the camera on the Air Jordan ads. But it was never the shoes. Michael, Magic, and LeBron would have outplayed their leagues in golf cleats. It was never the...
Gwendolyn Galsworth's picture
Gwendolyn Galsworth
Two of my articles (the first regarding standards, standardization, and standard work; and the second on visual standards) drew a lot of response. Readers were kind enough to share their...
Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest's picture
Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest
Government bureaucracies are inefficient. They waste taxpayer dollars, and they have no incentive to improve. We’ve all heard and probably repeated these axioms about wasteful government spending....
Ryan E. Day's picture
Ryan E. Day
Lean: an employee-championed method of waste reduction. Six Sigma: a robust method of defect reduction. Embracing both methods provides organizations with multiple tools for continuous improvement....
Taran March @ Quality Digest's picture
Taran March @ Quality Digest
At the University of California at San Diego, lean concepts have taken hold. Along with its process improvement curriculum, the university applies what it teaches through initiatives around campus....
Ryan E. Day's picture
Ryan E. Day
Lean looks at ways to reduce waste and improve flow. The principles are relevant to virtually every organizational sector and vertical. It’s no surprise, then, that so many organizations tout lean...
Jody Muelaner's picture
Jody Muelaner
Understanding the causes of faults and defects, and then improving the system or process so it won’t happen again, is central to lean manufacturing. This article looks at some of the methods...
Takeshi Yoshida's picture
Takeshi Yoshida
‘Lean” is such a convenient term; everyone uses it based on their own definition. People frequently use “lean” in place of “efficiency,” probably because it sounds more cool. Another round of cost...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
In today’s column, I’m looking at Weber’s Law. It’s named after Ernst Heinrich Weber (born June 24, 1795, died Jan. 26, 1878), a German physician who was one of the pioneers of experimental...
William A. Levinson's picture
William A. Levinson
The Automotive Industry Action Group’s (AIAG’s) and German Association of the Automotive Industry’s (VDA’s) new Failure Mode and Effects Analysis Handbook (AIAG, 2019) offers significant advances...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
This year marks the 35th anniversary of a remarkable and unfortunately also singular event in my career: In 1985, my employer, United Electric Controls (UE), elected to remove time clocks from the...
Paul Foster's picture
Paul Foster
If you’re new to layered process audits, it’s critical to make sure everyone on your team is on the same page with basic terms. Here we provide a guide of 16 essential terms to know when launching...
Harry Hertz's picture
Harry Hertz
‘I have been offered a significant increase in salary by another employer and am giving my two-week notice.” My guess is that this is the most common reason given when employees quit their current...