Lean Article

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

In last week’s Quality Digest Live: Data for artificial intelligence, data for your quality management system, and Karl Popper meets Taiichi Ohno.

“Why AI Is the New Electricity

Artificial intelligence will have the same impact on the world that electricty has.


New ISO 20400 Standard Helps Organizations Integrate Sustainability Into Their Procurement Processes

Anna Nagurney’s picture

By: Anna Nagurney

The American economy is underpinned by networks. Road networks carry traffic and freight; the internet and telecommunications networks carry our voices and digital information; the electricity grid is a network carrying energy; financial networks transfer money from bank accounts to merchants. They’re vast, often global systems—but a local disruption can really block them up.

For example, the I-85 bridge collapse in Atlanta will affect that city’s traffic for months. A seemingly minor train derailment at New York’s Penn Station resulted in multiple days of travel chaos in April 2017.

Dawn Bailey’s picture

By: Dawn Bailey

The message for audience members who attended the 29th Annual Quest for Excellence Conference held last week was, “Prepare for an inspiring journey.” This was the advice of keynote presenter Polly LaBarre, co-founder and director of Management Lab (MLab) and co-founder of Management Innovation eXchange (MIX).

Addressing some probing questions—such as “How do you create organizations that unleash rather than squash human potential?”—LaBarre revealed practical, high-impact ways to innovate, adapt, and succeed, redefining how leadership, change, innovation, collaboration, employee engagement, organizational culture, accountability, and disruptive strategy are done.

Multiple Authors
By: Lars Fæste, Jim Hemerling

Digital disruption is reaching beyond technology to engulf a variety of industries, including manufacturing, transportation, energy, healthcare, and construction, that constitute a significant portion of the global economy. Manufacturing alone accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. GDP, according to The World Bank.

The disruption represents opportunity as well as threat. But to seize this opportunity, companies in these industries will need to act as the technology, retail, and media industries already have: by embracing fast-moving change, creating multiple low-cost tech initiatives, killing lagging projects quickly, and committing to “always on” transformation—that is, profoundly changing their strategy, business model, and operating model on an ongoing basis in order to stay ahead.

Ryan E. Day’s picture

By: Ryan E. Day

Sponsored Content

Brian Vinson may have one of the best jobs in the country. Vinson works as director of engineering with AWE Tuning, an automotive aftermarket company that provides award-winning, handcrafted performance exhausts, track-tested carbon-fiber intakes, and performance intercoolers.

“Well, we do get to play with some very interesting vehicles on occasion,” says Vinson. “We have a super-skilled set of individuals hanging around here, and we make some ‘bad-ass’ product for sure.”


But it’s not all fun and games when engineering excellence is in your company’s DNA. It’s a considerable challenge for a company continually striving for higher standards in a dynamic market.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

In this week's Quality Digest Live: Lean Ben Franklin... who knew? Could the root cause of some manmade catastrophes simply be a lack of basics like humility, integrity, communication, and positivity? Connected spenders is what you want. And what’s the most important question to ask about your audit program?

“A Short History of Lean”

The history of lean goes back further than you might think.


“The Most Important Question to Ask About Your Audit Program”

Effectively leveraged, audit information can transform organizations. Tom Middleton of Sparta Systems tells us why.

“Report Identifies New Consumer Group: Connected Spenders”

Joel Bradbury’s picture

By: Joel Bradbury

One of the most important goals of lean manufacturing is the elimination of waste. Taiichi Ohno, father of the Toyota Production System (TPS), defined three categories of waste: mura, muri, and muda. While muda is the most widely known, muri and mura are equally important to understand.

Roger Jensen’s picture

By: Roger Jensen

For several decades, manufacturers have been pursuing lean on their shop floors to reduce costs and improve lead times through waste elimination and process improvement. They have been less successful, however, in reaping lean’s potential benefits in their purchasing, planning, and supply chain operations, areas that promise significant potential improvement.

Identifying and eliminating the 8 Wastes; reducing nonvalue-adding activities; and creating 5S workplaces, standard work, and continuous improvement have been the tools that have permitted successful lean implementers to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive world. The Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) has assisted many clients in applying lean on the factory floor and in developing lean cultures, with incredible results. A 2015 study found that OMEP had delivered more than $1 billion in direct economic impacts within Oregon through cost savings, job creation, and increased sales since 2002.

Many may not realize how valuable lean is in their purchasing operations.

Christopher Martin’s picture

By: Christopher Martin

Recently, during one of my many adventures across the internet, I stumbled across a photo that struck me. It depicts an aisle of a U.S. drugstore, where nearly every single product facing has a tag on it announcing a price and a limited-time promotion. The entire row is covered with bright yellow tags, begging anybody passing to see what the fuss is about. However, my only thought (and others’, too, judging by the top comments on the post this picture was featured in), was, “I would hate to have been the one to put all those tags up.”

It’s a common sight. Many drugstores, grocery stores, and big box chains use this tactic to communicate not only new sales, but also everyday prices that they claim are lower than the competition. I reached out to a friend who, once upon a time, worked at one of these grocery stores, where his responsibilities included adjusting  pricing displays.

Matthew Muller’s picture

By: Matthew Muller

I have been inspired to write this article after learning about Joseph Juran and understanding the effect he has had on our society. I started working at Juran Global about six months ago, and since then I’ve had several friends and past colleagues reach out to me with questions like, “What is Juran?” and “What do you guys do?” I figured this would be the best place to explain why our organization exists.

Whether you recognize it or not, the quality of products, services, and processes affect our lives on a daily basis. Let's look at what quality actually is. In his book Dr. Juran’s Quality Essentials: For Leaders (McGraw-Hill Education, 2014), Joseph DeFeo, CEO of Juran Global, points out that from the customer’s perspective, quality means that a product or service is “fit for the purpose” that the customer has in mind. Fitness has two meanings:
1. The product or service has the right features to meet the customer’s needs
2. The product or service is delivered without failures

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