Matt Hrivnak

Kaizen: There's always another future state

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Filed under Lean, Lean Quotes

Shingo’s Lean Banana Quote

By all accounts, the following quote came from Shigeo Shingo (of course, I wasn’t there to hear it said, but he gets the credit),  “When you buy bananas all you want is the fruit not the skin, but you have to pay for the skin also. It is a waste. And you the customer should not have to pay for the waste.”


Update to original post:  Officially reported by Norman Bodek as having been used by Dr. Shingo at an APICS conference in Las Vegas, as “When you buy bananas you only want to eat the inside but you also have to pay for the skin.  This skin is a waste.”  Special thanks to Norman, and to Paul Akers (who is probably the greatest proponent of lean in the past 10 years via his company FastCap, his travels and his online presence) for posting Norman’s writings.

The truth in this quote is rock solid, but one important fact that people often over look is the type of waste that the banana peel actually represents.  At one time or another, every lean practitioner/participant has been run through Ohno’s 7 wastes:

  1. Overproduction:  producing too much, contributing to the other 6 wastes
  2. Waiting:  people/processes waiting for supplies or go aheads to produce
  3. Conveyance:  unnecessary movement of parts/supplies
  4. Processing:  incorrect or unnecessary processing
  5. Inventory:  more on hand than is actually required
  6. Motion:  operators making unnecessary motions, looking for tools/supplies
  7. Correction:  inspection, rework, etc.

Now, you can find one of those categories in which to put the banana peel, but what type of waste is it?  What do I mean by that?  Well, is it Type I or Type II waste?

  • Type I Waste (Type I Muda):  anything that creates no value, but that is unavoidable due to current technologies, machine or resource limitations, etc.
  • Type II Waste (Type II Muda):  anything that creates no value and can be eliminated immediately.

The banana peel, while obviously being waste, is an unavoidable necessity to the development, harvesting, and delivery of the fruit to the customer.  I would prefer to buy the banana in its organic sleeve and pay a few extra cents instead of buying it peeled, rotten and mushy.

Perhaps the banana industry will find a way to genetically engineer a skinless banana that stays fresh as long as banana in the peel, but until then, I’ll take my banana with its Type I Muda attached!

 

Shingo’s Lean Banana Quote

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Comments (4) Posted by matt on Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Filed under Lean, Lean Quotes, Six Sigma

Over the years I have collected several quotes from various Lean and Six Sigma professionals, historians and trainers.  I have listed most of them below and will continue to expand the list as time goes on.  Enjoy!

“A bad system will defeat a good person every time.” – Deming 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but habit.” – Aristotle 

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.” – Chinese Proverb

“Quick and Crude is better than Slow and Elegant” – John R. Black, William F. Christopher, from A World Class Production System: Lessons of 20 Years in Pursuit of World Class

“We will win and you will lose. You cannot do anything because your failure is an internal disease. Your companies are based on Taylor’s principles. Worse, your heads are Taylorized too. You firmly believe that sound management means executives on the one side and workers on the other, on the one side men who think and on the other side men who only work.” – Konusuke Matsushita

“Lean is not a program, it is a total strategy.” – Alex Miller, Professor of Management at The University of Tennessee

“Due to the set-up times, the tendency is to produce in batches that are larger than the order quantities. This supposedly utilizes the equipment more efficiently, reduces set-up costs, and reduces unit product cost. But any production in excess of immediate market demand ends up as finished-goods inventory. The result of producing these large batches in today’s competitive marketplace is poor customer service despite high levels of inventory.” – M. Michael Umble and Mokshagundam L. Srikanth. Synchronous Management: Profit-Based Manufacturing for the 21st Century. Spectrum Publishing: 1997.

“Finished goods are products that we have made that no one wants.” “Raw materials are products that we have bought that we don’t need.” – Tom Greenwood, Director of the University of Tennessee Lean Enterprise Forum

“Implementing Lean concepts and principles is not a technological issue, it is primarily a management and human resource issue.” – Kenneth E. Kirby, Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at The University of Tennessee

“We do not suggest that you throw your MRP systems away. MRP should be used for purposes of planning and pull mechanisms should be used as much as possible for purposes of execution.” – Kenneth E. Kirby, Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at The University of Tennessee

“Many people think that Lean is about cutting heads, reducing the work force or cutting inventory. Lean is really a growth strategy. It is about gaining market share and being prepared to enter in or create new markets.” – Ernie Smith, Lean Event Facilitator in the Lean Enterprise Forum at the University of Tennessee

“Kanban is like the milkman. Mom didn’t give the milkman a schedule. Mom didn’t use MRP. She simply put the empties on the front steps and the milkman replenished them. That is the essence of a pull system” – Ernie Smith, Lean Event Facilitator in the Lean Enterprise Forum at the University of Tennessee

“If you do what you always did, you get what you always got.” – Gerhard Plenert and Bill Kirchmier. Finite Capacity Scheduling: Management, Selection, and Implementation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc: 2000.

“Failure to change is a vice” – Hiroshi Okuda

“There are three kinds of leaders.  Those that tell you what to do.  Those that allow you to do what you want.  And Lean leaders that come down to the work and help you figure it out.” – John Shook

Again, with any of the lean quotes I present, I try to be as accurate as possible.  If you see any discrepancies, please email me.

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Comments (0) Posted by matt on Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Filed under Lean, Lean Quotes, productivity

Eliyahu M. Goldratt & Jeff Cox gave us several good quotes related to manufacturing in the book,  The Goal:  Excellence in Manufacturing (later called The Goal:  A Process of Ongoing Improvement).  The book, a work of fiction, leads readers into the concept of the Theory of Constraints through an easy to read novel setting.  These are some famous quotes from The Goal:

“Make the bottlenecks work only on what will contribute to throughput today … not nine months from now. That’s one way to increase capacity at the bottlenecks. The other way you increase bottleneck capacity is to take some of the load off the bottlenecks and give it to non-bottlenecks.” – quote from The Goal

“If we reduce batch sizes by half, we also reduce by half the time it will take to process a batch. That means we reduce queue and wait by half as well. Reduce those by half, and we reduce by about half the total time parts spend in the plant. Reduce the time parts spend in the plant and our total lead time condenses. And with faster turn-around on orders, customers get their orders faster.” – quote from The Goal

“An hour saved at the non-bottleneck is a mirage.” – quote from The Goal

“I say an hour lost at a bottleneck is an hour out of the entire system. I say an hour saved at a non-bottleneck is worthless. Bottlenecks govern both throughput and inventory.”  – quote from The Goal

Again, with any of the lean quotes I present, I try to be as accurate as possible.  If you see any discrepancies, please email me.

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Comments (1) Posted by matt on Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Filed under Lean, Lean Quotes, productivity

Taiichi Ohno (1912 – 1990) was a Toyota executive and one of the chief architects of the Toyota Production System.  He wrote several books about Toyota, most notably Toyota Production System:  Beyond Large-Scale Production and Workplace Management.  I have used Taiichi Ohno Quotes from the very beginning of my lean journey to help me both learn about TPS and to help spread the knowledge to anyone that would listen.

 

These are some famous Taiichi Ohno quotes:

“All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes.” – Taiichi Ohno

“The only place that work and motion are the same thing is the zoo where people pay to see the animals move around” (not exact phrase) – Taiichi Ohno

“Where there is no Standard there can be no Kaizen” – Taiichi Ohno

“Why not make the work easier so the person doesn’t have to sweat?  The Toyota style is not to create results by working hard. It is a system that says there is no limit to people’s creativity.  People don’t go to Toyota to ‘work’ they go there to ‘think.’” – Taiichi Ohno

“Costs do not exist to be calculated. Costs exist to be reduced.” – Taiichi Ohno

“The key to the Toyota Way and what makes Toyota stand out is not any of the individual elements…But what is important is having all the elements together as a system. It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner, not in spurts.” – Taiichi Ohno

“The more inventory a company has, the less likely they will have what they need.” – Taiichi Ohno

“Data is of course important in manufacturing, but I place the greatest emphasis on facts.” – Taiichi Ohno

Again, with any of the lean quotes I present, I try to be as accurate as possible.  If you see any discrepancies in these Taiichi Ohno Quotes, please email me.

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Comments (4) Posted by matt on Monday, May 5th, 2008

Filed under Lean, Lean Quotes, productivity

Shigeo Shingo (1909 – 1990) was an Industrial Engineer who worked as a consultant with a number of companies before finally being brought in to further develop the Toyota Production System.  His most notable contributions and accomplishments include SMED (quick changeovers), Standard[ized] Work and methods of error-proofing.  Shigeo Shingo quotes are some of the greatest lean quotes because of their simplistic nature and ability to transcend any time period.

These are some of the most famous Shigeo Shingo quotes:

“The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.” – Shigeo Shingo

“When you buy bananas all you want is the fruit not the skin, but you have to pay for the skin also. It is a waste. And you the customer should not have to pay for the waste.” – Shigeo Shingo

“A relentless barrage of ‘why’s’ is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo.  Use it often.” – Shigeo Shingo

“Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before.” – Shigeo Shingo

“The best approach is to dig out and eliminate problems where they are assumed not to exist.” – Shigeo Shingo

“Are you too busy for improvement? Frequently, I am rebuffed by people who say they are too busy and have no time for such activities. I make it a point to respond by telling people, look, you’ll stop being busy either when you die or when the company goes bankrupt.” – Shigeo Shingo

 

Again, with any of the lean quotes I present, I try to be as accurate as possible.  When it comes to Shigeo Shingo quotes it is always hard to tell how accurate they are and if the translation reported even matches the saying as it would have appeared in Japanese.  If you see any discrepancies, please email me.

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Comments (0) Posted by matt on Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Filed under Lean, Lean Quotes

“Kanban is like the milkman. Mom didn’t give the milkman a schedule. Mom didn’t use MRP. She simply put the empties on the front steps and the milkman replenished them. That is the essence of a pull system”
– Ernie Smith, Lean Event Facilitator in the Lean Enterprise Forum at the University of Tennessee

Now, this quote was passed on to me in an email about two years ago.  I don’t know if the quoted individual is correct, so if anyone knows otherwise please email me.  I have heard several similar quotes regarding Kanban and the milkman, as well as other metaphors regarding replishment systems.  Regardless, I wish that more people were aware of this reference.

I don’t know Mr. Smith, but I’m sure he’s a good man (I base that off of the fact that he’s spreading the good word of Lean Manufacturing!).  I like the way that this quote brings all readers into understanding through the use of something so natural and simplistic as a reference to one’s mother.  Surely, if your mother could participate in a Lean activity like a self replenishing pull system without even knowing it, then it must work pretty well if it never interrupted her daily schedule and provided for exactly what your family needed!  Now, I know not everyone was raised around their mother, but the simple idea helps bridge the gap between a supposed structured and rigid system imposed by managers to one of simplified flow.

Sometimes, people new to supermarkets, kanban, and pull system really have a hard time getting it.  They think that you can plug and play supermarkets filled with nice stacks of kanban cards and everything will simply work because you designated an area for it.  In regards to this quote, I’ve seen several cases where a supermarket has been setup and the operations around it just pull and make whatever the MRP is telling them to do.  Again, supervisors and managers want to make it look like things are always running at 100%.  I want nothing less than 100%! I hear that way too often.  That’s why it requires a complete effort from all within the company, but back to the quote.

A good portion of the time, a company will not have the luxury of producing only 3 or 4 types of products.  Usually, you’re looking at figures that are closer to 10, 50, 100 or even 1000’s of different products; all that need to be scheduled and made at different times, in different amounts, throughout the year.  This is where it gets interesting and you need to do some math.

You probably wouldn’t be resorting to the use of a supermarket if you could establish Continuous Flow in the first place.  So, now after you’ve relayed all of your equipment into cells based on the results from your recently done Product Family Matrix, you’re running the numbers to see what your least common denominators are.  Usually (going on basic assumptions) as you go upstream in your process you will see fewer and fewer variations of WIP that will later be transformed into an array of possible product configurations.  Well, it’d be nice to have each of these stored in a supermarket so that you could just pull what you need and then replace it, but most likely, it won’t be that smooth.

In most of the companies I’ve worked in, there have been so many product possibilities that I’ve had to go with the good old 80/20 rule and ended up with a small amount of supermarketed items that in the end will make most of my products.  The 80 stands for 80% of your total production, and the 20 stands for 20% of your total product count.  Clarifying that, it means that 80% of your production can be accounted for by 20% of your products.  A very simple example of this:  You make 5 products in your bread making cell – White, Wheat, Rye, Whole Grain, & Pumpernickel.  For every 20 that you sell, it breaks down like this:

  • White:  16 (accounts for 80% of sales)
  • Wheat:  1 (5%)
  • Rye:  1 (5%)
  • Whole Grain:  1 (5%)
  • Pumpernickel:  1 (5%)

So, in this very simple model, you’d use a pull system on White bread because you consistently require it based on customer demand.  Think of that scenario, but blown across 1000’s of products.  Instead of one item in your supermarket, how many would you have?  5? 10?  Figuring that out is simple enough, it is getting it to work that is the hard part.

MRP, Master Schedulers, Planners, etc. – they can all screw it up just by doing their job.  They have to be involved and MRP systems need to be adjusted, either through a built in function to work within such systems or manually, if no such feature exists in your current software.  It’s one thing to instruct someone to not make a product because there is already a supermarket full of it across the aisle, but it’s another thing to get them to actually practice it.  Supermarkets, kanbans, pull systems, whatever name your company uses, act independently from supervisors, planners and MRP. 

Kanban the Milkman makes the rounds, quietly moving product into empty spaces left by products used only minutes before; making and replenishing his whole way back to the most basic raw materials.  He’s good and if you just let him do his job – you’ll be all the better for it!!

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Comments (3) Posted by matt on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008