Can you spot the crippling costs of inventory?

In the 90’s I worked in an amazing old 4 story mill where we made replica football kits. Half of the bottom floor was dedicated to incoming rolls of material and outgoing finished shirts and shorts. While some problems were instantly apparent, like transporting all the material to the top floor to be cut, others… Read more »

3 Actions to take before you invest in the latest maintenance technology

As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution the various asset management and Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) offer bigger, better and more affordable solutions than ever before. Instead of using your own computer network you can buy into cloud based systems. In the world of interconnected devices every user can access the system using tablets… Read more »

5 things you need to know about Mistake Proofing

    Mistake Proofing is also known as Poka Yoke or Error Proofing. It used to be referred to as Baka Yoke, Japanese for fool proofing. This name has dropped out of favour as more is understood about the causes of defects. Rather than blaming a defect on an employee, we now look at it… Read more »

Do Just One Thing To Build a Better Manufacturing Future

We are living in a time of blindingly rapid technological change. Every day we read about a new material or method of manufacture that will not only improve our productivity but help us to improve health and raise living standards across the world. We are on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution. But…. In… Read more »

Marmite and Hoshin Kanri

Business terminology – it’s a bit like Marmite. You either love it or hate it! Some people can’t wait to try out the latest Japanese sounding technique. Others are put off by foreign names, or associate them with a particular industry. I find it always helps to use an analogy. This takes the focus off… Read more »

7 Principles to guide the creation of your unique lean system

There are several different perspectives on how lean is best achieved. But the one I am used to deploying centres on changing from push to pull systems and the reduction of batch sizes. The key is to ensure that you, as the supplier, never overproduce. Remember overproduction is one of the 7 Wastes! It means… Read more »

Add a little chaos to your Fishbone!!

No, I’m not being heretical. I do follow structured problem solving methods and use a single, tightly defined effect to describe the problem at the head of a Fishbone diagram. But sometimes …….. just sometimes, bend the rules a little.  Use the structure of your Cause and Effect (or Ishikawa) Diagram to help with a… Read more »