At the cutting edge of continuous improvement

1 million parts per month, from brackets to fully functioning coffee machines. An average batch size of just 36 parts and the introduction of 450 new parts per month. Yet the employees at this fast moving engineering firm still found time to save £435,000 last year. I went to catch up with Operations Director, Keith… Read more »

3 top tips to aid your search for the perfect KPI

There is an overwhelming, and sometimes conflicting, amount of advice about must have key performance indicators. Try these ideas to help you select the most useful for your particular business. Choose the KPI appropriate for the level you are measuring at In your organisation you have different groups of employees. They require different information in… Read more »

The tale of the team and the newt

  Do you find that no matter how hard you try you always seem to have some people who refuse to join in with your improvement initiative? How do you deal with them? Well here is a really useful analogy I learned from my training days with the Nissan, Toyota and Honda master trainers. It… Read more »

Hit daily targets AND make improvements? You must be joking, right?

Today’s managers are under tremendous pressure to meet delivery targets with less and less resource, let alone meet the changing demands of the customer. Shorter deadlines, smaller delivery quantities, tighter quality standards and all of that cheaper please! Who needs the added pressure of lean improvement programmes or a Kaizen event? Releasing people from their… Read more »

Top 10 Skills for Team Leaders in a Lean Environment

Do your team leaders need to lead, manage and motivate their team as well as improve the quality, cost and delivery performance of their area? If so, do they have the necessary team leadership skills? Team leader training is a very popular request from clients and courses are usually bespoke to the client’s needs. However over… Read more »

4 keys to simplifying all the lean methodologies

We all know how easy it is to get bogged down creating detailed guidelines, slavishly following stepped structures and learning new terminology. Over the years I have deployed many lean and Total Productive Maintenance techniques across a wide range of businesses. Recently it occurred to me that instead of creating ever more complicated explanations it’s… Read more »

6 Steps To Success in NPI

Check if your New Product Introduction process features these 6 basic success factors. Before you start buying expensive design software or other automated tools to speed up your NPI process, have you examined your process procedures? Having studied and helped a variety of manufacturers, from build to print suppliers to innovators who launch to market,… Read more »