The Dreaded Hidden Factory

(Reprint from my LinkedIn Post Sept. 6, 2016)

It's that time of year, when work is slow and the company winds down for the year, taking inventory, conducting machine maintenance, shoring up infrastructure, and determining its "hidden factory."

What exactly is the “hidden factory”?

Simply defined, a hidden factory consists of any cost associated with waste, defects, and rework when companies sweep their problems underneath a carpet and pretend that they don't exist.

Why Y(f)X Makes Sense

(Reprint from Aug. 25, 2016)

In martial arts, I practice something called “kata,” a pre-arranged set of movements that depict a person defending and attacking an opponent. It is necessary to advance a person’s status in many martial arts that include Shotokan Karate, which I am a blackbelt.

Aside from that, each day, I practice something similar called Tai Chi Chuan. This “kata” or form has about a hundred or so steps that I practice slowly but consciously in attempt to perform each movement perfectly and experiencing new wisdom not felt before.

As I attempt perfection or to continuously improve myself in the smallest of ways, I feel a small part of me gaining where I had not gained before.

In the field of continuous Improvement, I, personally, strive to learn and improve but do so by picking up new books, videos, attending seminars, and meeting new people.

Seek Continuous Improvement

Reprint from my LinkedIn Post Aug. 17, 2016

Perfection.

To some, there is no such thing. Regardless, it is my opinion that we, as human beings, the highest form of life on this planet, should do everything, in our power, to search, strive and achieve it.
Such is the case for those of us who seek Continuous Improvement, and to contribute and develop what we can to make our world a better place for present and future generations.

Recently I watched a video highlighting Usami Riki World kata champion. She performed perhaps the most difficult kata ever called Chatanyara Kushanku. What made it even more challenging was that she executed it with rows of dominos beneath her feet. Not only did she perform it flawlessly, she did so without knocking one domino or creating the chain of events sending them all  flat on the floor.

Usami Riki Vs. Dominos

How to Start a Lean Six Sigma Program

(Republished from my LinkedIn post Jan. 17, 2016.)

When I meet with a new client, I’m asked, "Okay, I'm interested. How do I get started?"

First, I tell them I need to learn as much as I can about them; the people in the work force; the equipment, technology and materials used; policies and processes; and the environment where it is located.  I ask to review the company's business plan, company's history and background, its infrastructure, how the processes flow; what quality control measures are used; and, how customer satisfaction and needs are met. At this time, I'm not interested in digging into the company's financials. Income Statements, Bank Ratios, Capital Depreciation, Budgets and Balance Sheets are set aside for a future date.

What I do ask, however, are what their immediate and future plans for change.  With resources, allocations, and disruptions part of the Lean Sigma change equation, it is important to adapt a strategy to accommodate processes already in motion.