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Metrics: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

By Drive, Inc. on Saturday 14 May 2011.

I fly a lot. Not that I want to. In fact, my driving radius is constantly increasing because airline service levels are so poor. Just in my last three consecutive flights on two different airlines (names withheld to protect the guilty) I have experienced the following:  An originating flight delayed for an hour, but the connecting flight not delayed so that I could fly to the hub city, but not to my final destination  A two hour delay for unplanned maintenance  A two hour delay for planned maintenance (obviously not very well planned)

Spring Training

By Drive, Inc. on Friday 15 April 2011.

The Boys of Summer are busy practicing now in the Florida Grapefruit League and the Arizona Cactus League. Major League baseball season openers are just weeks away. This is the perfect time to talk about Spring Training and how the concept applies to manufacturing.

TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)

By Drive, Inc. on Tuesday 15 March 2011.

We have experienced many companies that desire to improve their business and financial results, but struggle with implementing an improvement process due to a lack of stability. A large source of this instability is equipment uptime. Our machines must be available to run product when we need them and produce quality parts at an efficient rate. A common approach to achieving this maximum effectiveness is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).

TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)

By Drive, Inc. on Tuesday 15 February 2011.

In last month’s newsletter, we defined TPM, its impact on business metrics and how to measure OEE. In this issue we will dive into the practical application of TPM.

TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)

By Drive, Inc. on Saturday 15 January 2011.

In the last issued newsletter, we discussed the first seven steps of the TPM process. In this last issue, we will focus on the final and most crucial step, Continuous Improvement.

Getting a Handle on Cost

By Drive, Inc. on Wednesday 15 December 2010.

The poorest performance measure any manager could be judged by is variance to budget. Here’s why: Budgets are collections of guesses. Some simple statistical analysis shows that a budget isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (as a performance measure, anyway). Let’s be conservative and say that there are 20 separate accounts that you budget. And let’s be optimistic and say that you have 95% confidence that the amount you budgeted in each account is correct. The probability that your budget is correct is 100x (.95)20 = 35.85%. Furthermore, you only have that level of accuracy if your revenue forecast is exactly on the money. What happens if demand for your product increases or decreases?

Understanding Value

By Drive, Inc. on Tuesday 16 November 2010.

Last month, we reviewed the common ways of understanding costs that are used in traditional accounting and business planning methods. Breaking down costs by category or by organizational function leaves out the most important consideration…value. And leaving out value almost always means leaving out the voice of the customer.

Cost Cutting "Rights"

By Drive, Inc. on Friday 15 October 2010.

Last month, we reviewed costs in the light of value. Now let’s think about what it looks like to earn the right to cut costs. First, we have to understand waste. Anyone who has read a book about Lean can name the 7 forms of waste:


By Drive, Inc. on Wednesday 15 September 2010.

Where is your organization on your Lean implementation journey? Just launching, sustaining or needing a boost? Wherever you are in your implementation of Lean, there is a key Implementation tool, often overlooked and some are too afraid to address. Let’s be upfront with what might be missing from your tool kit: Allowing operators to ask questions. An operator asking a question is a Lean Tool?


By Drive, Inc. on Saturday 14 August 2010.

You are thinking that you have enough to do without asking operators if they have a problem or a solution to a problem. You know that can be like asking someone to throw you a lit stick of dynamite to go with the rattlesnake, the chainsaw, and the annual budget you are already juggling.

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