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Kaizen Supply Chain: 8 Focus Areas for Achieving and Maintaining High Quality

July 14, 2021
Kaizen is a term that we’ve all likely heard at some time or another. Its use in various companies around the world has only grown, especially as they look to improve and refine materials handling and order fulfillment practices. Adjustments in technology, software, and employee development help in creating a flexible, resilient strategy that thrives during market changes, like we’re seeing today. However, deeper changes in practice and process guided by Kaizen philosophies can help clear the way for greater impact by advanced automation and employee development efforts. Kaizen: A Japanese term meaning “change for the better” or “continuous improvement” is also known as a foundational element for lean production methodology. How do you create an environment where Kaizen concepts can thrive? And, what does it mean to practice Kaizen?

Employee Development: Path to a Lean Supply Chain

April 14, 2021
As a fundamental element, supply chain and logistics requires delivering a quality product to the consumer. The details behind quality product and on time delivery are complex and filled with complexities such as distribution center locations, advanced automation technologies, product specifications, throughput goals, and software support. And, while selecting the right automation equipment is important for a company’s competitive advantage, sustainable growth is most centered around the people. Lean supply chain management and the operational success is a product of the strength of your human resources. How do you create and foster sustainable human resource growth? While COVID-19 has forced companies to shift priorities and adjust manufacturing processes to deal with changing consumer demand and new safety precautions, the fundamentals continue to hold true for employee development: clarify goals and direction, identify the challenges, promote learning, and put that learning into practice.

30 Years of Industry Experience: Creating a Strong Foundation for Improved Kaizen Processes

January 27, 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has penetrated every industry and forced changes throughout. Business processes have required accelerated reviews for the safety of the workforce and to adjust to changes in consumer demand. Supply chain and logistics has been in the spotlight with concerns about how shipments will get from one location to another, replenishment changes due to ecommerce trend acceleration, and demands for same day deliveries. This leads to process and management decisions. 2020 was a year of uncomfortable but necessary process change. Paralleled with new year’s resolutions and facing the “new normal” discussions, business around the world are working to have a more planned outlook with a better understanding of how to react and adjust. What aspects of your business processes should you protect and what do you change?

The 8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing Applied to Warehouse Operations

January 10, 2019
Using lean manufacturing principles to increase efficiency and productivity in warehouse operations by eliminating wasteful, non-value-added components. Read: The 8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing Applied to Warehouse Operations

Lean Six Sigma Part II: Do You Know What Your Customers Want?

January 20, 2011
As an officer in the U.S. Air Force, I was responsible for the phase inspection of our bomber aircraft. The team took the aircraft down for inspection, repairs, and preventative maintenance of safety-of-flight and mission-critical items. Our maintenance group commander, a colonel, constantly challenged our quality assurance (QA) pass rates on phase inspections. The goal was 96 percent, and on average, the unit hit that mark. "Not good enough," the colonel kept saying month after month. Read More >>
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