Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers


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What is Industry 4.0?

Knowing what you are able to tolerate can save a lot of frustration at the end of the day. Maintaining those set boundaries helps to prevent future confusion. Showing your employees how to do something is more important than just telling them. If you want your staff to be punctual, then you must also be punctual or early.

If you prioritize professionalism then dress for success and treat all contacts with courtesy. Your team wants someone to look up to and admire. Set the tone of the requirements of the position and your employees will follow the lead. Discover what your heroes do well and learn about what went wrong for those who ended their careers early. Lessons are available all around you. Although you may not want to do this, it will make management much easier if you place some social distance between you and your employees. Although you can spend time together outside of work, avoid venting about the company and do not go overboard during happy hour.

If you are going to be financially compensated as a manager, you must act like one. That does not mean you cannot have fun, but it's important to be a responsible leader in your company. Leadership is not easy and it takes years to find a balance. Becoming a better business leader has always been "a work in progress" goal that requires tenacity, a huge dose of humility, and the willingness to embrace new ideas. The aforementioned tips will help you align a workforce behind the company goals.


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The list below includes a variety of subjects, from the history of manufacturing to ways to build the future of manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is vital to the success of any modern manufacturing enterprise. In How to Implement Lean Manufacturing , author Lonnie Wilson illustrates the process for implementing lean in your manufacturing environment. The lean process eliminates waste, and improves quality, inventory, and overall performance. This book addresses the engineering and production aspects of lean, as well as the business challenges that come along for the ride.

The name Toyota is synonymous with Lean Manufacturing. This book, which won both the Institute for Industrial Engineers Book-of-the-Year award and the Shingo Prize, digs deep into the principles that have made Toyota so successful. It includes practical ideas that any manufacturer can use to improve its own business, along with examples from other enterprise companies.

Those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it. This history book explores the past and shows how different innovations in processes, materials, and power sources gave rise to the modern world. It covers the inventors that succeeded and failed in their quests to improve their own — and the world's — manufacturing abilities. Every company wants to be an innovator. However, problems arise when you already have a successful business.

That very success means you're likely to be disrupted by a new company.

Top 25 Lean Tools

In The Innovators Dilemma , Clayton Christensen shows how low-end products grew to displace high-end competitors. Its focus on technology is particularly useful to manufacturers, who need to stay on top of the constantly changing technological landscape. If you're already a successful manufacturing company, you need to find ways to protect yourself from startups; if you're a startup, you can find ways to overturn the status quo and become the market leader.

The "flow" or smoothness based approach aims to achieve JIT, by removing the variation caused by work scheduling and thereby provide a driver, rationale or target and priorities for implementation, using a variety of techniques.

Bibliographic Information

The effort to achieve JIT exposes many quality problems that are hidden by buffer stocks; by forcing smooth flow of only value-adding steps, these problems become visible and must be dealt with explicitly. Muri is all the unreasonable work that management imposes on workers and machines because of poor organization, such as carrying heavy weights, moving things around, dangerous tasks, even working significantly faster than usual. It is pushing a person or a machine beyond its natural limits. This may simply be asking a greater level of performance from a process than it can handle without taking shortcuts and informally modifying decision criteria.

Unreasonable work is almost always a cause of multiple variations. To link these three concepts is simple in TPS and thus lean.

11 Best Lean Manufacturing Books to Read This Year and 2020

Firstly, muri focuses on the preparation and planning of the process, or what work can be avoided proactively by design. Next, mura then focuses on how the work design is implemented and the elimination of fluctuation at the scheduling or operations level, such as quality and volume. Muda is then discovered after the process is in place and is dealt with reactively. It is seen through variation in output. It is the role of management to examine the muda , in the processes and eliminate the deeper causes by considering the connections to the muri and mura of the system.

The muda and mura inconsistencies must be fed back to the muri , or planning, stage for the next project. A typical example of the interplay of these wastes is the corporate behaviour of "making the numbers" as the end of a reporting period approaches. Demand is raised to 'make plan,' increasing mura , when the "numbers" are low, which causes production to try to squeeze extra capacity from the process, which causes routines and standards to be modified or stretched.

This stretch and improvisation leads to muri -style waste, which leads to downtime, mistakes and back flows, and waiting, thus the muda of waiting, correction and movement. The original seven mudas are: [8] [ need quotation to verify ]. Eventually, an eighth "muda" was defined by Womack et al. Many others have added the "waste of unused human talent" to the original seven wastes. For example, Six Sigma includes the waste of Skills, referred to as "under-utilizing capabilities and delegating tasks with inadequate training".

Other additional wastes added were for example "space". These wastes were not originally a part of the seven deadly wastes defined by Taiichi Ohno in TPS, but were found to be useful additions in practice. In Geoffrey Mika in his book, "Kaizen Event Implementation Manual" added three more forms of waste that are now universally accepted; The waste associated with working to the wrong metrics or no metrics, the waste associated with not utilizing a complete worker by not allowing them to contribute ideas and suggestions and be part of Participative Management, and lastly the waste attributable to improper use of computers; not having the proper software, training on use and time spent surfing, playing games or just wasting time.

For a complete listing of the "old" and "new" wastes see Bicheno and Holweg [19]. The identification of non-value-adding work, as distinct from wasted work, is critical to identifying the assumptions behind the current work process and to challenging them in due course. The role of the leaders within the organization is the fundamental element of sustaining the progress of lean thinking.

Experienced kaizen members at Toyota, for example, often bring up the concepts of Senpai , Kohai , and Sensei , because they strongly feel that transferring of Toyota culture down and across Toyota can only happen when more experienced Toyota Sensei continuously coach and guide the less experienced lean champions. One of the dislocative effects of lean is in the area of key performance indicators KPI. This can be an issue where, for example a truly lean, Fixed Repeating Schedule FRS and JIT approach is adopted, because these KPIs will no longer reflect performance, as the assumptions on which they are based become invalid.

It is a key leadership challenge to manage the impact of this KPI chaos within the organization. Similarly, commonly used accounting systems developed to support mass production are no longer appropriate for companies pursuing lean. Lean accounting provides truly lean approaches to business management and financial reporting. After formulating the guiding principles of its lean manufacturing approach in the Toyota Production System TPS , Toyota formalized in the basis of its lean management: the key managerial values and attitudes needed to sustain continuous improvement in the long run.

These core management principles are articulated around the twin pillars of Continuous Improvement relentless elimination of waste and Respect for People engagement in long term relationships based on continuous improvement and mutual trust. This formalization stems from problem solving. As Toyota expanded beyond its home base for the past 20 years, it hit the same problems in getting TPS properly applied that other western companies have had in copying TPS. Like any other problem, it has been working on trying a series of countermeasures to solve this particular concern.

These countermeasures have focused on culture: how people behave, which is the most difficult challenge of all. Without the proper behavioral principles and values, TPS can be totally misapplied and fail to deliver results.


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  • As with TPS, the values had originally been passed down in a master-disciple manner, from boss to subordinate, without any written statement on the way. Just as with TPS, it was internally argued that formalizing the values would stifle them and lead to further misunderstanding.

    8 Practical and Effective Manufacturing Leadership Tips

    However, as Toyota veterans eventually wrote down the basic principles of TPS, Toyota set to put the Toyota Way into writing to educate new joiners. Respect For People is less known outside of Toyota, and essentially involves two defining principles:. While lean is seen by many as a generalization of the Toyota Production System into other industries and contexts, there are some acknowledged differences that seem to have developed in implementation: [ citation needed ].

    Lean principles have been successfully applied to various sectors and services, such as call centers and healthcare. In the former, lean's waste reduction practices have been used to reduce handle time, within and between agent variation, accent barriers, as well as attain near perfect process adherence. Lean principles also have applications to software development and maintenance as well as other sectors of information technology IT.

    The challenge in moving lean to services is the lack of widely available reference implementations to allow people to see how directly applying lean manufacturing tools and practices can work and the impact it does have. This makes it more difficult to build the level of belief seen as necessary for strong implementation. However, some research does relate widely recognized examples of success in retail and even airlines to the underlying principles of lean.

    The upshot of this is that each implementation often 'feels its way' along as must the early industrial engineering practices of Toyota. This places huge importance upon sponsorship to encourage and protect these experimental developments. Lean management is nowadays implemented also in non-manufacturing processes and administrative processes. In non-manufacturing processes is still huge potential for optimization and efficiency increase.

    The espoused goals of lean manufacturing systems differ between various authors. While some maintain an internal focus, e. Some commonly mentioned goals are: [ citation needed ]. The strategic elements of lean can be quite complex, and comprise multiple elements. Four different notions of lean have been identified: [26]. Lean production has been adopted into other industries to promote productivity and efficiency in an ever changing market.

    Project Management Simplified: Learn The Fundamentals of PMI's Framework ✓

    In global supply chain and outsource scale, Information Technology is necessary and can deal with most of hard lean practices to synchronise pull system in supply chains and value system. The manufacturing industry can renew and change strategy of production just in time.

    Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers
    Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers
    Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers
    Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers
    Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers
    Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers
    Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers Making Things Better: A Practical Guide For Manufacturing Managers

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