Over the years, just about all organizations have adopted a continuous improvement program, many based on lean principles. But there’s a key question that often never gets asked: How does a company know where to improve next?
Construction equipment, farm tractors and other off-highway machines need more than just diesel engines, big tires and metal tracks to operate. They require hydraulic mechanisms to steer, raise booms, open buckets or tilt blades.
"Creative" and “lean.” Do those words go together? I have been a lean practitioner for more than 20 years, and I’ve never heard the phrase “creative lean.” But don’t we love those creative solutions? Don’t we get excited when an idea comes from out in left field and it works?
Manufacturers vigorously seek out best practices because they can improve metrics, such as stock price, sales and profitability. There’s only one problem: Best practices are the actions that solved yesterday’s problems.
HAGERSTOWN, MD—It’s often said that if you really want to find ways to improve your business, ask an employee. At the Volvo truck assembly plant here, employee suggestions have yielded “significant savings.”