Lean Manufacturing: 26 Terms Lean Factory Professionals Should Know

To an outsider, the lean manufacturing world can look a little like alphabet soup. Within five minutes of any lean meeting, you will hear acronyms that can seem like the letters are strung together with no rhyme or reason.

But as you and your company embrace lean, those letters start to work like alphabet magnets on a refrigerator. They are purposefully arranged to form acronyms and concepts that separate lean from, well, not-lean. (Side note: “not-lean” is probably not a term real Lean pros would use.)

Let’s take a look at the following 26 terms to better understand what makes lean manufacturing effective. And who knows, we might just learn a term for “not-lean.” Continue Reading “Lean Manufacturing: 26 Terms Lean Factory Professionals Should Know”

Case Study: How JR Automation Operationalizes Lean Six Sigma With LeanDNA

No matter where you are on your Lean journey, a tool designed specifically around Lean Six Sigma can drive success. In our newest case study, JR Automation proves that from launch to sustainability, LeanDNA’s technology drives continuous improvement results.

When JR Automation was preparing a company-wide Lean Six Sigma launch, the company wanted a system they could launch immediately to avoid a lengthy, difficult implementation of a custom solution built in SharePoint, Excel, or other disconnected systems. On top of that, they wanted a system that was easy to use, low-cost, and low maintenance. So they turned to LeanDNA’s Lean Projects tool. Continue Reading “Case Study: How JR Automation Operationalizes Lean Six Sigma With LeanDNA”

Lean Project Management: Benefits of Digitizing Your Processes

Originally featured in AME’s Target Online Magazine

These days, everything is moving online. From smart doorbells to Bluetooth-enabled Crock Pots, people everywhere are realizing the benefits of an interconnected world. The same goes for manufacturing: Cloud-based ERPs and factory networks are just a few of the web-based systems allowing manufacturers to operate better than ever before. And lean is no exception to this shift online.

Earlier this year, Broadwind Energy, a manufacturer of structures, equipment and components for clean technology, started their Lean Six Sigma journey with an online, lean project management system. We sat down with John Tackett, Director of Operational Excellence at Broadwind Energy, to learn more about how their journey began, the results they have seen with lean and some advice for taking your own lean project management online. Continue Reading “Lean Project Management: Benefits of Digitizing Your Processes”

How to Make Lean Really Stick

Have you ever spent tons of time planning and executing a new lean project, only to have it lose steam just a few months later? Sustainability in lean is extremely difficult to achieve, so this might sound familiar. It’s like your project never happened in the first place!

When people who put together a project move onto other responsibilities, all your progress can fall away. Launching new continuous improvement initiatives is important, but sustaining and expanding is where the real business impact emerges.

In order for a lean project to truly be successful, it has to stick around beyond its initial implementation. Here’s what you can do to ensure that your efforts (and the business results) make lean really stick around for the long haul. Continue Reading “How to Make Lean Really Stick”