This page provides answers to some of the commonly asked questions from our users
- LeanDNA® Product Questions
- Technical Questions
- How to Get Started with LeanDNA
- Reporting Questions
- Data Synchronization with ERP and Other Systems
- Security and Scalability Questions
LeanDNA® Product Questions
Q.What is LeanDNA?
A. LeanDNA is a cloud-based application for Lean Manufacturing Execution and Supply Chain Performance Management. The product is divided into two main areas: Lean Project Management and Supply Chain Management. Underneath those two main product areas are several tools, dashboards, and reports designed to provide insight and visibility into lean project status, inventory levels, opportunities for order policy improvements, supplier performance, PPV performance, lost time tracking, and lean execution.
Q. What platforms do I need to have in order to run LeanDNA?
A. Since LeanDNA hosts the application, all you need is a computer that can run a Web browser. It doesn’t matter what type of hardware or operating system you are running.
Q. How do I get upgrades from LeanDNA?
A. Since LeanDNA is a hosted application in the cloud, any time we add a new feature you will have access to it immediately. There is no need to download any new software or install any routine upgrades.
Q. What is the price of LeanDNA?
A. Please contact LeanDNA for more more information on pricing plans.
Q. Can I purchase LeanDNA on a month-by-month basis?
A. Yes. The pricing is based on an annual subscription, but contact LeanDNA to discuss our pricing on a monthly basis.
Q. What happens to my data if I cancel my subscription?
A. If at anytime you decide that you want to cancel your subscription, LeanDNA will purge your data from our system within 30 days of cancellation.
Q. How do I purchase LeanDNA?
A. You can subscribe on-line for a trial usage or call LeanDNA at (512) 790-3360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. What is the difference in how LeanDNA calculates lot sizes versus traditional APS, ERP, MRP?
A. These traditional applications typically derive lot sizes and target inventories using a simple EOQ calculation or other similar approach. Actual customer demand is considered, but since APS can not model the factory run rules, its approach to capacity is rudimentary at best. Typically, once the lot sizes and target inventory levels are set they are not changed for years. The approach used by LeanDNA is different. LeanDNA calculates lot sizes and target inventories using proven lean methodologies which consider product demand as well as the physical factory production capabilities. Factory information, such as alternate work center routings, changeover matrices, sequencing, holidays, operating hours, etc are considered. By using the latest demand and operating parameters, the factory can always ensure that they are operating their business with the optimal lot sizes and target inventory levels. LeanDNA is flexible in how often it calculates these parameters – this allows you to perform these calculations weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Q. Can LeanDNA help us incorporate and standardize on best practices for Lean Manufacturing?
A. LeanDNA provides a best-practices platform to formalize how lean manufacturing execution is managed across the organization. Without a formal system, it is quite common for companies to see ad-hock approaches for designing and managing lean manufacturing operations. Prior to using LeanDNA, most companies rely extensively on spreadsheets and powerpoints to help make their day-to-day decisions. Unfortunately, spreadsheets are limited in their power and lack scalability. In addition, LeanDNA was built by lean experts to already incorporate the best practices for lean design and management to help implement improvements quicker and more sustainably.
Q. I understand the power of LeanDNA for periodic analytics and decision support, but what is its role on a continuous basis?
A. The LeanDNA platform enables frequent dynamic lot sizing calculations based on your current production capacity and changing product demand. This is especially important in cases where demand is not smooth. LeanDNA can also support Strategy Deployment by linking the financial impact of lean initiatives (i.e. changeover reduction, OEE improvements, ,etc) with the overall strategic goals for the site. Our integrated lean initiative reports allow users to demonstrate how their lean projects are going to help drive toward the site goals for the factory. As physical improvements are made in the factory, LeanDNA can be quickly updated with the new improvement data to drive the factory to achieve lower inventory, higher productivity, and higher service levels. This has been shown to avoid the common issue of making “Lean Stick”.
Q. Does LeanDNA consider capacity constraints when designing and managing the factory?
A. Yes. We consider capacity when establishing production lot sizes and when generating a Demand-Driven production schedule. We consider such constraints as alternate workcenter routings, changeover matrices, sequencing, holidays, and operating calendar. LeanDNA contains a demand-driven discrete scheduling engine that is capable of supporting a wide variety of run-rules. Examples of specific support are: sequencing to consider specific issues from SKU to SKU, different changeover times from SKU to SKU, and major sanitation requirements. In addition, the engine supports peak shaving to enable those periods of excessive demand to be managed with the most optimal inventory buildup strategy possible while still maintaining a high service level.
Q. What are the advantages of LeanDNA over a traditional push-based Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software?
A. A discrete scheduler will receive orders and schedule them with the fixed lot sizes and order frequencies provided by the APS. This will not give you the optimal lot sizes and target inventory levels as defined by LeanDNA using our proven lean methodologies. In addition, since APS often does not reflect the physical factory run rules, the amount of production assigned to a particular week is often not feasible. LeanDNA combines Heijunka with a finite discrete scheduling system to optimally support day-to-day execution in a lean environment.
Q. What is the advantage of using LeanDNA versus just trying to modify our existing systems?
A. Modifying existing systems is possible with enough time and money. But consider that LeanDNA incorporates world-class best practices for lean manufacturing, and is continually being improved every day. The team of LeanDNA has deep hands-on experience in helping organizations make lean conversions as well as implement lean software applications. Our experience is across a wide variety of industries in many countries around the world. Modifying existing APS would be an expensive rewrite that would have to involve a team of lean manufacturing domain experts as well as enterprise software developers who specialize in developing with each specific software package. Typically consultants of this type cost hundreds of dollars per hour which could easily results in project costs in the millions. It would also take time to assemble such a team and execute on the project. In addition, there is also an inherent risk that the project would fail leaving your company in a situation where it has spent millions and is exactly where it is today. The time-to-value and risk is much better with the LeanDNA solution.
Q. I am getting an ‘Unsupported Browser’ error message. How do I resolve that?
A. Make sure you’re using a browser supported by LeanDNA (Internet Explorer version 9 or later or the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari). If you are, make sure you’re not running the browser in compatibility mode for an earlier browser version – this is the most common in Internet Explorer 9. To check this, go to Tools -> Check Browser Compatibility – make sure leandna.com is not listed on the popup form. If the issue persists, please contact our support team.
How to Get Started with LeanDNA
Q. How do I get access to LeanDNA?
A. Because LeanDNA is an online service, there is no hardware or software to buy, install, or maintain. Open your internet browser and go to http://www.leandna.com -> Login
Q. What type of training is available?
A. LeanDNA is designed to be easy to learn and user friendly. We offer online or on site training for customers facilitated by our team of Virtual Senseis. Please contact LeanDNA in order to schedule a session.
Q. What involvement is required from my company’s IT department?
A. Very limited involvement is required. LeanDNA is accessed through the Internet via a Web browser and require no modifications or upgrades to your existing environment. All you need is an internet browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer version 9.0 or higher, Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are all supported), text (or csv) files for data uploads, and you are ready to use LeanDNA. Because there is no hardware, software, or network equipment to purchase, and the application is accessed through a standard Web browser, your IT department will not need to implement or maintain the LeanDNA solution.
Q. How quickly can my factory be up and running?
A. With LeanDNA you can typically be up and running in as little as 1 day followed by training sessions for your users.
Q. What is the job of the LeanDNA Administrator?
A. The Administrator is responsible for configuration of data synchronization, managing the users for your factory, and managing the data upload process. LeanDNA can assist with these tasks as well.
Q. Do I need a report writer to create and run reports?
A. LeanDNA includes a number of standard reports, and we will be offering a report writer to create customer reports.
Q. Can I get my report information out of LeanDNA?
A. All reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel by selecting the “Save to Excel” button in the display of every report.
Data Synchronization with ERP and Other Systems
Q. How do I import my existing data into LeanDNA?
A. LeanDNA provides a powerful Synchronization Wizard to move your data from any ERP or SCM program that can save its data in the CSV (comma separated value) or similar file format. LeanDNA can also bring in data from Microsoft Excel or other data sources. The Synchronization Wizard takes you step-by-step through the import process, allowing you to specify how your data will be organized once it is in LeanDNA.
Q. How often can my organization import data?
A. The Synchronization Wizard is built into LeanDNA and can be used as often as needed.
Q. How long does it take to import a file?
A. The length of time required depends entirely on the amount of data to be imported, but on average it will take only a few minutes. To expedite the import process we recommend you review the import directions that are provided in the Help section. In addition, we recommend you do your best to match your source file with the default and custom fields available in LeanDNA prior to starting the Import Wizard.
Q. Does LeanDNA offer services to help me import my data?
A. Yes. LeanDNA offers implementation services that will help your team get up and running quickly. You will receive a dedicated point-of-contact who coordinates activities, establishes deadlines, and monitors progress. In addition, you can receive private online training, which is customized to the particular needs of your organization.
Security and Scalability
Q. How can I be sure my data is secure?
A. When you log into LeanDNA, you will see a small lock icon in your URL bar or at the bottom of the browser screen, indicating that a secure (SSL) connection has been established to our server. In addition, the URLs used to access your data on LeanDNA are all preceded with https instead of http, which also indicates that a secure connection is being maintained for data access from our system.
Q. How can I be assured my data will be kept private?
A. LeanDNA is committed to keeping your data private and secure. To this end, LeanDNA has expressly stated how we will handle your private data and maintain data security on our ‘Security’ page.
Q. What happens when the LeanDNA database goes down?
A. LeanDNA has built redundancy into all its systems in order to minimize any system failures that could be perceived as customer outages. All components of the LeanDNA system are proactively monitored and managed so that faults are detected before system outages. LeanDNA realizes there may occasionally be system outages due to issues beyond our control. LeanDNA has established numerous escalation procedures to notify the proper personnel in the event of any system outage and remedy any issues as quickly as possible.
Q. How scalable is LeanDNA?
A. LeanDNA has the capacity to scale to the largest of enterprises. The architecture behind the LeanDNA solution was designed to handle thousands of users.