Manufacture Smarter Blog

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Why Food Manufacturers Should Embrace Lean

1/23/2015 - THE CENTER
Agriculture and food production has become a booming industry in Michigan, with no signs of slowing down! Annually, the agriculture industry in Michigan adds $91.4 billion to the state’s economy. Additionally, these industries employ 923,000 of Michigan residents. However, like all industries, there is always room for growth and improvement—and that’s where Lean manufacturing tactics can help.

I’ve Completed My Waste Walk. . . Now What?

8/22/2014 - THE CENTER
A couple weeks ago, we posted about Waste Walks. In fact, there’s a lot of information out on the internet that you can just Google and discover. Remember, the most important thing is to identify what you see – what type of waste it is, potential causes, and potential solutions. This sets you up for the next part – which is what you are going to do about it.

Downtime or Tim Woods: Signs of a Waste Walk in Progress

8/8/2014 - THE CENTER
The purpose of a waste walk is to gather information about the work process, the work areas within which it is performed, and any instances of waste that is observed. Typically, the waste walk is conducted by experienced lean practitioners who can offer a fresh perspective to manufacturers and illuminate opportunities for improvement.

LEAN . . . Is An Evolution, Not A Revolution

5/30/2014 - THE CENTER
We're often asked about a typical lean journey, “What does it look like?” and “How long does it take?” While the answers range anywhere from "every situation is unique" to "there is no typical ’journey'," we do have a few steps that are essential for a successful lean implementation.

From Pinpoint to Elimination: Removing Waste From Your Processes

5/23/2014 - THE CENTER
In a previous entry, Can Your Team Pinpoint Value-Added?, we identified some places that waste or non-value added steps can hide in your company’s processes. Today, we’d like to follow up on that. I mean, now that you know where to look, how do you actually identify the correct steps to eliminate?

Can Your Team Pinpoint the Value-Added?

5/9/2014 - THE CENTER
We often hear company team members say “We don’t deal with the customer.” Team members are seldom aware of how their daily tasks connect to customer satisfaction. This is why it is so important that every organization recognize what its customer’s value and align its activities to deliver that value.

Partners in Crime: Lean Manufacturing and Innovation

8/16/2013 - THE CENTER
Talking with manufacturers around Michigan, when many individuals hear the word “Lean,” they automatically think “to cut.” Especially during a recovering economy, Lean manufacturing topics are commonly discussed. It’s to the point where the perception of Lean is that you get rid of everything left and right….just reduce your expenses and improve your profit margins….that’s all that Lean is, right?

Lean Six Sigma and the Importance of Certification

5/3/2013 - THE CENTER
Training provided by experts ensures that you are using proven systems to accomplish your goals of eliminating waste, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction. It’s also beneficial from a marketing standpoint.

Improve Efficiencies through Lean Six Sigma

3/22/2013 - THE CENTER
Both Lean and Six Sigma are powerful tools, but when combined, they have the ability to transform a process and company culture, and catapult your company into a better way of doing business. As Michigan’s manufacturers see a “comeback” in American manufacturing, it’s crucial to implement initiatives that increase efficiencies.

Top 5 Indicators You Might Benefit from a New Plant Layout

10/26/2012 - THE CENTER
It’s the nature or nurture question for business. How much does the environment shape the workforce? OSHA regulations and workforce safety issues aside, are there things that a company can do to improve employee performance and product output? This goes beyond cleanliness, which we would file under workforce safety.

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