Manufacture Smarter Blog

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How LEAN Are Your Internal Quality Auditors?

9/13/2019 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
Commonly, internal quality auditors conduct their audit assignments only to make sure everyone is "following procedures." Unfortunately, this approach fails to address the effectiveness of only doing what is written down. This neglect results in important facets of any QMS being overlooked.


How to Conquer Industry Uncertainty & Change with Kaizen

7/19/2019 - BY: KARA KUCINSKI
Manufacturing is entering a new era. And while the current business landscape may be vastly different than what manufacturers have experienced before, the same tools and concepts from the past can be used to inspire change and improve practices in this new setting. One such tool is Kaizen.


Finding Success in Lean Starts with Strong Leadership

5/31/2019 - BY: ROGER TOMLINSON
Transitioning to a Lean enterprise does not happen without careful planning and solid implementation strategies. Success depends on effort. And while it is true that all workers in an organization must contribute to these efforts, the single most important factor in determining the success of your Lean implementation is front-line supervisors.


Spring Clean Your Office with Lean & 5S!

4/19/2019 - BY: MIKE BEELS
The idea of spring cleaning has been around for many years, when we commit to thoroughly cleaning our homes, room to room, top to bottom, including areas we typically don’t clean. But while this notion of spring cleaning is mostly applied to home organization, it also can – and should – be used to tidy workspaces. 


Achieve Autonomous Maintenance, One Step at a Time

3/29/2019 - BY: ROGER TOMLINSON
With downtime, profitability and quality on the line, failure to properly maintain and keep up with equipment can quickly lead to major – and expensive – issues for manufacturers. With this in mind, the goal to achieve autonomous maintenance is growing among manufacturers as they strive to reduce risk associated with downtime or broken machinery, while also improving productivity and extending the lifetimes of equipment.


What is Value Added vs. Non-Value Added Work?

2/8/2019 - BY: MIKE BEELS
We tend to assume that every task we perform is essential in sustaining operations. But after analyzation from a Lean perspective, we might be surprised to discover that many of our activities are actually costing the organization time and money.


When Lean and Six Sigma Meet Industry 4.0

1/25/2019 - BY: ANNA STEFOS 
Each day, more manufacturers are implementing new technologies in their facilities in efforts to improve operations, boost efficiency and increase profitability. However, many are still trying to figure out how to best approach these new technologies and what they will look like for their business. One way to better understand how to achieve a “smart” factory is to think of it in the context of Lean Six Sigma.


Lead Your Project Team to Victory in Your Obeya “War Room”

11/30/2018 - BY: ROGER TOMLINSON
Successful projects don’t just happen; they require hard work and collaboration from both project managers and team members to ensure all tasks are completed and goals are met, on time and on budget. However, many projects ultimately fail or are abandoned because the team does not work together to achieve shared goals.


Getting to the Bottom of Your Bottom Line Issues

11/9/2018 - BY: GEORGE SINGOS & ROB STAUFFER
Do you really know how profitable your business is? Do you find that revenue is going up, but profits are going down or staying the same? To keep your business operating into the future, it is essential to understand why this is happening.


LEAN: Learn, Educate And Network

7/20/2018 - BY: BETSY WILLIAMS
At Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City, the tradition of sharing and learning from others on a lean journey launched the Northern Michigan Lean Learning Consortium (LLC) 10 years ago. Two years later, the Michigan Lean Consortium (MLC) was founded by a group of nine forward-thinking individuals who firmly believed that if every Michigan organization used lean principles, the state's economy would rebound.


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