Level Out the Workload (Heijunka)

Mar 6th, 2009

These days aluminum gutters for houses, at least in the U.S., are mostly built to order, on-site at the house. Rolls of materials are brought to the job site, where they are cut to length, end caps are formed, and the gutters are installed. A plant in the Midwest makes much of the material that […]

Mar 5th, 2009

Every business would like to have a consistent volume over time so there is a consistent and predictable workload. That is an easy sell in concept. But if your sales department does not behave like Toyota Sales by cooperating to avoid spikes in demand, what can you do? The TPS expert might suggest that a […]

Mar 4th, 2009

Leveling out a work schedule is easier in high-volume manufacturing than in typically lower-volume service environments. How do you level schedules in a service operation where service providers are responding to customers and the lead times on service work vary widely case by case? The solutions are similar to the solutions in manufacturing: Fit customer […]

Mar 3rd, 2009

Cho’s quote at the opening of this chapter suggested customers may have to wait a little longer if they want to order a vehicle specially built for them. He is not willing to sacrifice the quality and efficiency benefits of heijunka for the sake of “build-to-order.” Yet, other car manufacturers have developed build-to-order systems, potentially […]

Mar 2nd, 2009

Leveling the schedule has profound benefits throughout the value stream, including giving you the ability to plan every detail of production meticulously and standardizing work practices. If you visit a Toyota plant or a Toyota supplier, you will see the great pains taken to level the schedule. The best Toyota suppliers also work on the […]

Mar 1st, 2009

Heijunka is the leveling of production by both volume and product mix. It does not build products according to the actual flow of customer orders, which can swing up and down wildly, but takes the total volume of orders in a period and levels them out so the same amount and mix are being made […]