Transform Technical and Service Organizations

May 15th, 2009

I have illustrated throughout the article applications to service operations. Some of the specific, detailed tools of TPS may be harder to apply. It would not make sense, for example, for a lawyer to sit at his or her desk waiting for a material handler to deliver a kanban asking for the next legal brief. […]

May 14th, 2009

A central issue for many service processes is controlling the process. Some successful kaizen workshops have focused on creating the system of tracking and controlling the process using visual controls. Genie Industries is an example of this. Genie makes many different kinds of lift devices, like the hoist device phone company service people use to […]

May 13th, 2009

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi began aggressively implementing lean in its operations areas in the summer of 2000. Since engineering is critical to shipbuilding, it soon expanded its transformation to lean to include engineering processes. The issue of label plates, the responsibility of engineering, had been a perennial problem in getting compartments […]

May 12th, 2009

Following the workshop, the sustaining team will continue to drive the future state. This is the check-act part of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. The team meets on a weekly basis to do the following: Review the status of the open action items from the project plan. Review process metrics to ensure improvements are being achieved. […]

May 11th, 2009

The session begins with a review of the scope of the process to be improved and a review of the objectives with the team. Some training is provided on basic lean concepts, particularly the concept of value added and non-value added. The flow of a typical service kaizen workshop. Step 1. Who is the customer? […]

May 10th, 2009

There are five essential pre-workshop things to do to facilitate the flow of the workshop and effectively use participants’ time. Clearly define the scope. Determine the start point or trigger that begins the process and what the final deliverable product(s) to the customer is. Set objectives. The process owner must set measurable objectives for the […]

May 9th, 2009

Obviously, CPC is not a pure technical or service organization and has some similarities to a manufacturing process. So where can you find an example of TPS being successfully applied to less repetitive technical or service organizations? The answer is that examples will be hard to find. You could spend your time looking for such […]

May 8th, 2009

Canada Post Corporation (CPC) is the equivalent of the U.S. Postal Service. It has a commercial mandate and leaders at this government-owned corporation operate with the same corporate governance as a private company. The profits are reinvested in the company to secure its ability to grow or are turned over to the Canadian government in […]

May 7th, 2009

In technical and service organizations, people are sitting at desks, working at computers, walking about, sitting around conference rooms, and generally busy moving from task to task. It is very difficult to understand the workflow in the same way you can map a physical product as it is being transformed. In service organizations, the work […]

May 6th, 2009

Applying the Toyota Production System outside the shop floor can be done, but this takes some creativity. Certainly, the basic principles can be applied to administrative processes. We sent some associates from our kaizen promotion office to dealers to help them. They have been able to reduce the time it takes to inspect the vehicle […]