Makoto Consulting Articles

Low Hanging Fruit

I was with a client today, talking about value stream mapping their current process. It prompted me to put a few of these thoughts down and share what it’s all about. So why Value Stream Map? Why would you participate in Value Stream Mapping?   Set the scene One of the things that Value Stream…

Read More

Creating a Sustainable Impact

Setting KPI targets¬† When we set KPIs, it is really important to think about how we actually achieve them. Traditionally, when managers set targets,¬† it drives the behaviour of people to be purely focused on achieving that target- “I’ll get there whatever the cost.” This narrow focus puts the spotlight on short term gains in,…

Read More

Multi Skill to Meet Targets

So what does multi-skilling have to do with achieving targets?   One of the things that are really important about generating good flow in a process, regardless of whether products or services are produced is the multi-skilling of your people. Without multi-skilling, bottlenecks (or places where work piles up), are created in the business. The…

Read More
Standards need to be broken to improve

Breaking the Standard

Today, I want to share with you one of the lessons in the book ‘Management Lessons from Taichi Ohno’. It’s by a fellow named Mr. Harada. He was president of Toyota in Taiwan for some years. It’s a very interesting book, translated by my business partner Brad Schmidt in Japan, well worth a read. It…

Read More

Workshops for a Sustainable Process

Recently I have been talking about the use of Kanbans, or visual indicators, to control production schedule and improve just-in-time processes or manufacturing.   One of the really interesting things about this is that traditionally we think of Kanbans as something like a card or some kind of indicator type arrangement that tells us how…

Read More

Shift Your Focus in Quiet Times

Recognise the opportunity in quiet times It proves easy to keep productivity at its peak for businesses with a high volume of orders, regardless of whether in manufacturing or service-based industries. The demand just keeps coming, it’s pushing through. However, it’s very different and rare for a manager in a situation with low volumes, to…

Read More

Generating Flow with Kanbans – the Theory

A Kanban is a visual indicator or signal of how much to produce at one time. This very useful tool provides a clear and accurate indication of when an item or package of work needs to be produced, at the right time. Kanban practically With sub-assemblies or sub-processes we tend to “over batch” our Kanbans-…

Read More

Kaizen and the final process

Takehiko Harada learned from the founding fathers of Lean practices at Toyota. I highly recommend his book- Management Lessons from Taiichi Ohno. He outlines 15 powerful practices for guiding breakthrough productivity improvements in a company. Today I want to talk about one particular concept. “Kaizen equals getting closer to the final process”- Takehiko Harada, Management…

Read More

Making Paper Planes Benefits Your Business Processes

Did you know the insurance industry benefits from what would be traditionally thought of as manufacturing techniques that are Lean and Kaizen? Lean being the elimination of waste, and Kaizen being continuous improvement every day with practical wisdom- that is the wisdom of the teams who do the work.   Now the good news about…

Read More

Behaviour through Reinforcement

I want to share with you the impact of long term recording and measurement of data when it comes to reinforcing result-producing behaviour from your teams.   So firstly, I quite often advocate that in the creation of visual management communication boards, data is recorded by hand. This makes the data more meaningful during the…

Read More