Makoto Consulting Articles

Social Distancing and Lean

So, what a time. It’s a constantly moving situation for business continuity due to COVID-19.   I hope some of these comments will assist you a little with helping to keep your business running nicely, despite the current challenges. I have produced some fairly long videos in the last couple of weeks addressing the need…

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Map Your Future

Looking forward, on your value stream mapping journey, I want to talk about mapping a future state.   It’s important to recognise that your business needs to have some level of a target or goal that you want it to hit.  This is the purpose of mapping a future state. It’s relatively easy to identify…

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The Big Picture

Let’s take another look at the importance of value stream mapping your business. The principle idea of generating a value stream map being to keep it simple and capture valuable information about your process.   How to perceive a challenge When looking to identify consistent data around your processes in the absence of a repeatable…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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-…

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