Makoto Consulting Articles

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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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…

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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…

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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…

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Creating Clarity in Processes

The collection of data leads to huge gains through the removal of non-value added waste from your process.   Quite often when we come into a manufacturing situation, we don’t know exactly why work is taking so long, why things aren’t going right. But what we do see are a lot of defects or work…

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Taking a Lean Approach to Insurance, Part 2

So let’s take another look at the challenges faced by the insurance industry. I’m going to delve further into the obstacles Makoto faced while implementing Lean in the head office of a major insurer in Japan. Previously I shared with you the eye-opening conversation about the insurance industry with our President, Brad Schmidt. From New…

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Taking a Lean Perspective to Insurance

Let’s take a look at the challenges faced by the insurance industry. Recently I sat down with our President, Brad Schmidt, and we discussed the challenges he had in implementing Lean in the head office of a major insurer in Japan. We gained some real insights during this multi-year engagement. Insights that strengthened our ability…

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Chasing Waste out of the Factory Environment

Chasing and eliminating waste is the most fundamental thing that can be done for our business. When we chase waste from our business as a part of our daily culture and habit we will continuously improve, or Kaizen. The two are interdependent. Chasing the 8 wastes in a factory or workshop environment as compared to…

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Lean and Kaizen for the Office

Lean and Kaizen for the Office – Reducing the 8 Wastes

When chasing waste out of a business using Lean methodology, we are looking for 8 wastes. Unused Creativity – Transport – Inventory – Motion – Waiting – Over-Processing – Over-Production – Defects It’s common knowledge that the implementation of Lean processes is as relevant to the office environment as it is to the factory or…

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