Makoto Consulting Articles

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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Lean Culture Produces Flow

The Makoto Way

Truth – Sincerity – Trust – Fun I want to talk about what Makoto means- who we are as a company and how we do what we do. One phrase we use quite frequently is employee-driven continuous improvement. This is the ability to empower employees in teams to make a change for the better in…

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Leading the discussion in your business process transformation

SIPOC stands for: suppliers – inputs – process – outputs – customers One of the first things to acknowledge when conducting a SIPOC is that it will paint a defined picture of your overarching process. A SIPOC will help you to visualise the nature and scope of your processes. It’s very simple to construct, has…

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Visual Management

Visual management and the team meeting

Visual management is linked to and forms a part of 5S. Visual management allows us to picture and then effectively attend to the performance in an area. It’s a tool which, through use, creates a point of power from which to focus on parts of a business in a manner that encourages communication between people.…

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Leader Standard Work

Firstly, I want to acknowledge friend and Lean practitioner role model Barry McCarthy for the inspiration to write my thoughts down on Leader Standard Work. His talks during the 2019 AME conference in Melbourne allowed me to form the basis of this article. Most people think of Leaders and managers as the same thing and…

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Standard Work allows Kaizen

Standard work is one of the foundational elements of embedding Lean into a business. A Point from which to Improve Standard work is important from the perspective that its documentation gives you a point from which to improve. If a standard isn’t set – a consistent way of working – then the ability to improve…

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Where Kaizen and Lean Meet

The symbiosis of Lean and Kaizen Kaizen is an interesting concept. It’s a separate element to Lean. Lean is about waste elimination, put simply. Kaizen is the focus of continuous improvement and innovative thinking (practical wisdom, my friend Barry McCarthy calls it). The two are not mutually exclusive, but they are distinct components. I want…

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In an industry all about growth of product, growth of people is important too

I recently had the opportunity to conduct a value stream mapping exercise with a wholesale nursery to help identify constraints in their processes. They have millions of items to deliver in a year – an incredible operation. So, we are dealing with a perishable product with a finite time frame for delivery. Significant challenges exist…

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