The Robots Are Coming! A Future of Autonomation

Lean Blog - Technology Luddites

Even if we never find ourselves in the nightmarish futures imagined by The Terminator and The Matrix, people are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the capabilities of machines. Actually, people have been uncomfortable with this for over 200 years. From the earliest days of industrialization in the 18th century, to the 21st century’s upheavals brought on

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Agile Creativity in Lean Product Development

Agile Creativity in Lean Product Development

Adapting to Customer Demand In Lean, we talk a lot about meeting customer demand. Often, the conversation turns to cycle time, takt time, and how to meet demand just-in-time. Yet, there is another factor of customer demand that people often ignore in this process: What does the customer actually want? You may have an established

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People: Continuously Improving

The key to Lean is continuous improvement, a concept that is often applied to processes and rarely to people. Thomas Crosby, CEO of Pal’s Sudden Service, a fast-food chain in Tennessee, takes employee training very seriously. In an interview with Inc. Magazine (link: http://www.inc.com/audacious-companies/leigh-buchanan/pals-sudden-service.html), he shared his perspective on improvement: “Every single day, everybody has

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Reducing Transportation Costs by Looking Within

Thanks to Lean logistics, some companies are cutting their transportation costs from within their own facilities. With fuel costs continuing to rise and employee time at a premium, manufacturers are examining how products move within their own facilities to look for potential savings. In some companies, raw materials zig-zag their way through the facility, making

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Core tenets of Lean retail execution

Retail, like most other industries, can benefit by integrating Lean processes and mindsets. If retailers are looking to maximize their budgets while minimizing waste and improving efficiency, then embracing a Kaizen work culture may be the best way to go. If merchants do go this route, they must observe the three core tenets of Lean

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Applying Kaizen to packaging practices

When you look at rows of products at grocery stores, malls or any other retail setting, there are dozens of items competing for your attention. What catches your attention, and how can you make your packing compete in the competitive retail shelf space? Packaging design is an important concept for any business that creates a physical

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Bringing Lean to call centers

If businesses asked consumers what the most frustrating part of the brand-customer relationship is, having to deal with customer service over the phone would likely be towards the top of the list. Although many companies have invested substantial resources into their call centers, many are still characterized by customers spending hours at a time waiting

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Amazon taps Kaizen to deliver the goods

Amazon is one of the most prominent retailers in the world, handling billions of dollars worth of transactions and delivering millions of products to consumers every year. It goes without saying that Amazon's warehouses are tremendously efficient to handle all of that activity without missing a beat, even in traditionally busy times for retailers such

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