Effective ERP Implementation

I recently read about a Japanese company called OKI Electronics that went through implementing a new ERP system. They had a few good rules that I thought were quite smart and something I think all of us can learn from.  ERP Implementations – we all hear of nightmares trying to implement them, of work becoming harder once they were implemented, of IT…

Strong Supervision: The Key to Long-term Kaizen

A few weeks ago I had lunch with Tom Berghan, Lean Manager at Genie Industries. He is an avid student of the Toyota Production System and is always good for practical insights into ground-level Lean implementation. Tom observed that as American manufacturers are outsourcing, Toyota is keeping work in-house. When the world is flattening their org charts, Toyota is adding layers of…

Gemba Keiei, Chapter 4: Go See What Didn’t Work with Your Own Eyes

Taiichi Ohno starts this chapter by pointing out that it’s relatively easy to convince the people on the Gemba (factory floor) by having them try the new way and see that is better than another way, but that this is harder to convince managers, senior managers, and supervisors.  In disagreements between managers each side thinks they are right. If the managers don’t…

Wipro Studies TPS to Achieve Lean Transactions

I’m very excited about an article in Business Week titled “Taking a Page from Toyota’s Playbook” on how Indian info tech companies are adopting the Toyota model. As an example, Wipro visited a Toyota factory to study TPS, concluding “The goal for Wipro is to become the Toyota of business services.” These people get it.  How is Wipro applying what are essentially…

Three Useful Phrases for Kaizen

Finding myself in challenging discussions while coaching “change adverse” individuals from time to time, I try to make myself humble and ask “What would sensei do in this situation?” I cycle through the words and actions of Mr. Nakao, Mr. Nagata or Mr. Shimbo of the Shingijutsu Company. Usually I can select an appropriate approach.  Catching myself doing this lately I realized…