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KaiNexus Blog

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6 Steps to Improvement in Manufacturing

Posted by Brianna Hudock

Dec 1, 2020 3:59:48 PM

One of the most important responsibilities of managers in manufacturing environments is to contain costs. The most obvious cost to eliminate is the cost of low quality. Defective products and lost labor hours add no value to the customer and represent a significant strain on the organization.

To eliminate the waste of low quality, a strategic approach to improvement is essential. Here are five steps that support quality improvement in a meaningful, sustainable way.

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Topics: Quality, Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Process

Applying Lean Six Sigma in the Auto Manufacturing Sector

Posted by Taylor Edwards

Nov 17, 2020 12:40:20 PM

As you might guess from the name, a Lean Six Sigma methodology combines Lean manufacturing principles and those of Six Sigma. This approach to production management is popular in the automotive manufacturing industry. Although there are a few areas of caution, the methodology has helped Ford, Caterpillar, General Motors, Goodyear, and many more achieve their quality and value goals.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma, Improvement Process

Twitter’s “Blame Processes, Not People” Moment

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Sep 28, 2020 3:12:13 PM

With the blistering speed of this summer’s news cycle, we can’t blame you if you’ve already forgotten about the single largest security incident in Twitter’s history that took place on July 15 but was a doozy. It was also a teachable moment for Twitter and every other organization that involves people and technology. 

What Happened?

Early in the day on July 15, 2020, Twitter’s automated detection systems flagged some suspicious activity. Several Twitter accounts with short handles, like @USA, @drug, @love, and others, seemed to be compromised. These short handles are valued among certain hacker communities, so Twitter knows to keep an eye out for unusual access. The appropriate people were notified, and they began looking into the issue. Security incidents like this are common when you have a platform with hundreds of millions of users.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

The Principles of Lean in Banking

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Sep 22, 2020 10:00:00 AM

We often get questions about whether the Lean management methodology can be applied in the financial services industry. Because of its manufacturing roots, many people assume that it doesn’t apply to banking or other services-oriented sectors. However, because banking is very process-intensive, the Lean approach can generate significant operational improvement and waste reduction. That’s why many financial services organizations have implemented Lean in one form or another.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process

7 Habits of Highly Effective Kaizen Thinkers

Posted by JJ Puentes

Aug 11, 2020 9:30:00 AM

The practice of Kaizen is not about a particular way of performing business operations or even a specific approach to process improvement. Instead, it is a way of thinking about business operations that can transform how you look at problems and open up new doors to innovation. Kaizen seeks to move operations nearer and nearer to perfection through incremental improvement. Embracing the approach is not only beneficial for organizations, but it can also accelerate the development and help the careers of individual employees as well.

Here are seven ways of thinking that can help you become a champion for positive change.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

Ten Mid-Year CI Questions to Ask Every Employee

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jun 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

It's hard to believe that the first half of 2020 is in the books. Just kidding. I don't blame you if you feel like there's been 10 years worth of news in the last six months. It's been intense. COVID-19 has impacted every American to varying degrees and much has changed about the way we live and work.

This year, more than ever, it makes sense to do a mid-year check-in with every employee. Despite the challenging situation, continuous improvement driven by every team member is still essential.

By asking the right questions, you might uncover ways that leaders can provide better support for staff members trying to make the best out of difficult circumstances. Here are a few we recommend.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

When Zero is the Only Acceptable Goal

Posted by Brianna Hudock

Jun 23, 2020 1:30:00 PM

The Utah Department of Transportation has an audacious goal. Zero fatalities. According to its website, “Zero Fatalities is all about eliminating fatalities on our roadways. Some people may think zero is an impossible goal, but when it comes to your life or the lives of your friends and family, what other number would be acceptable?”

Has the department reached its goal? No. There have been 82 traffic fatalities in Utah this year as of writing this. Does that mean they should revise the target for the second half of the year? Maybe the goal should be to cut fatalities by 10%? Of course not, that would be absurd. Zero remains the only reasonable goal.

While your organization may not be involved in life or death matters, the quest for zero may still be relevant. Zero defects, zero safety incidents, zero rework, zero waste, zero customer complaints: these all may seem like impossible goals. But how many defects, accidents, do-overs, or angry customers are ok? Zero.

The State of Utah didn’t just set a lofty goal. They have a three-step approach to getting there. While the framework is simple, it is a great way to think about improving any outcome. They call it “The Three E’s of Emphasis.”

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Topics: Improvement Process

The Improvement Project Version of 20 Questions

Posted by Adam Darnell

Jun 3, 2020 9:00:00 AM

I'm sure you've all played the game 20 questions. The goal of the traditional parlor game is to uncover an object chosen by one player by asking questions that eliminate other possibilities until deductive reasoning reveals the answer. Careful selection of questions can significantly improve the odds of the questioner winning the game.

When it comes to improvement projects, it is also true that careful selection of questions can significantly improve the odds of "winning," also known as producing positive change. What follows are 20 questions, that if considered at the outset, can help set your improvement project up for success.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

How to Keep a Remote Workforce Engaged in Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 6, 2020 3:00:00 PM

Before I start this post on how to keep a workforce that has suddenly moved to a remote model due to the coronavirus engaged and motivated, I want to begin by acknowledging those workers who can't do their job from home.

Without the hospital staff, grocery store workers, pharmacists, first responders, delivery drivers, utility workers, assisted living employees, and countless others in our communities, this situation would be even worse than it is.

We see you. We thank you.

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Topics: Collaboration, Improvement Process

Continuous Quality Improvement is Hard to Sustain. We Know Why.

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Feb 25, 2020 12:23:46 PM

Has your organization started a quality improvement program with great fanfare and a ton of enthusiasm only to see it peter out over time? If so, you are not alone. Starting down the path to continuous improvement is easy. Sustaining momentum is not.

This post examines some of the most common reasons that CI programs go off the rails and how you can avoid or recover from them.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

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