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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Hidden Opportunities for Improvement in Manufacturing

Posted by Clint Corley

Dec 23, 2020 11:55:00 AM

Manufacturing organizations dedicated to continuous improvement look for opportunities to eliminate waste at every juncture. They may spend most of their time looking at core activities like production efficiency because improvements to essential processes result in significant gains.

However, there are many activities on the margins that can also be a significant source of waste. Improvements to these tasks might not yield monumental results, but the good news is they can be improved with just a little bit of attention and effort.

Is it possible that you might have opportunities for improvements hiding in plain sight? Here are a few places to look.

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Topics: Daily Lean Management, Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Process

Leader Standard Work: A Foundation for Improvement Culture

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 15, 2020 11:11:00 AM

In some organizations, the leaders who are good at putting out fires are considered the best managers. But what if, instead of putting out fires, leaders had the luxury to spend time on fire prevention? What if, when the rare flame was spotted, every leader was skilled in identifying and correcting the root cause? These conditions are possible with an approach called Leader Standard Work.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

Continuous Improvement Predictions for 2021

Posted by Noah Paratore

Dec 8, 2020 11:00:00 AM

If you think trying to predict anything that will happen in 2021 is insane after what’s happened this year, you have a point. But by applying the lessons learned from 2020 and some strong trends that make sense in this new normal, we think we have a reasonably good idea about what to expect concerning continuous improvement next year.

Here are our predictions. We’ll check back in a year to see how close we came.

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

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

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