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Lean Horizons Consulting

Glossary of Lean Terms

The term Lean derives from the improvement methodologies developed, refined and applied to the specific business needs of Toyota. These methodologies are commonly referred to as the Toyota Production System (TPS) or the Toyota Business System. In its entirety, TPS has many techniques of implementation, methodologies for deployment and tools for tactical analysis. To be successful, all of the above must be supported by a management philosophy that creates a culture of continuous improvement. This combination of understanding, maturity and tactical skill, when developed and deployed properly, enables performance improvements through the identification and elimination of “waste”…Lean. To enhance your understanding of Lean terminology, we offer this glossary. For an understanding of Lean Horizons Consulting’s methodology for deploying a Lean transformation, please consult the about us and our work sections of this site.

  • Affinity Diagram
    A process to organize disparate language information by placing it on cards and grouping the cards that go together in a creative way. “Header” cards are then used to summarize each group of car
  • Andon
    A line indicator light or board hung above the production line to act as a visual control, which shows at a glance the current state of work operation. Andons are used to visually signal an abnormal situation, and allow for quick corrective action to be taken by supervisors when a problem arises.Additionally, an Andon may provide work instructions such as quality checks, or changing of cutting tools.
  • Annual Improvement Priorities
    In Strategy Deployment, those initiatives that we need to achieve this year, and will enable us to reach our overall 3-5 year Breakthrough Objectives.
  • Apparent Efficiency
    Refers to increasing production output with no change in the number of workers. It is a numerical increase unrelated to production need as based on sales and market demand. (See True Efficiency).
  • Autonomation
    Automation with a human touch or transferring human intelligence to a machine. This allows the machine to detect abnormalities or defects and stop the process when they are detected. (See also Jidoka).
  • Backflush
    The process of automatically decrementing perpetual inventory records, based on the bill of materials of a given product. Normally triggered by shipment and invoicing to a customer, backflushing is used to eliminate wasteful inventory transactions.
  • Benchmarking
    A method of establishing internal expectations for excellence based on direct comparison to “best”. In some cases, the best is not a direct competitor in your industry.
  • Bowling Chart
    A form used to track performance (Plan vs. Actual) on Strategy Deployment Objectives. Usually reviewed with top management on a monthly basis, but reviewed by the SD team more frequently.
  • Breakthrough Objectives
    In Strategy Deployment, those objectives characterized by multi-functional teamwork, significant change in the organization, significant competitive advantage and major stretch for the organization.
  • Catch Ball
    Communication occurring vertically or horizontally in an organization with the goal of attaining common understanding and consensus.
  • Cause and Effect Diagram
    A problem-solving tool used to establish relationships between effects and multiple causes.
    Acronym for Cause and Effect Diagram with the Addition of Cards. CEDAC is a method for involving team members in the problem solving process.
  • Cellularization
    Grouping machines or processes that are connected by work sequence in a pattern that supports flow production.
  • Chaku-Chaku
    Japanese term for “Load-Load”. It refers to a production line raised to a level of efficiency that allows the operator to simply load the part and move on to the next operation. No effort is expended on unloading. (see Hanedashi).
  • Changeover
    As used in manufacturing, the time from when the last “good” piece comes off of a machine until the first “good” piece of the next product is made on that machine. Includes warm up, first piece inspection and adjustments. Changeover times can be reduced through the use of S.M.E.D.
  • Concurrent Engineering
    The practice of designing a product (or service), its production process, and its delivery mechanism simultaneously. The process requires considerable up-front planning as well as the dedication of resources early in the development cycle. The payoff comes in the form of shorter development time from concept to market, higher product quality, lower overall development cost and lower product or service cost.
  • Continuous Flow Process
    One of three basic requirements of Just-In-Time. This means eliminating the stagnation of work in and between processes and carrying out One Piece at a Time Production.
  • Control Chart
    A statistical tool for problem solving that indicates control of a process within established limits.
  • Control Element
    A specific process variable which must be controlled. Measurements of a control element indicate whether or not a stable condition has been achieved.
  • Counter Measures
    Immediate actions taken to bring performance that is tracking below expectations back into the proper trend. Requires root cause analysis.
  • Curtain Effect
    A method that permits the uninterrupted flow of production regardless of external process location or cycle time. Normally used when product must leave the cell for processing through equipment that cannot be put into the cell. (i.e. heat treat, curing oven, plating, wave solder) Curtain quantities are established using the following formula:Per unit Cycle Time of Curtain Process ÷ TAKT Time = Curtain Quantity
  • Cycle Time
    The total amount of time required for a worker to complete on cycle of their entire job process, including manual working time and walking time. (See also Takt Time).
  • Daily Management
    Attention each day to those issues concerned with the normal operation of a business.
  • Designed for Manufacture and Assembly (D.F.M.A.)
    A philosophy that strives to improve costs and employee safety by simplifying the manufacturing and assembly process through product design.
  • Development System
    An approach to product development that starts and ends with the voice of the customer. It involves representatives of manufacturing, finance, design engineering, sales and marketing as contributing team members from the concept stage to final product.
  • Economic Value Added (E.V.A.)
    A residual income measure that subtracts the cost of capital from the net operating profits after taxes (NOPAT). It is the financial performance measure most closely linked to shareholder value and the cornerstone for a financial management and incentive compensation system that makes managers think and act like owners.
  • Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (F.M.E.A.)
    A structured approach to assess the magnitude of potential failures and identify the sources of each potential failure. Corrective actions are then identified and implemented to prevent failure occurrence.
  • Five (5)S
    A method of creating a self-sustaining culture that perpetuates an organized, clean, and efficient work place. English words approximate the Japanese originals:
    • Simplify – (Seiri) Clearly distinguish between what is needed and what is not needed to perform a given work process.
    • Straighten – (Seiton) Organize those things that are needed, making it easy for users to locate, use and return them.
    • Scrub – (Seiso) Clean all aspects of the area, including floors, machines and furniture.
    • Stabilize – (Seiketsu) Maintain and improve the first three S’s in addition to personal orderliness and neatness.
    • Sustain – (Shitsuke) Achieve the discipline or habit of maintaining the correct 5S procedures.
  • Five Why’s
    A simple problem solving method of analyzing a problem or issue by asking “why” five times. The root cause should become evident by continuing to ask why a situation exists.
  • Fixed Manpower Line
    Always requires a fixed number of workers. If production fluctuates up or down, the number of workers cannot be increased or decreased to match those fluctuations. (See also Isolated Job Sites, Flexible Manpower Line).
  • Fixed Position Stop System
    When a worker on a conveyor line notices a problem, such as a delay in the work flow or quality defect, they turn on a fixed-position stop switch. Instead of stopping immediately, the conveyor keeps moving until it reaches a fixed position. Turning on the switch also summons the supervisor. (See also Andon, Jidoka).
  • Flexible Manpower Line
    Preparing a production line so that it can meet changing production requirements with any number of workers, without lowering productivity. (See also Fixed Manpower Line, Isolated Job Sites, Manpower Savings).
  • Flow Chart
    A problem solving tool that illustrates a process. It can show the “as is” process or “should be” process for comparison and should make waste evident.
  • Flow Production
    A philosophy that rejects batch, lot or mass processing as wasteful. Product should move (flow) from operation to operation in the smallest increment, one piece being the ultimate. Product should be pulled from the preceding operation, as it is needed. Often referred to as “One Piece Flow”, only quality parts are allowed to move to the next operation.
  • Frequent Conveyance
    Increasing the delivery frequency of parts in order to keep the inventory at each process to a minimum. (See also Mixed Load Conveyance).
  • Genchi Genbutsu
    Problem solving at the actual place to see what is really going on. It means to go out and see for yourself and not rely on second or third hand information.
  • Hanedashi
    Device or means of automatic unload of the work piece from one operation or process, providing the proper state for the next work piece to be loaded. Automatic unloading and orientation for the next process is essential for a “Chaku-Chaku” line.
  • Heijunka
    Production leveling process. This process attempts to minimize the impact of peaks and valleys in customer demand. It includes level production-volume and level production-variety. (See also Just-In-Time).
  • Histogram
    A chart that displays data in distribution, generally in graph format. It may be used to reveal the variation that any process contains.
  • Hoshin
    Developed by executive management, this is a goal (with targets) and means for achieving those goals. Addresses business priorities to move the company to a new level of performance, and can vary from year-to-year or could be multi-year.
  • Isolated Job Sites
    Refers to job sites that are in isolated locations, where the worker cannot easily work closely with other job sites for flexibility during increases or decreases in production. (See also Flexible Manpower Line, Fixed Manpower Line).
  • J.I.T. Accounting
    An accounting system that seeks to reduce accounting transactions while at the same time improving the accuracy of product costs and manufacturing performance. JIT Accounting relies on continuous improvement trends to established goals rather than traditional variance analysis. (also known as Lean Accounting).
  • Jidoka
    Automation with a human touch or transferring human intelligence to a machine. This allows the machine to detect abnormalities or defects and stop the process when they are detected. Defects are therefore prevented from passing through the line, and makes it possible to build in quality into the production process. Since defects are prevented automatically, inspectors become unnecessary, which in turn results in significant labor savings. (See also Autonomation).
  • Jishuken
    Management driven Kaizen activity where management members identify areas in need of continuous improvement and spread information through the organization to stimulate Kaizen activity.
  • Just in Time (J.I.T.)
    A strategy that concentrates on making quality products, in the quantity needed, when it is needed. This strategy exposes waste and makes continuous improvement possible.
  • Kaikaku
    Japanese for radical overhaul of an activity to eliminate all waste (Muda) and create greater value.
  • Kaizen
    Japanese for Continuous Improvement. Based on the philosophy that what we do today should be better than yesterday and what we do tomorrow should be better than today, never resting or accepting status quo. Continuous Improvement recognizes that Muda (waste) exists everywhere related to people, materials and facilities, or the production set-up itself.
    Kaizen also refers to a series of activities where instances of waste are eliminated one by one at minimal cost, by workers pooling their knowledge and increasing efficiency in a timely manner. Kaizen activities typically emphasize manual work operations rather than equipment.
  • Kanban
    A means of communicating need for products or services. It is generally used to trigger the movement of material where one piece flow cannot be achieved, but is also used to “signal” upstream processes to produce product for downstream processes.
  • Kanban – Inter-Process (Parts Withdrawal)
    This Kanban is used between production processes for following processes to pick up required parts from preceding processes. (See also Kanban – Supplier).
  • Kanban – Intra-Process
    Used to order the start of a particular job within a larger process, such as within the same machine shop. Its purpose is to make sure that the parts withdrawn by the following process are replaced by exactly the amount withdrawn, in the order withdrawn. (See also Kanban – Signal).
  • Kanban – Parts Withdrawal
    Indicates the timing and quantity for a worker at one process to pick up a new supply of parts from a preceding process. (See also Kanban – Inter-Process, Kanban – Supplier).
  • Kanban – Production Instruction
    Used to order the start of production at each production job site. (See also Kanban – Intra-Process, Kanban – Signal).
  • Kanban – Signal
    A Production Instruction Kanban used on production lines where different items are processed and time is needed for changing from processing of one item to another. It is often called a “Triangle Kanban” due to its shape. It is used mainly for jobs related to stamping, die casting, and resin molding. (See also Kanban – Intra-Process).
  • Kanban – Supplier
    Attached to parts containers coming from suppliers. These are used the same way as an Inter-Process Kanban.
  • Kanban – Temporary
    Used to indicate production for use in the future, for example to adjust for difference in working days between the manufacturer and suppliers, or make up for time spent on die maintenance or machine repairs. These Kanban show clearly their date of expiration, are only used once, and collected after use. They are usually distinguished from other Kanban by a red line drawn diagonally across them.
  • Kanban Cycle (Delivery Cycle)
    An agreed upon delivery cycle that indicates the frequency of deliveries, and the number of cycles required for parts to be delivered after a particular Kanban is issued.
  • Key Performance Indicator (K.P.I.)
    Key Performance Indicator. A method of tracking or monitoring the progress of existing daily management systems.
  • Labor Savings
    Partial replacement of manual labor by machines. The savings in labor, however, is not to the extent of saving on unit of manpower. (See also Manpower Savings).
  • Manpower Savings
    Improving work procedures, machinery and equipment to free workers from particular jobs on a production line consisting of one or more workers. (See also Labor Savings).
  • Mixed Load Conveyance
    When any plant transport vehicle is loaded with more than one type of part. Use of mixed loading makes it possible to increase frequency of delivery without lowering conveyance efficiency (i.e. without increasing the total number of deliveries). This allows the amount of inventory kept at each process to be decreased, and permits the delivery schedules to be more easily adjusted according to production changes. (See also Frequent Conveyance).
  • Mizu-Sumashi (Fixed Course Pick Up)
    In this system, a delivery worker goes around fixed routes inside the plant stopping along the way to pick up sets of parts to take to the production line for assembly. Taiichi Ohno coined the phrase Mizu-Sumashi, or “Water Spider”.
  • Monozukuri
    Having the spirit to produce excellent products ant the ability to constantly improve a production system and process.
  • Mu Jun
    Try everything in Kaizen activities. “Making sense is important, but in Kaizen it is better to try first and think later” – Taiichi Ohno.
  • Muda
    Japanese for “waste”. It refers to non-value-added activities, or process steps that take time, resources or space (therefore increasing costs), but do not transform or shape the product or service towards that which is sold to a customer.
    Eight types of waste have been identified for business. They are as follows:
    1. Waste from over-production
      • Producing anything earlier than needed and/or in greater volumes than needed, resulting in excess inventory. This is also the most serious of all wastes.
    2. Waste from waiting or idle time
      • Refers to a situation where a worker who has been working according to a standardized work sequence finds themselves unable to proceed to the next job. This often occurs due to a low work volume.
    3. Waste from unnecessary transportation
      • Refers to any transportation above the minimum necessary to keep Just-In-Time production operating smoothly.
    4. Waste from inefficient processes
      • Any work or processing that does not add value to the product and advance the production process, or contribute to the precision of quality of the processed units.
    5. Waste of unnecessary stock on hand (inventory)
      • All of the inventory that is derived from the process of production and transportation.
    6. Waste of motion and efforts
      • Refers to any unnecessary motion in the production process. For example, production line workers should not have to walk long distances, reach for items, repeat motions, lift heavy items or other unsafe actions.
    7. Waste from producing defective goods
      • Refers to the waste of producing defective items that must be repaired or disposed of. This includes the regular processes which tend to make people less aware of the waste involved and slow improvement.
    8. Waste from dysfunctional behaviors
      • Refers to when someone is not used to their full capabilities (under-utilizing), or the opposite, where a task is assigned to someone who is not qualified to complete it (over-utilizing).
  • Multi-Machine Handling
    Refers to one shop worker that will move among a group of machines or pieces of equipment and operate them to perform multiple jobs by himself. The machines and equipment are grouped together because of the similarity of processes involved or similarity of the machines used. (See also Multi-Process Handling).
  • Multi-Process Handling
    One shop worker will move down a row of machines or equipment arranged in the order of the flow of production processes and will perform all necessary jobs within the Takt-Time. (See also Multi-Machine Handling, Multi-Skilled Worker).
  • Multi-Skilled Worker
    Associates at any level of the organization that are diverse in skills and training. They provide the organization with flexibility and grow in value over time. Essential for achieving maximum efficiency through J.I.T. (See also Multi-Process Handling).
  • Mura
    Japanese for “unevenness”. Refers to irregularities that sometimes happen in the production schedule in the volume of parts produced. Instead of remaining at set levels, volume moves temporarily up or down. For workers, it refers to workloads that vary from the standard. (See also Muri, Muda).
  • Muri
    Japanese for “unreasonableness”. On a job site, this refers to giving too heavy of a mental or physical burden to workers on the shop floor. With regards to machinery, this means trying to have equipment do more than it is normally capable of.
  • Nemawashi
    Preliminary work to involve other departments in discussions to seek input, information and/or support for a proposal or change that would affect them.
  • On Line Set Up
    Refers to the operations which cannot be carried out without stopping the line or machines. This includes the actual changing of dies, cutting tools, or jigs. (See also Set Up Time).
  • One Piece At A Time Production
    Refers to the system of production in which only one part is processed or assembled and sent along the production line to following processes. (See also Continuous Flow Process).
  • Operation Standards
    Ensure that standardized work is carried out correctly at each job site. The information is available at each job site on worksheets based on diagrams, quality check standards, quality control process charts, and safety standards. They are aimed at achieving quality, quantity, cost and safety targets. (See also Standard Work).
  • Operational Availability
    The time that a machine operates maintenance free as a percentage of the total time during which it is turned on. This is equivalent to the reliability of the equipment and its maintenance. The ideal condition is to have 100% operational availability during the time the machine is turned on to fill a Kanban order. (See also Rate of Operation).
  • Overflow Parts
    Parts that cannot fit on the racks along the production line or in other storage locations. They end up on the floor or in other temporary storage locations.
  • Pacemaker
    This is a tool that informs the shop worker, foreman, and/or supervisor whether work operations are ahead of or behind schedule.
  • Pareto Chart
    A vertical bar graph showing the bars in descending order of significance, ordered from left to right. Helps to focus on the vital few problems rather than the trivial many. An extension of the Pareto Principle suggests that the significant items in a given group normally constitute a relatively small portion of the items in the total group. Conversely, a majority of the items will be relatively minor in significance, (i.e. the 80/20 rule).
  • Performance Analysis Board
    A board located at the job site on which hourly production targets are recorded along with the actual production achieved. Details concerning problems and abnormal conditions can also be recorded. The supervisor checks the board hourly, takes steps to prevent the re-occurrence of abnormalities, and confirms the positive effects of job site improvements that have been introduced. (See also Visual Management).
  • Pick Up And Supply System
    When a worker picks up a new supply of parts from a preceding process, they take with them a supply of material corresponding to the amount of parts they will be obtaining. Via this system, when the preceding process is situated by itself in an isolated location its inventory is kept at a constant level.
  • Plan Do Check Act Cycle (P.D.C.A.)
    Plan-Do-Check-Act. The PDCA cycle, sometimes referred to as the Deming cycle, is an important item for control in strategy deployment.
  • Poka-Yoke
    Also Baka-Yoke, a Japanese expression meaning “common or simple, mistake proof.” A method of designing production or administrative processes which will, by their nature, prevent errors. This may involve designing fixtures, which will not accept an improperly loaded part. In the administrative area, having a credit memo be a different color than a debit memo. It requires that thought be put into the design of any system to anticipate what can go wrong and build in fail-safe measures to prevent errors. (See also Jidoka).
  • Policy Deployment
    A one year plan, reflecting the long-term vision and the 3-5 year strategic planning objectives. A planning/implementation process that focuses on a few, major, long term, customer focused breakthrough objectives that are critical to a company’s long term success. This process links major objectives with specific support plans throughout the organization. (also referred to as “Strategy Deployment”).
  • Policy Deployment Action Plan
    Form used by the team working on a PD objective, detailing specific activities required for success, milestones, responsibilities and due dates. Team members are also listed with objective definition, meeting dates and management support or owner.
  • Policy Deployment Matrix
    Form used to show relationships between 3-5 year objectives, improvement priorities, targets, resources required and benefits to the organization. Sometimes called the “X Matrix”.
  • Process Map
    A visual representation of the sequential flow of a process. Used as a tool in problem solving, this technique makes opportunities for improvement apparent.
  • Productivity
    A measure used to evaluate production productivity, calculated as follows:
    Productivity = Actual production of accepted units ÷ (Number of workers x operating hours)
  • Quality Control Process Chart
    Lists the quality control items, standards, specifications and characteristics of each process for building quality in at the production processes. It also includes the names of the supervisors and shop workers who are responsible for the quality control methods used. (See also Operation Standards).
  • Quality Function Deployment (Q.F.D.)
    A system for translating consumer requirements into appropriate company requirements at each stage from research and product development to engineering and manufacturing to marketing/sales and distribution. Makes use of the voice of the customer throughout the process.
  • Rate of Operation
    States the actual production levels being achieved by equipment. It is the percentage of total production capacity actually produced during regular work hours as determined by demand. (See also Operational Availability).
  • Root Cause
    The ultimate reason for an event or condition.
  • Scheduled Quantity Conveyance
    When a set quantity of parts is used up at a following process, a worker picks up a fresh supply of parts from a preceding process. (See also Scheduled Time Conveyance).
  • Scheduled Time Conveyance
    Conveyance moves at set times only. This means the volume of parts carried varies according to the volume consumed between each conveyance. Conveying a scheduled quantity is preferable to conveying an unscheduled quantity, but for distant destinations, unscheduled quantity is the only practical way. (See also Scheduled Quantity Conveyance).
  • Set-Up Time
    The time it takes to change over from the production of one product to another, from the instant that the processing of the last component of one type is finished, to the production of the first good sample of the next type of component. It includes all the time needed for changeover of the dies, cutting tools, etc. (See also On Line Set Up).
  • Simultaneous Start Time Study
    A method used to uncover problems on a production line. At a given signal, all shop workers start work beginning with the first job in the standardized work sequence. When they have finished one cycle of jobs, another signal is given and they start work on the next cycle. (See also Pacemaker).
  • Single Minute Exchange of Dies (S.M.E.D.)
    Method of increasing the amount of productive time available for a piece of machinery by minimizing the time needed to change from one model to another. This greatly increases the flexibility of the operation and allows it to respond more quickly to changes in demand. It also has the benefit of allowing an organization to greatly reduce the amount of inventory that it must carry because of improved response time, while maximizing ROI and EVA.
  • Six Sigma
    A process that is six sigma generates a maximum defect probability of 3.4 parts per million (PPM) when the amount of process shifts and drifts are controlled over the long term to less than +1.5 standard deviations from the centered mean.
  • Specifications Manifest
    A paper leaflet attached to a product, which gives instructions regarding the parts to be fitted to the product. The advantage of this leaflet is that the information and product move together.
  • Standard
    A prescribed documented method or process that is sustainable, repeatable and predictable.
  • Standard Production Capacity Sheet
    Indicates the maximum capacity for parts processing at any one process. Recorded on it are the amount of time spent in manual work, the machine’s automatic operation time the time spent in changing cutting tools, etc. It is used for calculating the capacity of each process. (See also Standard Work Combination Table).
  • Standard Work
    Standard Work is a tool that defines the interaction of people and their environment when processing a product or service. It details the motion of the operator and the sequence of action. It provides a routine for consistency of an operation and a basis for improvement. It details the best process we currently know and understand. Tomorrow it should be better, (continuous improvement), and the standard work should be revised to incorporate the improvement. There can be no improvement without a basis or or standard.Standard Work has three central elements; Takt Time, Standard Work Sequence, and Standard Work in Process. Standard work (as a tool) establishes a routine/habit/pattern for repetitive tasks, makes managing (scheduling, resource allocation) easier, establishes the relationship between person and environment, provides a basis for improvement by defining the normal and highlighting the abnormal, and it prohibits backsliding.
  • Standard Work Chart
    Shows the outline of work for each worker. It records Takt Time, Standard Work Sequence, and Standard Work in Process, plus quality checks and safety warning symbols and other information. (See also Standard Work).
  • Standard Work Combination Table
    Clarifies how much time is spent doing manual work and walking at each production process. It is used to examine the range of processes that one worker can take care of within Takt Time. The amount of time during which machines or equipment are operated are also recorded to help determine what combinations of operations are possible. (See also Standard Work).
  • Standard Work In Process
    The minimum amount of material or a given product, which must be in process at any time to insure proper flow of the operation. It allows the worker to do their job continuously in a set sequence of processes, repeating the same operation over and over in the same order. (See also Standard Work).
  • Standardization
    The system of documenting and updating procedures to make sure everyone knows clearly and simply what is expected of them. Essential for application of PDCA cycle.
  • Strategic Plan
    The management team’s vision for where and how they will win on a sustainable long-term basis in terms of customer, product, channel, quality, delivery, and cost.
  • Sunk Cost
    An expenditure that has already been incurred and cannot be reversed. Future decisions should not be based on sunk costs.
  • Supplier Partnership
    An approach to business that involves close cooperation between the supplier and the customer. It provides benefits and responsibilities that each party must recognize and work together to realize.
  • Takt Time
    The frequency with which the customer wants a product. How frequently a sold unit must be produced. The number is derived by dividing the amount of time available in a shift by the customer demand for that shift. Takt Time is usually expressed in seconds.
  • Takt Time Actual
    It is desirable that production targets be achieved within regular work hours, and the word “Takt Time” refers to work accomplished within regular hours. When it becomes necessary, for operational purposes, to calculate Takt Time for other than regular hours, that Takt Time is called “Actual Takt Time”.
  • Target Costing
    A method or establishing a cost objective for a product or service during the design phase. The target cost is determined by the following formula:Sales Price – Target Profit = Target Cost
  • Total Productive Maintenance (T.P.M.)
    Productive maintenance carried out by all employees. It is based on the principle that equipment improvement must involve everyone in the organization, from line operators to top management.
  • True Efficiency
    Producing the number of parts that can be sold while utilizing the minimum number of workers and equipment possible. It is contrasted with producing as much as possible with available workers and equipment. Essentially, this is a cost reduction concept. (See also Apparent Efficiency).
  • Two Point Control
    Refers to the coordinating by conveyor of the work relationship between two processes.
  • Value Added (Shigoto)
    Any process or operation that shapes or transforms the product or service into a final form that the customer will purchase.
  • Vertical Teams
    Vertical teams are groups of people who come together to meet problems or challenges. These teams are made up of the most appropriate people for the issue, regardless of their levels or jobs within the organization.
  • Vision
    A long-term plan of direction that is based on a careful assessment of the most important directions for the organization.
  • Visual Management
    Systems that enable anyone to immediately assess the current status of an operation or given process at a glance, regardless of their knowledge of the process. (See also Andon, Kanban).
  • Voice of the Customer
    Desires and requirements of the customer at all levels, translated into real terms for consideration in the development of new products, services and daily business conduct.
  • Work Sequence
    The specific order in which an operator performs the manual steps of the process, which leads the operator to produce quality products in the most efficient way. (See also Standard Work).
  • World Class Quality Management
    An operating methodology totally committed to quality and customer satisfaction. It focuses on continuous improvement in all processes and advocates decisions based on fact. World Class Quality Management includes all associates in meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
  • Yokoten
    Refers to plant related activities or countermeasures that are communicated plant wide and with other company affiliates. For example, if an injury occurs in one part of the plant, complete details of the injury are communicated plant-wide. Supervisors will look to see if any conditions exist in their departments where a similar injury can be possible. If so, they will adapt countermeasures provided in the communication to remove those conditions and possible injuries.
Flatlined: Why Lean Transformations Fail and What to Do About It Book Cover

Flatlined: Why Lean Transformations Fail and What to do About It

Turn Waste into Wealth: How to Find Cash in Every Corner of the Company Book Cover

Turn Waste into Wealth: How to Find Cash in Every Corner of the Company