7 min read

Economies of Scale Are Nice, But Rigidities of Scale?

By Gauthier Duval on Oct 20, 2022 3:31:07 PM

The effect of economies of scale is well-established and important for businesses. It is the principle behind the “learning curve effect” and the strategic value of gaining market share.

7 min read

How To Perform Root Cause Analysis With the “Five Times Why” Method

By Gauthier Duval on Sep 23, 2022 6:49:14 PM

In an earlier blog post, we said that defect prevention depended on understanding the root cause(s). Because this is such an important part of the problem-solving process, let’s explore it further.

10 min read

Do People Really Hate Their Job? (And Can You Change That?)

By Gauthier Duval on Jul 19, 2022 10:10:29 AM

There is a lot of talk about how difficult it is for businesses to find and keep workers. Whether you call it “The Great Resignation” or another term, something is clearly happening. The sixty-four-thousand-dollar question is, “What’s driving this?”.

Topics: Culture job design Psychology Lean basics
4 min read

How to Reduce Transactional Complexity with Lean

By Gauthier Duval on Jun 22, 2022 9:49:05 AM

Have you ever wondered where all the overhead in your business is coming from? Transaction costs might be to blame, but luckily there are things you can do to minimize these. Lean methodology holds the keys to reducing the most readily addressable issues affecting transaction costs in your business.

Topics: Lean Thought Leadership
4 min read

Additional Capacity vs Additional Inventory: Which is a Better Solution?

By Gauthier Duval on Jun 6, 2022 9:50:13 AM

You’ll sometimes hear inventory referred to as “crystallized capacity,” the idea being that when you have limited capacity, building inventory is a solution that helps you meet customer demand. The typical example is a seasonal business, like a manufacturer of skiing equipment. 

Topics: Agility Lean basics
7 min read

Value Stream Mapping: Trap or Treasure?

By Gauthier Duval on Jun 1, 2022 2:05:27 PM

Value stream mapping seems like a cryptic artificial constraint to the outsider, but it can actually be a powerful tool for your business. If you get past seeing this as a documentation exercise and explore the possibilities it exposes for operational improvements, you’ll see how a value stream map is worth your time.

Topics: Lean Methodology Lean Thought Leadership
5 min read

The Six Ideals of the Toyota Production System

By Gauthier Duval on Jun 1, 2022 2:04:54 PM

Many people know about the two pillars of the Toyota Production System (TPS): just-in-time and jidoka, and they probably know the two principles of TPS – continuous improvement and respect for people.

Topics: Lean Methodology Lean basics
4 min read

Why Standard Work is the “Secret Weapon” of the Best Lean Companies

By Gauthier Duval on Jun 1, 2022 2:01:52 PM

In this blog, we’ll provide a solution to a common problem across all industries: insufficient standardization, leading to quality issues and inconsistent throughput rates.

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence Lean Thought Leadership
7 min read

Why Most Businesses Can’t Sustain 5S

By Gauthier Duval on Jun 1, 2022 2:00:28 PM

Want a real challenge? I challenge you to find a factory with more than 20 people that doesn’t at least try to apply 5S.

Topics: Lean Methodology Lean Thought Leadership
5 min read

Why Lean Culture is Key to Revitalizing US Manufacturing

By Gauthier Duval on Jun 1, 2022 1:54:44 PM

Lean companies talk about “respect for people'' as a key piece of the Lean mindset, but what does it mean? It means that those who are closest to the process and add value are the true experts when it comes to rapid and sustained kaizen and that the role of managers is to develop and empower them. 

Topics: Lean basics
6 min read

Is Piecework a Lean Tool?

By Gauthier Duval on May 19, 2022 12:52:35 PM

While piecework is not as common as it used to be, perhaps you’re wondering if it would work in your business. For Lean practitioners especially, it’s important to consider how this would impact the culture of your workplace. Will workers still function as teams? Will productivity change?

Topics: Lean Thought Leadership
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