TORONTO, Ont.--Rod Morgan, Program Manager and Chief Instructor for the Masters Certificate in Lean Six Sigma programs at the Schulich School of Business, spoke to delegates at the CITT’s Reposition 2013 conference this morning, in a session on employing lean principles, tools and methods in logistics operations. CITT welcomed over 250 attendees to its Reposition 2013 conference, taking place in Toronto from November 3-5.
Morgan, who is also Vice-President, Program Management and a founding member of e-Zsigma Canada Inc., says lean is not a panacea for all the problems of business. It’s a form of continuous improvement and is easy to understand.
Lean acts as an enabler, to get a culture going in your business, and to get everyone on the same page about goals and directions.
Process management is about capturing the “voice of the process”, marrying it with the “voice of the customer” and building a map of the process risk to enable a more thorough understanding of a situation, and to react to any issues.
“Value” can take on very different meanings. So having a clear, consistent definition of what value might mean from a lean perspective allows an organization to understand how value is created and how it flows to our customers.
Searching for things you need to either do your job or move the process downstream is a massive time-waster that a process like “5-S” can rectify.
You can apply 5-S anywhere, notes Morgan, even domestically, and it essentially aimes to eliminate the wasted time spent searching for things by establishing a system where everything has a place and where the items needed most frequently are more easily found.
There are five key principles to lean, which are:
-The definition of value, from a customer’s perspective
-The identification and mapping of a value stream (where “waste” is identified, notes Morgan)
-The reduction of waste and improvement of flow
-The move from “push” to “pull” from the customer
-The pursuit of perfection.
Motion and transportation are, not surprisingly, “waste” areas, notes Mogan.
“If you’re thinking about doing lean, you have to think about how you define value,” he says.
Part of determining that is brainstorming around the “single, unambiguous, overarching and universally applicable definition of value for your organization-something that could be provided to every employee and that would allow each of them to assess the work they are doing at any time,” he says.
“With a large group of people we have a lot of differing descriptions of value. Imagine what you would get in a large organization,” says Morgan.
Value is a process, step, activity or task that “transforms the deliverables of a process such that the customer is aware of it and is willing to pay for it,” i.e. as “value-added.”
Value is always stated in the eyes of the customer.
Waste, meanwhile, is defined as anything that does not add this value, and “lean-thinking” is an organizational culture that is intolerant of all forms of waste, says Morgan.