200 episodes

Start each workday with digestible nuggets on the benefits of running a lean organization. We cover 5 topics in 5 days in about 5 minutes.

1. Leadership- Discover key concepts for successfully leading your organization during its lean transformation.
2. Culture/Intrapreneurship- Learn how to support your intrapreneurs, those who are driving change within your organization.
3. Lean Topics- Still catching on to lean principles and methodologies? We’ll help you with the basics and advanced topics.
4. Industry 4.0- Learn how smart manufacturing, smart factories, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and more will change the face of business.
5. Interviews- Hear from others that are on their lean journey and learn their secrets to success!

Learn more about American Lean at www.americanlean.com
Tom Reed can be reached at tom@americanlean.com

American Lean Weekday: Leadership | Lean Culture & Intrapreneurship | Lean Methods | Industry 4.0 | Case Studies Tom Reed: Lean Enthusiast & President of American Lean

    • Management
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Start each workday with digestible nuggets on the benefits of running a lean organization. We cover 5 topics in 5 days in about 5 minutes.

1. Leadership- Discover key concepts for successfully leading your organization during its lean transformation.
2. Culture/Intrapreneurship- Learn how to support your intrapreneurs, those who are driving change within your organization.
3. Lean Topics- Still catching on to lean principles and methodologies? We’ll help you with the basics and advanced topics.
4. Industry 4.0- Learn how smart manufacturing, smart factories, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and more will change the face of business.
5. Interviews- Hear from others that are on their lean journey and learn their secrets to success!

Learn more about American Lean at www.americanlean.com
Tom Reed can be reached at tom@americanlean.com

    Year End 2020

    Year End 2020

    Have a sage and wonderful New Year and thank you for listening!
    http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1499224100 (Rate and Review Here)

    More show notes are https://americanlean.com/blog/what-to-include-in-your-lean-training-part-4/ (here)
    https://americanlean.com/contact/ (Schedule a free 1/2 call) with Tom Reed.https://www.amazon.com/dp/1645162818 (Buy) the Lean Game Plan

    • 3 min
    What to Include in Your Lean Training - Part 4

    What to Include in Your Lean Training - Part 4

    Since it is near the end of the year and your company might consider Lean training, I thought I’d give you an early present and cover what to include in your Lean training. This is not an exhaustive list- I’m breaking the topics up over several weeks.
    Up to this point, we have covered 12 other Lean topics- Lean History, VA vs. NVA, the 8 wastes, 6S, Current state and future state VSM’s, waste walks, PICK chart, RIE’s, A3’s, setting up an LPO and developing a Master Plan and RIE report-outs.
    If you cover these topics, I know you will have a very solid start in educating employees on Lean topics that will benefit your company immensely! It’s helpful to add workshops for many of these topics to keep people excited and engaged when we can all get into a training room again!
    1. Flow tools and balanceOne of the most important elements of Lean is being able to flow products or processes. Think of a river. You don’t want a bunch of delays in the flow of product or information as items pass through your systems. Delays lead to increased lead time, which affects your customer and impacts cash-flow.
    There are many flow tools to use in understanding how you build your product. The first high-level tool is value stream mapping. Then you can use process flow diagrams and product families to understand which parts belong in a family-based upon process commonality.
    You can use resource calculations to calculate how many resources you will need to produce a certain volume of product. Once you understand how many resources are required, it’s important to lay out the resources in an efficient manner so your product can flow.
    The closer you can come to the product process flow diagram, the better your flow will be, because the process flow diagram shows the most efficient way to build the product.
    Spaghetti diagrams- where you follow a part through its current state, visually show the state of your current flow. It’s called a spaghetti diagram because, more than likely, your flow will resemble a bowl of spaghetti.
    Now it’s time to develop a future state flow. You can try using cells- self-contained layouts where raw material enters and a complete part leaves the cell. These are great for supporting families of parts.
    A key element for setting up a successful cell is balance. It’s important to set up a cell where each step in the operation has about the same amount of work content as the other ones. You want to produce a product from the cells based upon a Takt time- a German word for rhythm or beat. We base it upon customer demand and let you know how often you need to produce a product.
    2. Pull Systems (Kanban)You try to flow your product as much as possible, but when you can’t flow it, you can pull it using a visual signal called Kanban. Kanban is a Japanese word that means signal. It can be a card, it can be an X on the table.
    It signals your operators when to do work or when to stop doing work. The purpose is to signal you only when more items are needed. If you don’t have a signal to product items, you don’t build.
    This is a powerful tool for controlling inventory and WIP and works well in freeing up inventory dollars.
    3. Setup reduction/TPMYou might think that setup reduction is only applicable to a machine shop. It’s applicable anywhere you have a setup. Maybe you need to switch between computer software to do your job. That’s a setup.
    Regardless, teach the steps of setup reduction. 1. Identify what setup to focus on. This might be a high-moving part. 2. Video the setup. Use two cameras and video the setup. One closer to the setup where you can see the operator and one farther away so you can see where he/she goes. 3. Review the video and write down the setup elements. Mark them as VA or NVA. 4. Either eliminate the NVA steps or do them externally to the setup. Operators might shut the machine down, then go

    • 6 min
    How to Engage Employees during your Lean Transformation

    How to Engage Employees during your Lean Transformation

    Employee engagement is going to make or break you on your Lean transformation. For those that are interested in a successful Lean Transformation, I have a secret for you. Lean is about changing the culture of your organization. Ask yourself, how do I turn my employees into daily problem solvers? One success indicator of employee engagement is having them drive the transformation effort within your company, but how do you get there? Here are five ways to engage employees during your Lean transformation.
    First, let’s talk about what the end state looks like. Ideally, you have developed a supportive culture that develops over years. You want a support system driven from the bottom up.
    Most organizations are top-down driven. That looks like a typical triangle organization structure. The top leader speaks, and everyone works to carry out those directives.
    To truly have culture change, you need to adopt a more supporting servant leadership style of managing. Each level provides support to the one above it, and employees are driving the transformation. It is the leader’s job to provide support and remove roadblocks. This servant-leader culture looks like an inverted triangle.
    That’s great, you might say. I can see from the graphic how it is supposed to work, but how does my company get there? How do we drive daily problem solving into the organization and change the culture over time? How do we embed Lean thoughts and processes into our company’s DNA so that this isn’t some flavor of the month program?
    Here are five opportunities that you can use during your Lean transformation to get employees engaged and excited about culture change.
    1. Have a clear vision and present it to the workforceThis means you have developed a True North vision and your company’s Lean Management System. These two items share with employees which is important to the company. After these are in place, you can reinforce company values and goals during daily stand-up meetings with employees.
    2. Have daily stand up meetingsIf you aren’t having daily 10 minute stand up meetings, begin having them. This is a perfect time to review 1. Safety issues 2. Quality issues and review elements of the Lean Management System. It will take time, but eventually, employees will open up and share opportunities for things to improve in these meetings.
    3. Have all employees attend Lean trainingIt doesn’t have to be super intense but provide training that introduces employees to Lean terminology and a few key concepts like Value Stream Mapping and Rapid Improvement Events. The key is to have everyone in the company take part in the training. This lets everyone know that you are taking the Lean Transformation seriously and it will not become a book of the month program.
    4. Ensure the workforce is involved in Lean activitiesInvite employees to develop Value Stream Maps, take part in 6S activities, and be in Rapid Improvement Events that occur within your organization. One of the eight wastes is Not Listening to People’s Ideas. You must include employees in these Lean activities. They are the ones on the front line every day. They know where the waste is in their processes. Engage them to make improvements within their areas.
    5. Celebrate!Make sure that at the end of every 6S event, Rapid Improvement Event, or Value Stream Mapping event you have them report out to the leadership team. As leaders, make sure you support and celebrate their efforts. Thank them for participating. Recognize that they are nervous during the report out. Celebrate the fact that you have gotten 5-8 more people engaged in the process!
    If you follow these simple steps, you will engage employees during your Lean transformation!
    As always, it is an honor to serve you, and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!
    http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1499224100 (Rate and Review Here)

    • 5 min
    Focus on the Customer in 2021

    Focus on the Customer in 2021

    What is the purpose of your business? Is it to make money as many people believe? I took finance during my MBA program and finance says your goal is to generate shareholder value. That doesn’t sound like a great rallying cry for employees. “We have to focus on increasing our shareholder value in 2021.” Yeah, no. How about you find better ways to focus on the customer in 2021?
    Can you use that to engage and energize employees? I bet so, and if you make improvements in that area, I bet your revenue will increase.
    1. Review your True NorthHopefully, your True North focuses upon the customer. If not, give it a review. Here is LinkedIn’s- “to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”. Nike’s is to “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world*”. The asterisk says if you have a body you are an athlete.
    Take the time with your leadership team to review your True North and make sure it makes sense.
    2. Instill it in the company cultureNow that you have a relevant customer supporting True North, how do you ensure your company walks the walk? Maybe you had outside help in developing your True North and hired a firm to make a nice graphic, posters, etc.
    Now the heavy lifting begins. Instilling your True North into the company culture. Every employee has to understand their role in supporting the customer. Supporting the customer has to show up in their employee review language and employee plans.
    Begin every meeting reviewing the True North until everyone has heard it 2,000 times and then you have a good start. Ensure your actions and the actions of those you lead to support the True North and the customer.
    3. Map the Customer JourneyNow that your enterprise culture change is beginning, map the customer journey from the time they click on the website or pick up the phone until the product or service is delivered to their door. Where are there multiple points of contact required of the customer? What are your response times in your call center? What are your first call resolution statistics?
    Use items like value stream mapping and customer journey mapping to “see” where you can make improvements. Make sure these events are cross-functional and have input from employees in every area of the business. Ensure that your IT group is part of the mapping as well, so they can understand there is a difference between pretty and functional. Or high-tech and meeting the needs of the customer.
    4. Develop your 2021 improvement planAs a leadership team, develop your improvement plan. Where do you need to focus on improving the customer experience first? Second, etc.? Deploy the resources required to make the improvements.
    Establish the correct metrics to measure your performance. Survey your customers. Then survey them again. Consider using the Net Promoter Score to compare yourself to others in your industry.
    Ensure the improvement plan is moving forward as planned. Discuss it in leadership meetings. Make sure leaders involve employees across the business. This helps you cement your True North and drive employee engagement.
    If you follow these steps and focus on the customer in 2021, you will have an incredible year!
    As always, it is an honor to serve you, and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!
    http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1499224100 (Rate and Review Here)

    More show notes are https://americanlean.com/uncategorized/focus-on-the-customer-in-2021/ (here)
    https://americanlean.com/contact/ (Schedule a free 1/2 call) with Tom Reed.https://www.amazon.com/dp/1645162818 (Buy) the Lean Game Plan

    • 4 min
    Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas to all of our listeners, clients, companies, family and Friends!

    • 22 sec
    Top Roles for a Successful Digital Transformation

    Top Roles for a Successful Digital Transformation

    Organizations have dramatically sped up their digital transformation activities. The pandemic has made companies consider a digital transformation much sooner than before. Companies of all sizes realize they need to transform. To help guide you, here are the top roles for a successful digital transformation.
    1. Solution ArchitectJust like it sounds, a solution architect develops the overall strategy for the digital transformation. Think of the solution architect as the techie that can explain software solutions to the leaders in the organization.
    They explain how software and digital solutions solve business problems.
    2. Data ArchitectNow that you have a system-wide view of your digital transformation, you will need a data architect. Their role is to develop the data management plan. How will your company collect, analyze, protect, and maintain data? These are questions that a data architect answers.
    3. Chief Digital OfficerIt’s great that you want to undertake a digital transformation, but why? Because everyone else is doing it? The Chief Digital officer understands the revenue streams, Omni channels, new business opportunities, and customer services that will benefit from the digital transformation.
    4. Database AdministratorDatabase administrators do what their title sounds like. They work closely with data architects and ensure data is stored and organized properly. Their primary goal is to ensure data is available when needed. This includes making sure you complete backups, data is seamlessly available from cloud providers, etc.
    5. Cloud SpecialistsBecause you keep more and more data off-premise these days, i.e. in the cloud, cloud specialists are extremely important. They manage edge computing opportunities and manage business solution software that is kept in the cloud.
    6. Data AnalystsThese are your go-to employees that can retrieve, gather, and access data. We are in a data-driven world, and these employees help us make sense of the massive amounts of data your company collects.
    They help provide a data-driven approach to decision making. If you want to know the top color of your product that is sold in Aurora, Colorado data analysts can provide that answer.
    7. User Interface (UX) designersRemember Blackberry? Everyone had a Blackberry phone. The slang name for them was crackberry because everyone used them all the time. Where are they now? The iPhone came out in June 2007 and it killed Blackberry phones. Why? Because the iPhone had a much better user interface.
    You didn’t have to scroll using a little button in the middle of the phone. UX designers focus on developing a positive interface between the customer and the business. They are customer advocates and communicate customer needs to the team building the website, product, etc.
    8. Systems IntegratorsThere is no out-of-the-box solution that will meet the needs of your digital transformation. You have many legacy systems that have to stay in place. Systems integrators ensure these systems communicate with each other.
    If you embark on a digital transformation in 2021, these are the top roles for a successful digital transformation.
    As always, it’s an honor to serve you, and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little better today.
    http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1499224100 (Rate and Review Here)

    More show notes are https://americanlean.com/uncategorized/top-roles-for-a-successful-digital-transformation/ (here)
    https://americanlean.com/contact/ (Schedule a free 1/2 call) with Tom Reed.https://www.amazon.com/dp/1645162818 (Buy) the Lean Game Plan

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

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4 Ratings

4 Ratings

fbentzz ,

Great idea!

Really useful idea - made even better with great content. Thanks Tom! Well done

Merman66 ,

American Lean

As a Six Sigma Black Belt I’m impressed with the short and simplistic approach Tom uses. Looking forward to more content.

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