Supply chain solution blog

7 steps to a meaningful Gemba walk


We shared a post on continuous improvement and Lean activities in December 2018. Carrying on with this theme an additional valuable business exercise is to undertake is a "Gemba walk". Gemba is Japanese for "The Real Place" and in business it means "the place where value is created". All too often management are involved in lengthy discussions trying to resolve an issue or find efficiencies without talking to those employees who undertake the tasks. A Gemba Walk means getting out of offices and meeting rooms and going to where the action is! Tom Peters and Robert Waterman also wrote about...

Continuous Improvement : 5S in action throughout our Warehouse


What is 5S? 5S is a structured way to create and maintain a clean, organised and safe workplace. 5S was developed by Hiroyuki Hirano in Japan and was adopted by the Toyota Motor Company. It helps create and maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of a work area by having everything needed close to hand and any clutter removed. 5S is a common starting point for Lean activities in a company by eliminating waste from processes such as: wasted time searching for items; excess inventory; extra motion and extra processing. What is it for? Using the 5S techniques it is a...

Supply Chain, Back to the Future!


The negative impact of the counterfeit threat has hit OEM and EMS companies hard. For many, cost reduction through clever sourcing is no longer an option as it is deemed too risky. How did this happen? I started out in the electronics business 32 years ago serving my time as an engineer in the Aerospace sector. Much later, when I joined one of the world's largest Franchised Distributors in 1999 I began to realise that every company I dealt with had a few "brokers" up their sleeve. This allowed them to make PPV or savings on their BOM cost. At...

When does learning stop?


It doesn't... or it shouldn't! Learning comes in many different forms. Of course you can attend the traditional industry-related training courses, conferences and exhibitions to learn the latest technologies and know-how. An important by-product from attending any of these events is the networking opportunities with other individuals and organisations attending. You never know who you might meet that could become a source of future business. Following the event you can also share relevant information with your colleagues and as a result they learn too. We encourage the course attendee to present to a cross functional team so that they can...

Lean Manufacturing


Lean Manufacturing is the implementation of the associated techniques aligned with a philosophy of Sustainable Continuous Improvement. The main Lean principals should be adopted and applied to the manufacturing processes to eliminate waste. This should be seen as a culture change, challenging the way a company thinks and operates and not as a short-term cost reduction exercise. Click here to read our full white paper on Lean Manufacturing and Supply Chain Solution. Follow @kennymcgee_cs...

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