9 Blind Men and an Elephant

Jitendra Badiani

Have you ever heard of the ‘Nine Blind Men and the Elephant’? This parable originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent and has become widespread ever since. It is about a group of men who had never come across an elephant and were asked to describe it by touch. Each blind man touched a different part of the elephant – the leg, the tusk, the tail, and so on. Someone asks each of the blind men in turn “What’s an elephant Read More

Lean Quick Reference Guide

Lean Quick Reference Guide This guide is intended to be used as a reference to support a Lean implementation.  Implementing tools alone does not lead to a successful transformation.  It is vital for long-term success to focus on people and culture. There are many more tools that could have been included in this guide.  25 Tools have been listed below however please feel free to suggest tools that you would like included in this guide to make this a more Read More

Case Study: Optimization Project Significantly Reduces Logistics Costs

Client challenge As the client’s business and revenue has consistently grown, freight costs have increased at a higher rate impacting the bottom line with reduced efficiency and profitability. FIC Solution Focused Improvement in collaboration with a cross-functional client team utilized a DMAIC Lean Six Sigma methodology to solve this problem. The team utilized a combination of tools, data and process analysis to better understand the challenges and opportunities, and drive a sustainable change to the logistics decision making process. This Read More

9 Challenges to achieving operations excellence

Jitendra Badiani

In our line of business, we are privileged to have business leaders share their experiences, methods, and practices utilized to implement and operations excellence. This inside peek gives us an excellent opportunity to develop a useful list of the challenges faced by business leaders when trying to implement operations excellence practices.  Below is a short list and I encourage you to share with us challenges you might be facing in your implementation that are different.  You can send your challenges Read More

5 reasons why Lean transformation can fail

Jitendra Badiani

Implementing a lean transformation within a company comes with a multitude of challenges. In the face of these challenges, it is easy for some business leaders to abandon the transformation midway, or not maintain the improvements identified in a Lean transformation.  This lack of commitment leads to employees reverting to old ways of working and ending up as a costly mistake. Listed are some of the reasons that can cause such a failure: Lack of support throughout the organization: A Read More

Defining a new Procure to Pay process using Kaizen

We facilitated a great Kaizen Procure to Pay (P2P) event at Laborie Medical Devices last week.  The purpose of the session was to celebrate the success to date and define new deficiencies in the P2P process.  The cross-functional team worked hard over the past several weeks to implement/complete the short-term action items identified at the last Kaizen event.  The implemented changes have led to a significant drop in invoice backlog and reduced invoicing issues.  The current Kaizen event identified approximately 15 Read More

Lean Experts can be overly dogmatic

Jitendra Badiani

The principles of Lean manufacturing are not the be-all-end-all of continuous improvement practices. They’re simply useful tools to consider when improving production processes.  The problem is that some people become overly dogmatic about following Lean even in situations where it might not be applicable. Consider this: in the parlance of lean manufacturing, anything that doesn't increase value in the eye of the customer must be considered waste, and every effort should be made to eliminate that waste. It’s a valid Read More

Using the 5S Approach to Organize Your Workplace

Jitendra Badiani

5S has its origins in the Toyota Production System (TPS), and it is an effective tool to help you create a safe, organized, and efficient work space through standard operational practices. Through 5S, your company will eliminate waste that results from an inefficient and unkempt work area (e.g. wasting time to find a tool). The approach is a methodical way to organize a workspace for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, Read More

Find Your Hot Dog Bun!

Jitendra Badiani

Hot dogs: the classic food that North Americans can’t help but associate with good memories of sports, campfires, and family barbecues. Most people might find it hard to believe that someone had to “invent” the hotdog bun, which the two didn’t just magically appear in the world in perfect union.  There’s a bunch of stories on how the hotdog met its bun, but the most plausible story comes from Josh Chetwynd’s book, How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Read More

Warehouse Optimization Kaizen at HD Supply

What is a Kaizen?  It is a planned/structured facilitated event that enables a group of cross-functional employees to quickly improve or enact "good change"  to a business process. In this case, Focused Improvement facilitated the Kaizen with a team from HD Supply. The Warehouse Optimization Kaizen was incredible. The teams generated over 50 process improvement actions.  Implementation of the short-term action items began that afternoon. This year Focused Improvement through Kaizens has generated over $900,000 in savings, improved on-time shipping to Read More