Saturday, 23 March 2013

[] Story: The Soap Box


One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soap box, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soap box that was empty.

Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soap box went through the assembly line empty.

Management asked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high- resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty.

No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent whoopee amount to do so. But when a workman was posed with the same problem, did not get into complications of X-rays, etc but instead came out with another solution.

He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soap box passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

Moral of the story: Always look for simple solutions. Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problem. So, learn to focus on solutions not on problems. "If you look at what you do not have in life, you don't have anything; if you look at what you have in life, you have everything

M Junaid Tahir
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[] 5s System for efficiency and effectiveness at work


5s Audit Question

What is exactly is 5s?

This question usually comes after I answer How do I implement a Lean Manufacturing Program? The answer to this question is to focus on starting a successful 5s program. Simply put, 5s is a system to organize your workplace for efficiency and effectiveness. It has five different phases: sorting, straighten or set in order, systemic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining.

1- Sorting

The first step in your 5s Program is to sort what you need to perform your tasks away from what is not needed and is in the way. The best way to go about a successful sort program is to focus on one area of your workplace. Clear out all the items that are not needed and dispose of them properly or recycle them. If you are not sure if you will need that item, ask the expert for that area. If he or she is not sure, segregate a specific area for those items away from the work space. Leave them there for a week or so and if they are still not used then discard of them properly.

2- Set in order/Straighten

This is the second step of your program and builds off what your team achieved in the sorting phase. The mantra of this phase is A place for everything and everything in its place. There is no limit to how creative you can be in this phase. Here are some common hacks that I have seen people successful deploy in this phase:

  • Putting tape down on the floor to mark where items and furniture belong.
  • Use a label maker to label bins or shelves to describe where items belong.
  • Put an item on the outside of the box where things are stored so you can match the item to its home.
  • Create shadow-boards for tools that outline the shape of the tool so you can spot that one is missing and know where it belongs.

3- Shine

Theres not much that you can write to teach someone how to clean. The best advice I would give related to this phase is to think white-glove cleaning. Wipe down all the horizontal surfaces for dust and grime. If you make an effort to clean everyday, this task is not as industrious as the first time you perform a deep clean. You may work in an environment that gets messy easily or has machinery. When cleaning look for what may be causing the grime and determine the root case of the uncleanliness. This can go along way in helping with a a Total Preventative Maintenance (TPM) program in your workplace.

4- Standardize

Checklists, checklists, checklists!!! Create a checklist or to-do list to describe all of the things that need to be done on a regular basis to keep things as they should be. Visual aids such as creating pictures of what they area should look like including where things belong can help here. From the shop floor to the executive conference room, think of the things that need to be done to maintain a high degree of excellence in your 5S program.


Your team has devoted a lot of effort to get things to they way they should be or heading in that direction. In order to hold your gains you need to conduct regular 5S audits. The audits should not only be the front line supervisors in that area, upper management should participate to demonstrate a commitment to the program. At one of the facilities Ive worked at, the site executive team went and audited an area of the facility by random drawing at different times during the week. Also included in the drawing were the names of the executives. If the execs name was drawn they could choose an area of the business they wanted the entire executive team to audit. More often than not, this was an opportunity for the leader to showcase the gains and successes their team had accomplished in their area of the business.

Why is 5s important?

5S isnt just about phases, its about empowering employees to control their work area and creating an environment that they want to work in everyday. Its a program that only works with grass roots level engagement, and can never be a flavor of the month program. If you are committed to safety then you should be equally committed to 5s to provide your team a safe place to work.

The disciplines that your team learns from successfully implementing 5s will help enable your team to conduct kaizen events with greater frequency and greater results. It will also enable you to see where waste is occurring and focus your kaizen in those areas

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[] The Two Horses

The Two Horses

Just up the road from my home is a field, with twohorses in it. From a distance, each horse lookslikeany other horse.But if you stop your car, or are walking by,you will notice something quite amazing....
Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have himput down, but has made a good home for him.This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell.Looking around for the source of the sound,you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell.It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is,so he can follow.As you stand and watch these two friends,you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.
When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back,Making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind To hear the bell. Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.
He watches over us and even brings others into our lives To help us when we are in need..Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by The little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way....
Good friends are like that... You may not always see them, but you know they are always there..Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours, And remember...Be kinder than necessary-Everyone you meet is fighting Some kind of battle.
Live simply,Love generously,Care deeply,Speak kindly.......FOR WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT

[] Man's Best Friend.......


Dogs are the most loyal animals on earth

Dogs were created to bring love, happiness 

And companionship into people's lives, and 

Are always there to help.