Organisational improvement techniques and competitiveness

The cycle of kaizen activity can be defined as:
 Standardize an operation and activities.
 Measure the standardized operation (find
cycle time and amount of in-process
 Gauge measurements against requirements
 Innovate to meet requirements and increase
 Standardize the new, improved operations
 Continue cycle ad infinitum
Establish the objectives and processes
necessary to deliver results in accordance
with the expected output (the target or
goals). By establishing output expectations,
the completeness and accuracy of the
specification is also a part of the targeted
improvement. When possible start on a small
scale to test possible effects.
Implement the plan, execute the process,
make the product. Collect data for charting
and analysis in the following "CHECK" and
"ACT" steps
Study the actual results (measured and collected
in "DO" above) and compare against the expected
results (targets or goals from the "PLAN") to
ascertain any differences. Look for deviation in
implementation from the plan and also look for
the appropriateness and completeness of the
plan to enable the execution, i.e., "Do". Charting
data can make this much easier to see trends
over several PDCA cycles and in order to convert
the collected data into information. Information
is what you need for the next step "ACT".
Request corrective actions on significant
differences between actual and planned results.
Analyse the differences to determine their root
causes. Determine where to apply changes that
will include improvement of the process or
product. When a pass through these four steps
does not result in the need to improve, the scope
to which PDCA is applied may be refined to plan
and improve with more detail in the next
iteration of the cycle, or attention needs to be
placed in a different stage of the process.
Just in time is a ‘pull’ system of production,
so actual orders provide a signal for when a
product should be manufactured. Demandpull enables a firm to produce only what is
required, in the correct quantity and at the
correct time.
Lower stock holding means a reduction in
storage space which saves rent and insurance
As stock is only obtained when it is needed, less
working capital is tied up in stock
There is less likelihood of stock perishing,
becoming obsolete or out of date
Avoids the build-up of unsold finished product
that can occur with sudden changes in demand
Less time is spent on checking and re-working
the product of others as the emphasis is on
getting the work right first time
There is little room for mistakes as minimal
stock is kept for re-working faulty product
Production is very reliant on suppliers and if
stock is not delivered on time, the whole
production schedule can be delayed
There is no spare finished product available
to meet unexpected orders, because all
product is made to meet actual orders –
however, JIT is a very responsive method of
Basically a system where only what is needed
to do the job is supplied
Basically a ‘Pull’ type of production,
When the bin on the factory floor becomes empty
(i.e., there is demand for parts), the empty bin and
kanban cards are returned to the factory store. The
factory store then replaces the bin on the factory
floor with a full bin, which also contains a kanban
card. The factory store then contacts the supplier’s
store and returns the now-empty bin with its kanban
card. The supplier's inbound product bin with its
kanban card is then delivered into the factory store,
completing the final step in the system. Thus, the
process will never run out of product and could be
described as a loop, providing the exact amount
required, with only one spare so that there will never
be an oversupply
Do not send defective products to the
subsequent process
The subsequent process comes to withdraw
only what is needed
Produce only the exact quantity withdrawn by
the subsequent process
Level the production
Kanban is a means to fine tuning
Stabilize and rationalize the process.
Better quality products
Making quality a responsibility of every
worker, not just the quality inspectors
Reduced scrap and rework
Reduced cycle times
Lower set up times
Smoother production flow
Less inventory of raw materials, work in
progress and finished goods
Cost savings
Higher productivity
Higher worker participation
More skilled work force, able to switch roles
e.g. multi skilling and flexible workforce
Reduced space requirements
Improved relationships with supplier
Improved safety
The processes and methods used to
transform tangible inputs (raw materials,
semi-finished goods, subassemblies) and
intangible inputs (ideas, information,
knowledge) into goods or services. Resources
are used in this process to create an output
that is suitable for use or has exchange value.
Before the introduction of machines
manufacturing was mainly done by
Crossbows made of bronze were mass
produced in China during the Warring States
Period. The Qin Emperor unified China at
least in part by equipping large armies with
these weapons, which were equipped with a
sophisticated trigger mechanism made of
interchangeable parts
Ships of war were mass produced at a
moderate cost by the Carthaginians in their
excellent harbours, allowing them to
efficiently maintain their control of the
Venice themselves also mass produced ships
using prefabricated parts and assembly lines
many centuries later
The spinning jenny is a multi-spool spinning
frame. It was invented in 1764 by James
Hargreaves in Stanhill, Oswaldtwistle,
Lancashire in England.
In 1775 Samuel Crompton produced his
Spinning Mule, so called because it was a
hybrid that combined features of two earlier
inventions, the Spinning Jenny and the Water
Frame. The mule produced a strong, fine and
soft yarn which could be used in all kinds of
textiles, but was particularly suited to the
production of muslins
The Watt steam engine was the first type of
steam engine to make use of steam at a
pressure just above atmospheric to drive the
piston helped by a partial vacuum. Improving
on the design of the 1712 Newcomen engine,
the Watt steam
engine, developed sporadically from
1763 to 1775, was the next great
step in the development of the
steam engine
Prerequisites of a world filled with mass
production were interchangeable parts, machine
tools and power, especially in the form of
Electrification of factories began very gradually in
the 1890s after the introduction of a practical DC
motor by Frank J. Sprague and accelerated after
the AC motor was developed by Nikola Tesla
(Westinghouse) and others. Electrification of
factories was fastest between 1900 and 1930,
aided by the establishment of electric utilities
with central stations and the lowering of
electricity prices from 1914 to 1917
Mass production was popularized in the
1910s and 1920sby Henry Ford's Ford Motor
Company, which introduced electric motors
to the then-well-known technique of chain or
sequential production. Ford also bought or
designed and built special purpose machine
Mass production improved productivity, which
was a contributing factor to economic growth
and the decline in work week hours, alongside
other factors such as transportation
infrastructures (canals, railroads and highways)
and agricultural mechanization. These factors
caused the typical work week to decline from 70
hours in the early 19th century to 60 hours late
in the century, then to 50 hours in the early 20th
century and finally to 40 hours in the mid 1930s.
Assembly lines are designed for the sequential
organization of workers, tools or machines, and
parts. The motion of workers is minimized to the
extent possible. All parts or assemblies are
handled either by conveyors or motorized
vehicles such as fork lifts, or gravity, with no
manual trucking. Heavy lifting is done by
machines such as overhead cranes or fork lifts.
Each worker typically performs one simple
the parts to be assembled are delivered at
convenient distances
According to Henry Ford:
The principles of assembly are these:
(1) Place the tools and the men in the sequence of the
operation so that each component part shall travel
the least possible distance while in the process of
(2) Use work slides or some other form of carrier so
that when a workman completes his operation, he
drops the part always in the same place—which place
must always be the most convenient place to his
hand—and if possible have gravity carry the part to
the next workman for his operation.
(3) Use sliding assembling lines by which the parts to
be assembled are delivered at convenient distances
The strike began on 7 June, 1968, when
women sewing machinists at Ford Motor
Company Limited's Dagenham plant in Essex
walked out, followed later by the machinists
at Ford's Halewood Body & Assembly plant.
The women made car seat covers and as
stock ran out the strike eventually resulted in
a halt to all car production.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value
of all officially recognized final goods and
services produced within a country in a given
period of time. GDP per capita is often
considered an indicator of a country's standard
of living
Pension security pension funds invest money in
company shares which depend on the company
making a profit.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) was set up
April 2005 to protect you if your employer goes
bust and its pension scheme can no longer afford
to pay you your promised pension.
A lead time is the latency (delay) between the
initiation and execution of a process. For
example, the lead time between the
placement of an order and delivery of a new
car from a manufacturer may be anywhere
from 2 weeks to 6 months. In industry, lead
time reduction is an important part of lean
achieves more
Team work
Team working may be defined as a work
practice based on the use of teams, or groups
of limited numbers of people, who have
shared objectives at work and who cooperate, on a permanent or temporary basis,
to achieve those objectives in a way that
allows each individual to make a distinctive
Transition processes (between periods of
◦ Mission analysis
◦ Goal specification
◦ Strategy formulation
Action processes (when the team attempts to
accomplish its goals and objectives)
Monitoring progress toward goals
Systems monitoring
Team monitoring and backup behavior
Interpersonal processes (present in both
action periods and transition periods)
◦ Conflict management
◦ Motivation and confidence building
◦ Affect management