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Improving Production with Lean Thinking by Javier Santos, Richard A. Wysk, Jose M. Torres

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9

Other Improvement Keys

In previous chapters, different improvement tools that can be used to solve many production problems were discussed, illustrated, and analyzed. These tools are included in the book, 20 Keys to Workplace Improvement, but not all 20 keys have been explained. The rest of the keys can be grouped in four categories:

  • Human resources–related keys
  • Efficient materials use–related keys
  • Visual control–related keys
  • Technology–related keys

In this chapter, all these tools will be described briefly. To analyze them in depth, it is necessary to consult Kobayashi's book. We also include a discussion of the jidoka (autonomotation) tool within the technology keys group.

HUMAN RESOURCES–RELATED KEYS

Rationalizing the System

All the improvement tools described so far cannot be applied effectively without the cooperation of all the workers from all the departments or organizational units of a production system. A frequent response when one requests help from certain workers is, “That it is not my problem or my job.” Therefore, the obligations and responsibilities of each member of the organization should be specified in writing. If the company does not have an organization chart, this key recommends that one should be developed. For this reason, key number 2 is a key that comes before other improvement activities, and it is located outside on the lean circle (Fig. 9.1).

There are several methodologies for developing an organization chart, but, they are beyond the scope of ...

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