Profitability Improvement through Process Improvement: By reducing cost of warranty

Posted by |Mar 29, 2012|1 comment

The fundamental purpose of any business is to make profit. A business makes profit if the price it can charge for its output is greater than the costs of producing that output. One way of making profits, is by adding the customer’s perceived value to the product and the other way is by reducing the cost of value creation by performing value creation activities more efficiently. One of the ripe areas for saving costs is Cost of Warranty. Warranties are an important ingredient to competitive success. Effective warranty planning can ensure success, but lack of attention to cost analyses can spell disaster.  Until now, Warranty was perceived as simply another necessary expense to be controlled, and no value creation was expected from this process. Hence, a reactive rather than pro-active approach was followed when it came to managing warranty processes.   One of the most important aspects of Warranty cost management is to understand what contributes to the overall Cost of...

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Lean – The War on Waste

Posted by |Mar 21, 2012|0 comments

                This planet has witnessed many species in its billions of years of existence ever since it became an inhabitable place for living organisms. Before the humans came into existence, all the species that inhabited this planet consumed limited resources, only for their survival. Hence, the concept of “waste” then had no meaning, since they consumed what was replenish-able by nature. The abundant but non-renewable resources available on this planet such as oil, minerals etc. are consumed only by human beings. In the name of civilization and material progress, we are slowly destroying the eco-balance of this great place called “Earth”. “Anything consumed, more than what is needed for our survival and comfort is Waste”.                           The period of Industrial Revolution from the 18th to 19th century, witnessed major changes in agriculture,...

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Lean Manufacturing in Flexible Packaging Industry

Posted by |Mar 6, 2012|0 comments

A success story of Application of RMAOR® methodology   1.0 Background:   Precision Print Graphics Ltd (PPGL- name changed for confidentiality) is one of the leading flexible printing cylinder manufacturing companies, catering to major needs of flexible packaging printing requirements. It manufactures steel cylinders with copper cladding engraved on it, with the patterns that we see on the packaging materials. PPGL is led by visionary leaders who wanted to instil continuous improvement culture in their organization and hence adapted Lean and six-sigma. SSA had the privilege of partnering with PPGL for 3 years, so that they could internalize the best practices. To start with, PPGL applied six-sigma methodology for solving certain defects in manufacturing. Doing this increased the throughput as the defects were reduced and hence the rework had come down. Six-sigma approach improves the point efficiency as it focuses on the process variation reduction only and not the end to...

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Taiichi Ohno – Founder of Toyota Production system

Posted by |Mar 2, 2012|1 comment

29th February, 2012 marked the 100th birth anniversary of Mr. Taiichi Ohno, the primary developer of the Toyota Production System (TPS) known as “Lean’ today. Over the last 100 years, much has happened in the world of lean and it has become an ever evolving science.   To show the power of flow production, which is very central to lean, Henry Ford opened his historic Highland Park assembly plant 100 years ago. A lot has happened in 100 years.  Lean has been known by different names and numerous innovations integral to lean thinking include the birth of industrial engineering as the science of efficient work design, the genesis of modern psychology as a true science sowing the seeds of today’s discoveries in the neuroscience of human learning, the framing of the scientific method as it forms the basis of lean problem solving.   On what would’ve been Ohno’s 25th birthday (he was a February 29 leap year baby), the electronic version of the book about the...

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Concepts of Lean

Posted by |Mar 1, 2012|0 comments

BATCH PROCESSING   Batch processing, as the name suggests, means collecting work in a batch and performing a particular process step on that batch, so that it is ready to be passed on to the next process, and then waiting for the next batch to arrive. For example, say the front desk collects a set of 10 applications before sending it for data entry as the next step; and then similarly the data entry operator enters data for all those 10 applications before sending them to the next process. Likewise, in a manufacturing scenario, 10 shafts are rough machined and are consequently sent to the next operation for copy turning and so on.  Bound by conventional thinking, people believed that sending in a batch would save transportation cost and efforts. However, Lean challenges batch processing, as it accumulates Work In Process (WIP) inventory, which becomes a “Muda” (the Japanese word for waste).   SINGLE PIECE FLOW (SPF)   As the name implies, SPF is a work flow method...

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Lean manufacturing and its other names

Posted by |Feb 28, 2012|0 comments

  Do You Know?   The genesis of Lean can be traced back to Ford Motors Company, much before Toyota developed it into a science and applied it systematically. In the early part of the previous century, Ford assembled their cars in a system called ‘Gypsy manufacturing system’, where the car was kept stationary and operators moved around to assemble it. The name Gypsy must have been derived from the word ‘nomads’ who can occupy any space to stay. Just like the nomads, the car was assembled in any space available on the shop floor. Later, Ford created the earliest Single Piece Flow manufacturing system by pulling the car with a rope; such that at each station, the operators could assemble the parts. This way of manufacturing eliminated unnecessary movements of the operators and reduced the lead time for manufacturing.   The concept of Lean manufacturing system is also known as JIT – Just-in-Time manufacturing system, SPF – Single Piece Flow, TPS – Toyota...

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