Blitzing To Disaster

What Happens When Kaizen Blitzing Replaces Strategy 

Aircraft Component Machining

Machined productsA smaller but well-known aircraft company attempted to implement Lean Manufacturing for their machine shop and subassembly operations. The Kaizen Blitz was their primary approach. They employed consultants  who came in with the usual panoply of edicts and pronouncements:

Machine shopThese edicts apply to many manufacturing situations including this particular manufacturer's subassembly cells. Indeed, the subassembly cells functioned quite well.

Things did not work so well in machining. Here, a very low-volume, high-variety product mix combined with the above beliefs brought the following results:

machined aircraft componentThe overall result was layoffs, higher inventories, an unprofitable cost structure, management changes, and severe pressure from the corporate masters.

Other Examples

Is The Kaizen Blitz Right For You?

Kaizen Blitz Overdose

Kaizen & One Piece Flow

Rationalized Workcell Design 

Workcell Design Seminary

Historical Note:

The guiding beliefs discussed here derive from Toyota's JIT starting in the early 1950's. Such beliefs were useful for Toyota and similar manufacturers. They do not apply to all situations. 

A low-volume, high-variety machine shop is one situation where these guiding beliefs do not apply directly.

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The Strategos Guide To Value Stream and Process Mapping goes  beyond symbols and arrows. In over 163 pages it tells the reader not only how to do it but what to do with it.

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Books & Videos

Guide to Cycle Counting

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video

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