Lean Enterprise Forum
Value, Value, Value!
by Tony Manos
I have heard the word value a lot lately in regard
to ASQ and the Lean Enterprise Forum. In the last
month I attended both the ASQ’s Member Value
Summit (see http://asqgroups.asq.org/summit/) and
the Division Affairs Council (DAC) meeting. These
were great opportunities to generate and share ideas
to increase value to our members. The LEF board
is working hard to implement ideas that will help
increase the value of your membership.
Take a look at the Web site!
Visit www.asq.org/le for more information. I just wanted to highlight one area on LEF’s
Web site. Check out the “Tools” section in the middle of the left-hand side of the page.
Under it you will find three links:
• Discussion Board
• Calendar
• Submit an article – NEW!
The discussion board was created with the intent that members could submit questions
or comments and receive responses from other members. You can start a thread, submit
responses, and even set it up to notify you when new postings are made (a very useful tool).
Note: Discussion boards are now open to all members of ASQ.
The calendar has been updated through the ASQ Web site. You can search by many
methods to find what you are looking for including dates, event type, and even member
units (Headquarters, Forum/Divisions, Sections, and Community).
December 2005 Highlights
2 Site Visit – Progressive Healthcare
3 Use of Lean in Japan
5 The Lean Discussion Board
8 Note From the Editor
2 Quick Notes
Lean Enterprise Forum Contacts:
Tony Manos, chair
Profero, Inc.
Randy Fisher, vice chair
Smurfit Stone Container Corp.
George Alukal, past chair
Chicago Manufacturing
Wendy Gomez, newsletter editor
Danmer, Inc.
Ginger Rockey-Johnson, discussion board moderator
Linda Milanowski, staff liaison
American Society for Quality
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Discussion Boards
Submit an Article - NEW!
Members Only
Find a Member
Forum Library
Career Services
My Account
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Change Membership
CAPA Roundtable
Discussion (Corrective and
Preventive Action)
CSD Pre-Symposium
Tutorials, Plant Tour, and
Networking Reception
2006 Syposium on
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ASQ Resources
ASQ Forums and Divisions
About ASQ
Training & Certification
Books & Publications
Media Room
Q lit M k t l
We need your help!
If you have an interesting Lean story or have read any
good Lean book or articles lately let us know about it. One
of the keys to keep bringing you back to the Lean
Enterprise Forum website is fresh content and to share our
collective experiences. If you want to submit a story in our
newsletter, please contact our newsletter editor Wendy
Gomez at Wendy.Gomez@danmer.com. Also, don’t forget
to visit the Discussion Boards under the Tools section to
share comments or questions related to Lean.
Keep up the good work!
cont. on p. 2
2 Volume 4 Issue 2 September 2005
ASQ added a new link to the Web site to help you to submit an article. This link will direct
you to a form that will help guide you through the submittal process.
I just wanted to highlight these three things that help bring value to your membership in
ASQ and the Lean Enterprise Forum.
I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. All the best to you!
Tony Manos, Chair, Lean Enterprise Forum
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ASQ Forums and Divisions are communities of practice led by professionals from their
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Discovering Lean Thinking at
Progressive Healthcare
by Sylvia Bushell with Joyce Mobley, MD, and Becky Shelest, RN
those diet books? They are over here. I had to move them,” said one of my co-workers
helping pack up my office for a move to a new location. “Diet books? Oh, you mean my
lean thinking books! Thanks, I like to keep them close for reference.” I chuckled. That’s a
new definition of lean. I wondered what Taiichi Ohno, the developer of lean, would have
thought of it? Lean is removing waste. Ah well, I need to think about how to introduce
lean to Progressive Healthcare. Progressive just called me. They accepted my proposal
to use lean to improve their primary care delivery processes. Progressive has done many
innovative things in the past. It promises to be a fun and fulfilling assignment.
cont. on p. 5
ASQ’s World Conference for
Quality and Improvement
Milwaukee, WI May 1-3, 2006
Lean Program Sessions
The Lean Journey at ProMedia Labs
Monday, May 1, 10:00-12:00
Lean Kaizen
Tuesday, May 2, 9:15-10:30
Developing a Lean Manufacturing
OperationalAssessment that
Reveals Hidden Waste
Tuesday, May 2, 11:00-12:15
Lean Networking Sessions
Lean Enterprise in Healthcare: Value
Stream Mapping As a Blueprint for
Identifying Waste and Creating Flow
Monday, May 1, 12:15-1:30
Today’s Manufacturer—Remaining
Competitive in a Global Environment
Monday, May 1, 12:15-1:30
Lean Networking Lunch
Tuesday, May 2, 12:15-1:30
Lean Enterprise Forum Activities
Annual Business Meeting
(open to all members)
Sunday, April 30, 1:00-5:00
Exhibit Hall Booth
LEF will have a booth in the exhibit hall.
Come and meet us!
For more details and updates, please
visit http://wcqi.asq.org
Lean Enterprise Forum Newsletter 3
A Study of the Use of Lean
Manufacturing Techniques by Japanese
Small and Medium Enterprises
(Brief Summary of Results)
The purpose of this article is to briefly summarize the results of a 2004 study of the use
of lean manufacturing techniques (LMTs) by Japanese small- and medium-size enterprises
(SMEs). The survey took place in October 2004 with a full report completed in February
2005. The idea for this study came from a news item in the March 2003 Quality Progress1
about a similar study by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers of manufacturers in the
northeastern part of the United States2.
The following questions were posed on a questionnaire sent to 500 randomly selected
• To what extent do Japanese SME manufacturers use LMTs?
• For those not using LMTs, do they plan to use them?
• Of those not using them and not planning to use them, why not?
• For those using LMTs, when did they start using them and which ones do they use?
• For those using them, which LMTs are helping them the most?
• For those using them, what were the biggest problems when initially trying
to adopt LMTs?
Of the 66 companies responding (13.2%), about half characterized themselves as “A manufacturer
that produces a high ratio of its own products”; the remaining companies were distributed fairly
evenly across the other five “type” categories. The vast majority of the companies were at or above
the high end of being an SME; that is, they had between 50 and 300 employees (78.8%) or more
than 300 (19.7%)3
. About 20% of the companies were in the electrical machinery/appliances
business; one-third were in “other” industries, mostly food; and the rest were more or less evenly
distributed across the other 10 categories listed on the questionnaire.
Based on the questions listed above we can draw the following conclusions from the results
of this study:
To what extent do Japanese SME manufacturers use LMTs? About 70% (46 companies)
use LMTs. This compares with only 17% found in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers
study of American manufacturers mentioned above.4
For those not using LMTs, do they plan to use them? The short answer is
“no” since only 10% of the 20 companies not using LMTs plan to use them.
Of those not using them and not planning to use them, why not? A full twothirds
of those not planning to use LMTs gave the reason “We don’t know much
about LMTs.” However, an analysis of the companies giving an “other” reason
suggests that these companies also don’t know too much about LMTs. When these
two groups are combined it adds up to 94.5%. This suggests that anything that
contributes to a better understanding of LMTs would be very beneficial to these
companies, for example, the publication of this study.
1 Keeping Current, Many Manufacturers Indicate Unfamiliarity With Lean.
2 SME 2002 Lean Maufacturing Survey, Final Results. (undated). (Report by the Society of
Manufacturing Engineers [SME] of an SME sponsored survey conducted Sep/Oct 2002.)
3 As was learned later, this was probably due to the way the sample was taken by the database
company used—i.e., the companies were selected from each prefecture in order of annual sales
thus favoring selection of larger companies. This is recognized as a weakness of the study.
4 P. 6 of that report.
1 5S
2 KB ex
6 S&BP dpl
3 VCs
4 FS dev
7 Kanban
9 CW lyot
10 VS mp’g
11 Other
91.3 Planning to use
Using now 82.6
Figure 1 For Each LMT, Total Percentages of Those
Using Now and Those Plannning to Use in Future—
46 Companies
Robert (Bob) Austenfeld
After 25 years as a communications
officer in the U. S. Marine Corps, Bob
Austenfeld returned to school (USC)
to obtain a doctorate in education.
Following that, he worked for Douglas
Aircraft Co. as a procedures analyst
and then as a team leader. During that
time he worked toward and eventually
obtained a master’s degree in business
administration from Pepperdine
University. In 1993 he was hired by
Hiroshima Shudo University to teach
business and management. Austenfeld
and his wife live in Kobe, Japan.
Lean Enterprise Forum Newsletter 4
5S (sort, set in order, shine,
standardize, sustain).
CW lyot
Cellular workplace layout
FS dev
Failsafe device (error-proofing,
Kanban system (just-in-time
KB ex
Kaizen blitz exercise
S&BP dpl
Standardization and best
practice deployment
Single-minute exchange of die (reduction
of set-up time)
Total productive maintenance
Visual controls
VS mpg
Value-stream mapping
For those using LMTs, when did they start using them and which ones do they use?
Most of the companies (63.0%) have been using LMTs for at least five years. And Figure
15 shows the percentage of companies using LMTs both now and as planned. These
percentages range from 91.3% for 5S to 10.9% for the “other” category. The average for
these 11 LMTs (the 10 listed on the questionnaire plus the “other” category) is 59.1%. If we
exclude the relatively small “other” category, this average jumps to 63.9%. The conclusion
we can draw from this is not only are most companies using LMTs, they are using them to a
significant degree across the whole range of LMTs and have been for some time.
For those using them, which LMTs are helping them the most? To get a more
meaningful result to this question only the responses of those companies reporting 50% or
less of the total number of LMTs reported were used. Although arbitrary, this 50% figure
seemed reasonable to eliminate those cases where a company reported most or all LMTs
as helping most—an answer not very useful. This reduced the number of companies from
46 to 26 but is still considered large enough for credible results. Figure 2 shows these
percentages for each LMT. However, perhaps more interesting is how the rankings for
these “Helped Most” percentages compared with those for the “Used Most”6. Surprisingly,
there were some significant differences between these respective rankings, especially
for these LMTs: kaizen blitz exercise (KB ex), cellular workplace layout (CW lyot), and
standardization and best practice deployment (S&BP dpl). We can conclude that for some
reason companies don’t recognize the value of some of the most helpful LMTs or, in
some cases, an LMT was wrongly reported as being used because of the person not fully
understanding what it is.
For those using them, what were the biggest problems when initially trying to adopt
LMTs? According to the data shown in Figure 3, the biggest problem was “the workers
couldn’t see the merit in adopting LMTs” (74.4%). One of the five “other” problems
reported would seem to fall in this category also. Therefore we can conclude that this was,
indeed, the biggest problem. Considering the significant change a sincere effort to adopt
LMTs involves, this is not surprising since, in most cases, we are talking about nothing less
than a wholesale cultural transformation.
see merit
Not enough
into old
Figure 3 Percentage of Companies Reporting These
Problems When Trying to Adopt LMTs
1 5S
6 S&BP dpl
3 VCs
4 FS dev
7 Kanban
9 CW lyot
10 VS mp’g
2 KB ex
Figure 2 For Each LMT, Percentage of Companies
Including It As One That Helped Most (for Companies
Choosing 50% of Less of Those Used—
26 Companies
5 Figures are on p. 3.
6 This is the number before each LMT along the “x” axis, e.g., “1 5S” means that the LMT 5S was reported
as used by the most companies, “2 KB ex” means that kaizen blitz exercise was reported as used by the next
most companies, etc.
Note From the Editor
As I was reading my October copy of Quality Progress I
read a short piece on how Six Sigma is outpacing lean. One
of the statements really struck a chord with me; it said, “The
difference in prominence may be due to Six Sigma’s move
beyond its roots in manufacturing into other disciplines,
while lean remains largely perceived as a tool to improve
manufacturing processes.” That being said, I’m pleased to
present two perspectives in this newsletter. The first excerpt is
from an article that was first published in The Journal for Quality and Participation during
the summer of 2002. This article focuses on using lean in a healthcare setting. The second
article is a summary of a study that was done in Japan in regard to small- and mediumsized
manufacturing companies using lean. I would like to thank Alice Haley, ASQ Quality
Information Center librarian, for helping with the healthcare article and Robert Austenfeld
for submitting a summary from his study in Japan. I would really like to encourage anyone
who is working with lean within or outside of a manufacturing process to share your
experiences with the rest of our forum members.
Lastly, I wish all of you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new
Best regards,
Wendy Gomez
Quick Notes
• Call for Success Stories--When
it comes to lean, examples of its
successful implementation abound.
Share your success stories with the
lean enterprise forum (LEF) for the
greater good. If you have a good
story that might not have led to
successful lean implementation but
offers good lessons learned, please
send it in as well. Send your stories to
• Be a Speaker or a Workshop Leader –
Put yourself on the lean speakers’ list.
The list will be made available to all
ASQ sections. Please send your vitals
to lmilanowski@asq.org . Include your
areas of interest, expertise, topics,
whether you expect to be reimbursed,
and other Information relevant for
potential invitations.
• Faces of Lean – We would like to start
“Faces of Lean.” This is very similar
to “Faces of Quality” that is found in
Quality Progress magazine. Please
contact Wendy Gomez at wendy.
gomez@danmer.com if you would like
to be featured.
• We would like to create a “Free Stuff”
section on our Web site. This might
include forms, procedure examples,
how to’s, learning exercises, etc., that
our members would like to share.
Please keep in mind these criteria:
no advertising, useable content,
decent quality, and it must be up to
date. Please submit items to grockeyjohnson@sunmicrostamping.com
• We’d like to know if members are
interested in participating in a 3-hour
café dialog one the Future of Lean.
We would need a minimum of 30
people in order to be able to do this.
Please contact lmilanowski@asq.org if
you are interested.
• Any good lean jokes out there?
If you have one, don’t keep it to yourself,
share it with the rest! It may even be
put it in our newsletter or Web site.
We set up a two-day value-stream mapping event for them to plan the changes they want
to make. It is being held in one of their large primary care facilities. On the first day of the
event, the conference room atmosphere is one of expectancy, skepticism, and hope. The
attendees are the senior managers (clinical and nonclinical) of the practice which includes
marketing, two patients from a patient advisory group, and representatives from primary
care management from various Progressive facilities. It is important that all stakeholders
be represented so they have a voice in the outcome of the event. We start with a very brief
introduction about lean thinking and the types of waste in healthcare.
Focus is on the patient process
The scope of the value stream Progressive wants to work on is from the time a patient
requests an appointment for primary care until he or she comes in for it and leaves the
facility. Everyone has a pad of paper and a pencil. We go out as a group and walk the value
We begin in scheduling. I discuss with the schedulers what we are doing and that we are
looking at the workflow, not at people—we try to help people be comfortable about being
observed by us. We observe for 15-20 minutes how scheduling works and make notes on
the muda or waste we observe. It takes between three and seven minutes to take a phone
call and then schedule an appointment. Before we leave, we ask questions of the schedulers
about what we have observed and for their ideas for improvement. Mary Wecandoit, RN,
manager of this center, tells the value-stream group it takes an average wait of 10 days for a
patient to see a physician. These are data we use when we make our value-stream map.
Then the group moves into the waiting room. Each person follows at least one patient
through the process.
What happens then? Please read the entire article on www.asq.org/le Click on Forum
Library and on Lean.
5 Volume 4 Issue 2 December 2005
cont. from p. 2
Lean Enterprise Forum | December 2005 | Volume 4, Issue 2
U.S. Postage
Milwaukee, WI
Permit No. 5419
by Ginger Rockey-Johnson
Please let me introduce myself, and tell you
about my background and how the Lean Enterprise
Discussion Board can give us a great sharing
experience that increases our knowledge and
improve products. Doesn’t that open forum of
learning give CEOs, VPs, managers what they
are seeking most?...lower costs, more sales,
more profits . . . and give us like-minded quality
professionals what we seek? . . . consistency,
reliability, repeatability, and excellent products.
The discussion board is one of the most effective
cybernetworking tools that any of us has time for
these days! Just makes sense to get the most out of
the precious time we have.
My name is Ginger Rockey-Johnson. You can call
me Ginger or you can call me Rockey . . . It’s pretty
much a 50/50 split on which name is used. Either
is cool with me!! I have been in a manufacturing
environment for more than 15 years now, so I have
rightfully earned the Rockey title to have survived
that long. While I have always had a hand in
Quality departments, my background runs through
all departments. I originally started in Human
Resources, first in a nonmanufacturing, then in a
manufacturing environment. I quickly decided that
in manufacturing all the excitement was on the
production floor.
From production scheduling, materials planning,
containment management, to running the production
floor, I worked the trenches and learned the
nuances of a manufacturing environment. A true
manufacturing environment . . . all the dirt and pain as
well as the dog-and-pony shows that are put on for the
sake of customers and auditors.
The experiences gave me a wealth of information
and in 1995 when QS-9000 (along with numerous
other quality directives) came into effect, I was
put on the implementation team. Now, years later,
I am a master trainer in the ISO standards as well
as an experienced user of all core tools (APQP,
MSA, SPC, PPAP, PFMEA, & control plans). I
have been developing and streamlining business
systems to meet quality standards (including
ISO/TS:16949:2002, ISO:14001) into a painless
business system that the facility can manage—
rather than it managing them.
When lean and Six Sigma came along, I was
thrilled!!! Woo-Hoo!!! I quickly jumped into the
lean teams and later became a Six Sigma Black
Belt. Many of the tools, if not all of them, are used
in day to day life. While I am a firm believer in
basic quality principles, I also believe that what
makes it easy to habitually use them in work
life is their agreement with our personal life. So
I continue to teach these principles in everyday
nonmanufacturing examples. The concepts are
well understood and used by each employee. It
empowers them! They love it!
While I am just a simple gal with a knack for
taking complex ideas and breaking them down
into concepts that help others learn, the discussion
board is a forum where we can all come to learn
from each other. We all need help, from the
simple stuff—such as just getting started—to
the complexities of Lean Sigma measurables and
statistical analysis.
So come on!!! Let’s exchange ideas, ask questions,
share our experiences, and learn from each other! I
am so excited to lead the discussion board in 2006
to be the best sharing and learning experience that a
cybernetworking group can offer.
To join in the discussion go to www.asq.org/le,
click on Discussion Boards on the left column,
click on Lean Enterprise Discussion Board—you
will need to sign on with your membership
number and password.
(the best cybernetwork space time can offer)