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The term ‘Genba Kanri’ is the romanised translation of the Japanese term meaning: Genba: the real place (‘gen’: ‘real’; ‘ba’, from ‘bamen’: ‘place’, ‘scene’, ‘situation’; i.e. ‘the actual spot’; ‘the precise location’. In a manufacturing company, ‘the place where the value is added’. Certain grammatical rules dictate that this may sometimes be pronounced alternatively as ‘gemba'. Kanri: ‘administration’; ‘control’; ‘management’ GK may be considered a 'professional approach' to undertaking all those things we need to do in terms of managing the day to day activities of our business, at operator, supervisor and manager level. This includes improving the 'status quo' Today, no-one can afford to rest on their laurels, and we are all striving for improvement. The illustration left depicts the typical approach to improvement. We traditionally rely on innovation to achieve results – new products, new processes, new equipment. This tends to be unsettling, costs money, and often doesn’t meet expectations. If, on the other hand, we start by making best use of what we already have, in terms of our human and physical resources, we are simply leveling up on best practice. ‘Good days’ become the norm. Expectations are first made explicit (e.g. quality standards) and then we have to figure out the best, easiest, safest way of meeting these expectations. Standardisation alone actually yields benefits* as the average performance improves! Once competencies are established, people can get on with it and apply kaizen for themselves. * benefits such as productivity up 10~15%;
defects down by 90~95%
Why 'genba kanri'; why 'kaizen'? In a global economy we cannot be shy about adopting World Class practices! Survival is not compulsory!
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What are the benefits of Genba Kanri?
If there is no system for Quick Response Quality Control then again the process will grind to a halt when deviations occur. somebody has asked the question. unclear. 'We normally make this product on that line over there'. everyone will continue to propagate their 'own best way' of doing the job.their quality. When we take a look at the real situation on the shop floor to take that as our starting point. staff absence. for the investment of a little time and money will yield benefits every day thereafter and soon pay for itself.but we cannot be confident that they will be sustained. so we ask. I'm not normally on this job'. 'How do you change the line over?'.which are regarded as something to aim for rather than a clear 'given' expectation . or simply don't exist. In a GK company. if the quality standard of a particular product is acceptable we're more likely to get an opinion than a definitive answer. each in their individual way. The trouble is that when we try to establish what it is we are trying to improve there is often no data! There are usually targets .which. If there is no appreciation of Standard Operations. cost. Very often they get excited by the idea of a Workshop something that is going to make dramatic improvements in only a few days . There are all sorts of things which stop people achieving what is expected of them: breakdowns. When it comes to changing the machine or the line over we'll not be able to find the required tools and equipment because there is no 5C appreciation. people say. If we ask. out of date. material delivery or quality problems. 'Well. If we conduct a Workshop in an environment like this we are almost certain to make significant improvements . Yet the people in the area are 'doing their best'. will probably lead to a machine breakdown instantly stopping an entire process. productivity and all. we do our best. and means of training people in them. Is there a When was it last objective and Is it known? Is it observed? standard? improved? conspicuous? We often find that standards for these aspects of the job are unknown. set and operated?'. We are considering: Is it simple.but they are often not achieved. 'How is the machine supposed to be maintained. 'Don't look at me. and so on. If there is nothing to assure that equipment is going to be maintained. 'How were you trained to do this job?'. delivery. but they're only targets!' is the usual attitude. for example. For example: What are the How do we How do we achieve How do we What are the significant features measure them at minimum know we are tolerances? of this product? them? cost and effort? meeting them? .Manufacturing people know that they have to improve . 'What is the specification for the components?'. for example. 'This machine is playing up today'. cost and delivery.and how are we supposed to be doing it?!' This initially prompts scrutiny of standards for quality. OK. then reducing lead time and WIP. 'These parts are from a different supplier' etc. etc. 'What exactly are we supposed to be doing .
Operator Involvement and Organisation. to one in which he/she is simply applying. There are systems for dealing with deviations: 'Our target was 1000 units today. These are linked by systems which ensure that the standards are mutually compatible (e.g. but we have a solid foundation on which to build improvements. but we only made 970. because we have done it before. Safety & Environment. How do we make good the shortfall and ensure that today's problems are not repeated?' The benefit of Genba Kanri is that all these avenues are covered. Basic Principles of Genba . We are confident in our actions and the actions of those around us. Targets are 'givens'. constantly responding to failures to meet (often unclear) expectations. This has 20 groups under the headings of Quality.This leads to the development of standards . and we can rely on others to do what they are supposed to do. Confident in the knowledge that there are systems to cover most eventualities. We. The role of the Supervisor or First Line Manager changes from that of fire-fighter. and our systems. we know that it works. We do what we are supposed to do. we have figured out the best way of doing it. We use this to benchmark against World Class standards and to map out an improvement programme which incorporates and builds on existing best practice in your organisation. are competent. Delivery. We have developed a mechanism for identifying all the salient points of a manufacturing operation. there's no point in having procedures for conducting condition monitoring of equipment if there is no capability to respond to problems reported). maintaining and improving standards. We perhaps don't know what new demands our customers may impose on us. not just something to aim for.of 'what' and 'how' for all aspects of the operation. Cost. we can concentrate on improving what we have.
this is what we do when there is a deviation. at the same time we focus on the processes that deliver the results. deviations and improvements. This enables us to deliver . this is how we confirm the effectiveness of countermeasures. Anything less is unacceptable. We have to align our people to common goals.Kanri When visiting GK companies one cannot fail to be impressed by the use of tools and techniques for managing the day-to-day business. As they are mutually supportive we balance our efforts between the two.. What is more. competencies and confidence to achieve what is expected of them. install and maintain them and use them as a basis for further improvement. avoid data. one's hosts can explain or show the links between the various tools: 'This indicates our hourly / daily performance. and maintaining healthy and effective systems! Over the years we have seen many common threads amongst such companies. We pay attention to results. focus only on process or results. materials and equipment. We adopt a quality attitude to our people. priorities. these may be summarised as: Quality First Quality is as defined and expected by our customers and consumers. We give people the resources. It clearly defines targets. because they sustain healthy business. By explaining them in discrete seminars. By analysing data we are able to see patterns which help us to make decisions and guide our future actions. and all must strive to achieve them. and do things differently. Respect for Standards Speak with Data Process and Results Support & Direct In our consulting work we are able to develop our clients' appreciation of these fundamental principles in a number of ways: • • • • We can help to get the change process started by helping people to see things differently. They are simple.' What may not be so obvious is what is in the hearts and minds of those using such tools. objective and conspicuous and reflect best practice. We establish.. Data enables us to measure conformance to standards.. When questioned. act according to the concepts for a while.etc. achievements. at minimum cost.on time. or simply let exhort people with threat of . and see what results they can achieve By contrasting the above with what happens if we compromise on quality. These define expectations in terms of what we have to do and how we do it. supported by the leadership of our client companies By having people suspend their disbelief. it is apparent that these are not just the current 'flavours of the month'. in full. use individual skill & judgement alone. or as a preface to shopfloor Workshops By 'walking the talk'.
that people at all levels in the organisation really seek the same thing: We know that there are certain things that we have to do and have if we are to achieve this: . sometimes deep down.punishment for failure We tend to find.
conduct their business. The company becomes 'fitter' in its activities and develops a culture that is better able to respond to market demands. collectively.com . RETURN TO MAIN PAGE The web site dedicated to improving manufacturing competitiveness genba-kanri.And the basic principles must be in place if we are to succeed! Through getting the people aligned with these principles we can start to change the way that they.
Genba Kanri Systems On the one hand we have tools and techniques which we apply to make work easier or more convenient – and in GK the work is that of accomplishing / managing the manufacturing process. for example. On the other hand we have certain values and principles which we hold dear. undoubtedly. all. No point in having a standard for maintaining a machine if there are no personnel or opportunities to accomplish the maintenance. Speaking with Data. we perceive a potential for people’s performance to improve. The problem was that two different standards were used! In GK we ensure that the many standards which dictate what we have to do and how we have to do it (and who. when) are not only aligned.Do . that operators shall determine their way of working. The cycle is never-ending. There is no point having a standard which says. There are processes and results.Action cycle. All on that NASA team were working to a common goal. For example. We educate them (with knowledge) and train them (through hands-on activity) so that . As live data emerges on results we modify our processes in order to ensure that we can meet expectations – and improve upon them. but mutually supportive. or even a particular team figuring out their own best way of running the job if others go about things differently! We all saw in Autumn 1999 how an incompatibility of imperial and metric measurements lead to the failure of a mission to the planet Mars. What links the two? its no use an individual. believed in Quality First. A feature of GK systems is that they are ‘closed’ to reflect PDCA . Process & Results – and even followed standards. if there is another standard that says ‘direct’ employees have to account for every minute of their time in terms of parts/value processed. We cannot expect a job to be achieved in standard time if there are non-standard materials or conditions prevailing.Check .the Plan .
accommodate new products and processes.com . RETURN TO MAIN PAGE The web site dedicated to improving manufacturing competitiveness genba-kanri. We then measure results to determine the change in behaviour. If we truly believe that ‘people are our finest asset’. A complimentary system provides a mechanism for skill evaluation: As the training system supports the skill evaluation system. Why a training example? This is a fundamental aspect of GK. but understand through questioning. why not? We then include more of what works well and less of the rest. fulfill personal development and succession plans. What didn’t make so much of an impact. We expect everyone to manage their own part of the business – according to standard practices – so it follows that we need to inform. so skill evaluation becomes essential for ensuring that we have the required skills to operate the production process. Are the trainees doing things differently – by how much? We need to measure not only their performance. educate and coach them in these practices. and ultimately meet the business plan. observation and analysis what – for them – has made the difference. We coach to ensure they’re on track.they truly understand. then we have to nurture and develop them.
procedures and systems and thinking . 1. For now. The process can make good product. This is costly and may harm reputation.and is practiced by all. . Consider a manufacturing process. and 'consistency'. while standards such as ISO 9000 have sought to level on the practice. deliveries will be delayed or costly buffers of finished goods required.TQM Approach The importance of quality both as a means of ensuring customer satisfaction and reducing cost has become increasingly recognised over the past thirty years. Inspectors detect bad product at the end of the process and repair/reject it to protect the customers. processes. The philosophy has shifted from Quality Control to Quality Assurance to Zero Defects and beyond. and defects escape into the market. Total Quality in fact means that quality is all pervasive through a company’s products. 2. and there are many definitions. If customers complain their complaints are resolved. There are a number of ways it may endeavour to ensure the customer gets what he/she wants. The question 'What is quality?' may be debated at length. lets assume it primarily means 'Giving the customer what he/she wants'. This is costly and frustrating. but is unreliable.
There are delays in identifying problems so causes may not be apparent. People need to be trained. 'relabelling' some and according the title 'Black Belts' etc. causes will be more obvious. We need data. to the facilitators.3. Defects are prevented. We have to ask the right questions in order to define the specification. We look to Personnel and Training for their support. a team which is our particular Division or Department. directed and motivated. and the same disciplines prevail in all three divisions. and satisfaction in playing our part as individuals. There are a number of things which we have to accept if we wish to achieve the scenario depicted in (5): • • • • The customer knows what they want. Through improving products and processes we can assure delivery without incurring rectification costs. TQM primarily addresses the business as a whole. but at least they're not adding value to defective product. Three major divisions of a manufacturing company may be considered as illustrated left. 5. we need feedback from customers. and products designed not only for market but for manufacture. We have to accept responsibility for our own actions. Costs remain. and a team which consists of those with whom we work on a day-to-day basis. We can take pride in what we collectively achieve for our customers and shareholders. the prime focus for GK is Manufacturing and its immediate support areas: Six Sigma is a similar approach which uses the same tools and techniques. Defects are returned to source for rectification or rework. We are all part of a team which is the Business. Engineering and Sourcing to provide what is required. downstream customers are kept waiting. Defects are detected at source. It's simple . Whilst GK is consistent with this. as in (2). 4. Market research may involve anticipating consumer needs. Delivery remains erratic. We need materials and equipment capable of achieving what is expected. We rely on those responsible for Design. developing a state of mind consistent with the above.
. the nature of the product imposes similar demands.(but not easy!) goal is to achieve six sigma capability of all business processes . spectacles. Just-In-Time (JIT) Approach JIT.for example. is attributed largely to Taichi Ohno. stock holding costs money. in manufacturing industry. He was inspired by his first visit to an American supermarket where he saw customers getting just what they wanted.a 3. Behind the scenes. Of course the concept was not new . the same principles are being applied. cosmetics and music CDs are customised to order. of Toyota. when they wanted it. so we need to minimise stocks and add value which differentiates them as late as possible. it makes little sense to hold stocks which may ultimately not be wanted. We are increasingly familiar with JIT in the High Street where items such as photographs. With technology and fashion changing so rapidly. in manufacturing industry.4 ppb defect rate. in the catering trade and where goods are perishable. Even if we can be assured of eventually selling them.
probably weeks or even months passing through the various manufacturing stages. Why? Because there is waste in the process . Our main targets are 'WID'. It takes seconds to form a piece of metal. We now have the system under control . We can now start to drain away the waste! The Seven Deadly Wastes .on and off the shop floor. after all one of the fundamental tenets of GK.we have established a regular flow of product.Why do we hold stocks at all if they are so costly? Well.physical Irregularity or mental . and perhaps a few minutes to assemble it to other components and package it.this is. If we actually take a look at the lead time .there is a likelihood of somebody or something failing. In our experience 95% of these are simply because people are not following standard procedures and methods. seconds to weld it to another. Then we need to get the process under control .and it also takes time to make the product. so we need to assure them that they can have whatever they need whenever they want it . Yet that piece of metal will days . seconds to paint it. we find Waste these in all sorts of jobs .waste being anything that does not add value as far as the customer is concerned. customers can be fickle. minutes to stove the paint. We need to remove the problem. Discover the causes of variation and iron out the irregularities. transforming it from raw materials and sub-components into the finished article.the time it takes for a product to pass through the entire process we find that most of this time is actually waiting time. If there is difficulty . People Difficulty know what they are and are happier to get known problems out of the way before others are identified to them.
A pull system. if the customer requires 60 pieces an hour. This is known as the tact. we need to match the rate of production with the rate of consumption. rather than filling buffers. We need to 'turn on the tap' when they want product. Flow Pull The main elements of JIT Tact Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Approach . For example. the tact will be one minute.Taking away the waste means that we are closer to our customers. Finally. such as kanban helps us do this.
TPM is a facility / equipment based approach to assuring and improving processes. 4. . etc. This gets TPM started. where many of the typical inherent problems which JIT overcomes are not found. 2. Conformity We don't want to lose what we've gained. cleaning. so it becomes increasingly important that our equipment is capable and reliable. workplace. 'A place for everything. lubricating. so many manufacturing companies are adopting TPM. we are seeking to emulate continuous flow processes. logistics. Clearout The first step is to decide what is needed and what is not needed to do the job . The act of cleaning enforces scrutiny. Traditional 'maintenance' is not good enough in today's markets. just as we do from our equipment. This avoids time wasted seeking things out.E. make it clear what is what and where it belongs. TPM is applied to the whole working environment procedures. utilisation and the quality performance of equipment. Capital and material costs by far outweigh labour costs. etc. such as an oil refinery. materials & information. so that actual and potential problems can be spotted and rectified before they result in equipment failure. standards. These gains are normally quantified using O. A starting point for practical TPM activity is 5C (from the Japanese 5S) 1. etc. improved equipment capability .E. Configure Determine the most convenient place to keep things in. Also set standards for operating and setting equipment.reducing the time required for maintenance. so TQC is often a precursor to TPM. Clean & Check We now need to take a close look at the condition of what we've got. (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) as a measure which highlights availability. tightening. and possibly increasing the range of the equipment’s activities.for we want the best from these. In its broadest sense. we are reliant on our people to maintain and improve methods and systems. Applying Total Productive Maintenance techniques ensures enhanced productivity through reduced cycle times. . training and education. so we need to establish procedures for maintenance: routinely monitoring condition. and everything in its place!' 3. administration. With JIT. . changing tools.tighter tolerances and better material yields .and get rid of the latter! This avoids having to work around clutter and waste time rummaging through redundant tools. Nevertheless. It is most appropriate in a continuous process. It encompasses everything from routine cleaning of the workplace to what is currently becoming known a 'asset management'.
Custom & Practice Maintain the disciplines of the 5Cs whilst striving for better performance.5. develop peoples' skills in different areas of maintenance. Genba Kanri Consultants . Get more out of the facilities for less expenditure.
A much simplified summary of the approach in genba: . Cost and Delivery.despite ever-increasing pressures in the market place . They are grouped under the headings of Quality. JAMC etc. Our links to the JMA (Japan Management Association . Cost.people can weary of new initiatives. Over the years we have developed expertise in twenty main areas which reflect the health of a manufacturing business. and programmes for making improvement in all areas. We network with others where specialist expertise is required. JIPC.umbrella organisation for such prestigious bodies as JIPM. techniques. now providing support in areas of manufacturing strategy and support function improvement. Genba Kanri builds on existing strengths to develop an integrated approach to managing the valueadding process. and applied them for themselves in the UK in the JAPAN 1980s. and ten years ago started to work with automotive suppliers in Europe. but tried and tested practical means of making a difference up to the point where the client achieves sufficient momentum for self-sufficiency. to achieve rapid improvements in Quality. and have worked with CLIENTS a variety of manufacturing and service companies. Initial TRAINING requests were to work with client company personnel on kaizen of their existing operations. whilst tailoring solutions to suit clients' own circumstances. Delivery.the practices used in the heavy Engineering and Automotive industries in Japan.at first hand . Organisation and People.) ensure that we stay abreast of cutting-edge approaches. We have a system for diagnosing the prevailing conditions. We recognise that there are a plethora of tools. We do not seek to create dependency in clients and recognise that some require very discrete and rapid solutions to particular problems. OUR but helping clients to understand that a different way of 'doing' has to be accompanied by APPROACH a different way of thinking: we have to challenge our concepts as well as our actions! We have since expanded our activities in breadth and depth. Safety & Environment. Our approach includes not only assisting in the implementation of tools and techniques. Founder members learned . buzzwords and approaches around. These are not theoretical or academic approaches.We are a consortium of independent consultancies who have worked for and with companies applying world class manufacturing techniques. and that .
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