Manufacturing Plan

Manufacturing Production System Build Process

2 Year, High-Level Plan


  1. Phase 1: *** Management Engagement, Staffing, and Set-up ***,
  2. Educate the Management Team on the System Improvement Process,
  3. Management Commitment. Benefit: Executive Buy-In and Commitment,
  4. Start a Manufacturing Office of Operational Excellence,
  5. Staff up with 3 Black, 2 Green Belts, and an Industrial Engineer. Start this early because this will take time and is a Critical Success Factor,
  6. Start the build of your Manufacturing System “Guiding Principles”. This includes goals, and responsibilities designed to create an agile and robust company, if not currently existing. Start with Toyota as a guide.
  7. Phase 2: ***Value Stream Mapping***,
  8. Agree on Success Metrics,
  9. Improve the performance of each Value Stream. For example, value Streams include every process between customer order and customer delivery. Value Stream performance is important, not Process performance. Value Streams move your manufacturing business to create a focal point on Value Delivery.
  10. Use Value Stream Maps to Initiate Improvement Efforts. Benefit: Generate and Promote Measurable Benefits with Profound Knowledge of your Processes,
  11. Select Improvement projects: (Your System is comprised of Value Streams). Map Value Streams on manufacturing lines, critical business systems, and poor-performing systems. Benefits include:
    1. Profound Knowledge of Value Stream processes,
    2. Built-in performance metrics,
    3. Value Stream velocity improvement,
    4. Decreased Value Stream cost, and
    5. Increased Value Stream output quality.
  12. Build Project Charters. This provides much-needed direction and project management guidance,
  13. Educate employees on Waste, or activities a customer would not willingly pay for. Use the Lean Six Sigma acronym DOWNTIMES. *** 106 documented Wastes in Manufacturing ***,
  14. Initiate the Mapping of Value Streams, if not already existing. Two Green Belts supported by a Black Belt,
  15. Phase 3: *** Initiate Value Stream Improvement Efforts ***,
  16. Document and Promote the successes of targeting Value delivered and building project inertia,
  17. Initiate an Education and Instruction Program to increase improvement velocity,
  18. Select the target Value Streams to improve
  19. Start the Project Charter Build for each Value Stream. This provides much-needed direction and project management guidance, One Project Charter can provide the structure for others.
  20. Investigate the usefulness of crucial Lean Six Sigma tools,
  21. Consider building an Operational Excellence Website containing:
    1. Toyota Production System (TPS) overview,
    2. TPS’s competitive advantages,
    3. Lean Six Sigma tools,
    4. Current Projects,
    5. The checkbox of Future Projects planned.
  22. Phase 4: *** Major Strategic Phase ***,
  23. SDD – Standardize, Document, and Display. Standardize on Best Practices,
  24. Establish success metrics,
  25. Initiate a system-wide standardization effort, one Black Belt,
  26. Investigate Production Leveling Options,
  27. Validate and initiate strong preventative maintenance procedures,
  28. Determine areas of Flow potential. Start the process of rearranging machines and activities. The goals are to assign 1 operator to multiple machines and Flow. This effort is a collaboration between a Black Belt and Industrial Engineer,
  29. The Toyota Production System has two pillars, Start the effort:
    1. Autonomation (the ability of the machine to stop when it detects it produced a defect), and
    2. Kanban or Pull, enabling Just-in-Time.
  30. Start the Autonomation Project. Initiated by the Industrial Engineer.
  31. Start the Kanban effort when Lean Production is introduced, Start with Just-in-Time with suppliers.
  32. Establish success metrics,
  33. Investigate andon solutions. andon means that you stop to fix a defect when detected. Toyota still averages 800 a year. This helps create a Learning Organization,
  34. Setup Visual Control of andon solution,
  35. Above all, Establish the Metrics that demonstrate System Success,
  36. Phase 5: *** Initiate the Strategic Kata Continuous Improvement Effort, Educate Employees, & Select Value Stream Managers ***,
  37. Build the Kata structure for your system. One Black Belt,
  38. Educate management on the process,
  39. Initiate build of Continuous Improvement Program by SelectingYour Improvement bogey, Toyota uses 6ms,
  40. Select a Business VP that benefits and cares about improving a Value Stream,
  41. Select Value Stream Managers. It’s essential for future improvement that Value Streams have ownership. A Value Stream Manager would have additional time to perform other job functions such as managing other Value Streams or operational responsibilities,
  42. Select starting target Value Streams,
  43. Publish success results,
  44. Therefore an Estimated Progress Milestone: At the end of the first quarter, you will have put in place all the parts needed to optimize the implementation of your Production System. Value Streams are Mapped and Improved. The next steps accelerate your march forward,
  45. Start the 6-Step Effort to Build a Lean Production system, these are the critical high-level steps,
    1. Build Your Value Stream Maps (in Process or completed),
    2. Investigate Value Stream Maps to Determine Areas of Flow or Close to Flow,
    3. For “Close to Flow” Areas, Rearrange Machines and Activities to Create Other Areas of Flow (Industrial Engineer and Black Belts),
    4. Start the Implementation of a Kanban System,
    5. Apply Kanban to Areas of Flow,
    6. Expand Kanban Out-ward From Areas of Flow
  46. Phase 7: *** Manage and Improve Supply Chain Relationships ***,
  47. Supply Chain. Benefit: Bring them closer to meeting your requirements whether lower prices or Just-in-Time
  48. Align your Supply Chain into 6 tiers of partners,
    1. Tier 1: Critical and Just-in-Time,
    2. Tier 2: Critical and Just-in-Time possible,
    3. Tier 3: Critical but no Just-in-Time,
    4. Tier 4: Other suppliers that deliver Just-in-Time,
    5. Tier 5: Other suppliers Just-in-Time possible, and
    6. Tier 6: Other non-critical suppliers.
  49. Explore enhanced relationships with Tier 1,
  50. Include in contracts a constant demand for increased Sigma performance,
  51. Determine which Tier 2 Suppliers could move to Just-in-Time,
  52. Toyota uses 2 hours of inventory as their Just-in-Time requirement. Determine your optimal Just-in-Time requirements,
  53. ***Phase 7*** Future Actions
  54. Apply for a Baldrige Performance Excellence Award for Process Excellence,
  55. Phase n: *** Continue the path toward Greatness ***,
  56. (Optional, based on aggressiveness) Hire more Black and Green Belts. This will ramp up the improvement effort through your company, and
  57. Select additional critical and less critical Value Streams to map

Estimated Progress Milestones:

For example, at the rate of 5 Values Streams Mapped and Improved every 4 weeks you will have:

  • First Quarter: 9 Value Streams
  • Second Quarter: 24 Value Streams
  • Third Quarter: 39 Value Streams
  • Fourth Quarter: 54 Value Streams
  • Second Year: 114 Value Streams (or more if you continue to staff up)

Benefits of your new Production System:

  • Profound Knowledge of your Production System,
  • Operational Excellence (a competitive advantage),
  • Increased Value Stream velocity,
  • Decreased costs,
  • Improved product/service quality and finally
  • Continued Improvement with a quest for Perfection

This is a big effort but unlike other projects, measurable benefits start within the second month. This effort will move your business to constantly change, create an improvement culture, and comes with Performance Metrics. Your manufacturing business is now on its way to excellence.