How does this add value?
This was the main question that guided Kiichiro Toyoda and the Toyota leadership team when they built upon Henry Ford’s assembly line production model to develop the Toyota Production System, occasionally referred to affectionately as the “Toyota Way.” All steps in the production of a product need to add value; everything else is waste, with the allowance for a relatively small amount of non-value adding, but necessary work.
As waste is eliminated from a process, the cost and time involved in its production decreases-- without sacrificing and even improving the quality of the end-product. Mobility knits the people, processes and data in your production more closely together, fostering better decision-making from people, more efficient processes and more actionable data. Each of these connections also requires the elimination of waste in process and communications.
When Toyota first created the Toyota Production System, the team identified three types of waste: muri (the planning and design of the process), mura (how the design is implemented, including accounting for variations) and muda (the waste of production realized after the process is in place). Mobility can help with each waste category, but the production waste (muda) is most relevant for many manufacturers whose tight margins are forcing them to consider leaner operations. Inside of the production waste category, Toyota identified seven wastes, with researchers adding in three more in the late 1990s.
Answering this question for mobile apps in manufacturing compresses down to their ability to eliminate waste from your process.
In 1999, Geoffrey Mika, a senior process engineer and expert in lean manufacturing, identified three additional wastes in his book, the Kaizen Event Implementation Manual. Here’s how mobile eliminates those wastes:
More and more manufacturing industry leaders are rolling out mobile applications to optimize their processes and eliminate waste-- what waste will you eliminate by mobilizing your lean manufacturing tools?
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