Shinka Management Blog - Lean Manufacturing

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Lean Photography – A Young Professional's Lean Business Transformation

Is lean management mainly for the manufacturing industry and for big businesses? The answer is no. Lean management and Toyota Production System principles offer excellent and practical process management ideas and tools for anyone who wishes to improve their productivity and operational efficiency. But if this is the case, where...Read More »

The Myriad Benefits of Value Stream Mapping

Hoping that it will go away is like hoping you won’t have to pay taxes. The pressures associated with increasing cost of inputs, customer expectations and competitive pressures reducing the market price, will be there with every sunrise.

Japanese manufacturers have been systemically synchronising the value stream processes for decades to...Read More »

What is the Role of a Team Leader within Toyota?

We all know team leaders play an important role within a manufacturing shop floor in shaping the team’s effectiveness. However, specific roles and responsibilities given to a team leader are often different from company to company. So, how does Toyota approach this? What is the role of a team leader...Read More »

Lean Health Care Interview with Virginia Mason Medical Center

This blog is also available in Japanese. 日本語はこちら。

The Virginia Mason Medical Center is based in Seattle, Washington. Since the Virginia Mason leadership’s first visit to Japan in 2002 to seek insights from Japanese manufacturing, the hospital has evolved into a leader in the application of lean principles to...Read More »

Book Review - Zero Quality Control - Shigeo Shingo

Shigeo Shingo is an icon with the early development of SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die) and Poke-yoke (mistake-proofing), and a key developer of the Toyota Production System. Shingo urged his audiences to call themselves Improvement Engineers and, called himself Dr. Improvements. He used to say, “My medicine works but...Read More »

Book Review - 20 Keys to Workplace Improvement - Iwao Kobayashi

Attempting to improve competitiveness as you become aware of problems will end in haphazard improvements and lack of unity. Improvement must occur across the whole business and close the gaps between the current situation and the business objectives. This book introduces a method for making significant improvement across your entire...Read More »

Your Lean Factory as a Showroom - Using Lean to Drive Sales

We have again had the pleasure of visiting one of our favourite companies in Japan – and one that clients on our regular Japan study mission continuously rate as a standout experience of their time in Japan. As a lean factory, this company is an excellent...Read More »

Book Review - Toyota Production System - Taiichi Ohno

If you only ever read one book on the Toyota Production System or Lean Manufacturing then this book by Taiichi Ohno is the one.

There are hundreds of books and articles written about TPS / Lean Manufacturing but none provide the foundations that this book by Taiichi Ohno...Read More »

Leadership during Crisis

Handling of Takata Recall Points to Issues at the Top

The big news in the automotive industry last month was the escalation of the ongoing Takata airbag affair. The fault in the airbag inflators was initially brought to the public’s attention with a recall of a limited number of vehicles in...Read More »

How learning lean management can lift the bottom line

Lean Management | Rick Wallace | The Australian | 26th Aug 2014

View full size article | Original article in The Australian | Japanese version

JAPANESE...Read More »

Introduction to Lean Manufacturing - Guest Lecture - Carnegie Mellon University Australia Guest Lecture

The following is a partial transcript of a guest lecture given at Carnegie Mellon University Australia on the 18th of July 2014. The lecture was delivered by Paul Smith as an Introduction to Lean Manufacturing for students undertaking the Master of Science in Information Technology course. The talk focuses on...Read More »

May 2014 Kaizen Tour Report

Our most recent Lean Japan Tour was held during the 18th through 24th of May in Tokyo and Nagoya, with the aim of showcasing the rich history that Japanese industry has in the fields of lean manufacturing, industrial engineering and continuous improvement (kaizen). The kaizen tour has been an annual...Read More »

Long-Term Benefits from Lean Study Mission to Japan

Long-Term Benefits from Lean Study Mission to Japan

Shinka Management and clients were interviewed by Leila Henderson of in-Business Magazine South Australia for the following article on our annual lean study mission to Japan. The PDF version of the article that appeared in the February/March 2014 edition of...Read More »

Kavanagh Industries Sheet Metal Ducting Factory - Lean Job Shop Tour

Kavanagh Industries is a Western Sydney success story, specialising in the manufacture of sheet metal ducting. In February 2014, Managing Director Aidan Kavanagh invited members of the local lean community to join a factory tour of Kavanagh Industries’ Smithfield facilities.

Kavanagh Industries is a family business that has grown to become...Read More »

Lion Castlemaine Perkins XXXX Brewery Tour

Lion showcases its Manufacturing Excellence (MEX) Journey

In November 2013 two staff from Lion’s brewing operations joined us on our Lean Japan Tour, and on their return kindly agreed to host a brewery tour at their Castlemaine Perkins Brewery this February for our clients in South East...Read More »

Redarc Electronics Factory Tour

On the afternoon of the 3rd of February 2014, 38 leaders of South Australian industry gathered in Lonsdale for a factory tour of Redarc Electronics. The event was one of four organised in Australia in early 2014 by Shinka Management, with the Redarc tour held with the support of the...Read More »

The Taiichi Ohno Visit That Triggered Rinnai’s Lean Excellence

Since visiting for the first time in 2011, I have been fascinated with the level of lean excellence at Rinnai.  I recently had the pleasure to interview Mr Masao Kosugi, Director of Rinnai Corporation. Kosugi has been at Rinnai since they first started studying the Toyota Production System (TPS).

Being a leading...Read More »

Challenges in Implementing Lean Across Multiple Sites

The following transcript is from a presentation to the South Australian Lean Manufacturing Special Interest Group in May 2013 by Mr Peter Gardner, Global Manufacturing Engineering Director, TI Automotive. The talk focuses on having the right motivation and attitude towards lean implementation, and discusses...Read More »

My New Lean Benchmark

On my first visit to Rinnai Corporation, they were surprisingly nervous. Official groups visiting the company had been very rare. They also knew that our Lean Japan Tour group was visiting the likes of Toyota, which is a benchmark for manufacturing in Japan...Read More »

Is Kaizen Second Nature?

As a high school student, I was fortunate enough to experience a one-year exchange program to Kumamoto, Japan. During the course of the year, I lived with a number of Japanese host families. I have managed to remain in touch with them over the years and visit them every so...Read More »

Searching for the Essence of Lean

Walking through factories in Japan, you can visually pick up on the concepts of lean being implemented. Reading through English books on lean, you can generally understand the concepts of lean being implemented. However, some of the essence of lean is hidden behind a veil of Japanese language, customs and...Read More »

Rio Tinto on Lean Manufacturing in the Mining Sector

Sam Walsh addresses the ANZCCJ on Lean Mining

In November following the completion of our 2012 Lean Japan Tour I was fortunate to attend the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the Australian and New Zealand...Read More »

We're Off!

2012 Lean Japan Tour Commences.

This weekend marks the beginning of this year’s lean study tour to Japan. We’ve just arrived in Japan and are preparing for our tour group to fly in from Australia and New Zealand for the welcome dinner on Sunday evening –...Read More »

Lean Japan Tour - Immersed in World-Class Manufacturing

Many Australian companies have recently attempted to implement lean programs, but there are limited cases of its successful and ongoing implementation.

There are some key reasons behind this:

  • Companies have never seen a genuinely successful example to benchmark against.
  • Companies overlook the people and culture when implementing lean programs.
  • Companies miss the true essence...Read More »

Rethinking Japan as a Key Market for Australian Industry

Since establishing formal Australia-Japan trade relations through the 1957 signing of the Agreement on Commerce, Australian exporters have enjoyed a rewarding relationship with Japan.

Australian exporters are, however, at risk of forgetting this loyal partner market as the focus shifts to rapidly developing China and its large population.

For the best part...Read More »

FOODEX JAPAN 2013 - The 38th International Food and Beverage Exhibition

Gateway to the East-Asian Dinner Table

FOODEX JAPAN is the largest food and beverage trade show in Asia. Since 1976, it has been providing the opportunity for exhibitors to promote their products to the expanding Asian markets.

In 2012, FOODEX JAPAN had almost 74,000 visitors pass through the gates over four days....Read More »