As we assess our businesses and our processes, looking for ways to streamline and save time, we look for those elements that add value to our products and services. As much as we come to depend on quality checks and authority approvals, they don’t actually improve or otherwise add value to our outputs. As a result, it becomes standard practice, particularly when exercising improvement programs such as Lean to eliminate checks and approvals.
You would think with all the talk about SaaS and cloud today that by now we would all be talking about the same thing. But in spite of, or perhaps because of the huge volume of discussion around SaaS and cloud computing, there remains much confusion over the terminology. Many use the terms “cloud” and “SaaS” interchangeably, but there are some important differences. So let’s distinguish between the two.
The original A Mill, built in 1874, was leveled by a flour dust explosion that claimed 18 lives. That explosion and the resulting fire destroyed much of the riverfront business area, cutting Minneapolis’ milling capacity in half. Known as the Great Mill Disaster, the explosion made national news and served as a focal point that led to reforms in the milling industry.
Google’s Project Glass, which will inevitably be called Google Glass, is a futuristic Internet-connected pair of glasses.
New “Right to Know” bills raise the possibility for the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food.
There is nothing worse than throwing a bunch of consultants at a problem without knowing the boundaries of the project or defining the expected results. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. It ends in frustration for all parties involved. A formal scope of work (SOW) helps both the client and the consultant to set expectations of each other, and agree on basic assumptions that are critical to success.
What would happen if every computer shut down and we were forced to communicate via landline, or worse, face-to-face?
Apple's plans for building a silent power plant in North Carolina could either be a power-hungry grab or the next big step in a new energy revolution.
If our future lies in the hands of the young innovators who participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition, I’d say we have a pretty bright one.
We live in a technology driven world. Every possible business process has been automated — automated to the point where IT is deeply embedded in the operating fabric of our business and the organization is now highly dependent on it. IT has become a microcosm of the organization and it is used to process more transactions, of greater value, faster than ever before — retaining an ever-increasing amount of information for longer periods, as well.
While plant floor employees don’t need a facility to look nice, or for the tools they use to be aesthetically pleasing, it can’t hurt, can it? Or can it help?
I'm not known for patience in the face of mild inconveniences. I can navigate the major roadblocks life throws my way with a grin-and-bear-it or a glass-is-half-full attitude, but there is something about the small stuff that goes wrong that makes me sweat these trivial problems in a big way. But sometimes you can’t help but wonder if this one seemingly insignificant bother, left untreated, could develop into a major hurdle.
Gerald Zirstein jumped into television interviews last month, during which he demonstrated how he grinds his own beef now, refusing to buy anything containing "pink slime." The consumer media picked up the story and ran with it, and soon the words "pink slime" were on everybody's tongue. But what people were really talking about, specifically, were products primarily made by Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), the manufacturers of "pink slime."
Despite scientific evidence of a product’s safety, a deeply engrained negative perception will lead consumers to avoid that product.
In-depth life cycle analysis may take months and millions of dollars, but now there are better tools for design engineers to make cost-saving choices.
We hear all the time how today’s young adults are so disenfranchised with the idea of working in manufacturing that there are still thousands of jobs going unfilled. Typically, these positions require training in high precision skills like CNC programming. But the skill mismatch we currently face shares a seat with a vast pool of candidates who spent the past few years educating themselves for other career paths.
When designing pharmaceutical facilities, there is much to be taken into consideration, and merely throwing up a "bunch of bricks" just doesn't cut it anymore.
For many organizations, Lean means creating employment opportunities at home: Good jobs, a strong tax base, a brighter future. We believe that the tide is turning towards “re-shoring” jobs and capability that America has lost in the last two decades, and that the time to rally our Lean community is here. Long-term thinking is emerging: America can compete through use of Lean thinking.
Thankfully, the world remains full of billionaire playboys willing to invest their lives and fortunes in new frontiers others have all but abandoned.
During a recent trip to San Francisco, I was unprepared to be somewhat molested by airport security. The day started like many others planned for travel. I went over my checklist of things I needed ad nauseum and grabbed a cup of coffee for the road. But then, I was unexpectedly introduced to the airport’s new body scanner instead of the conventional metal detector that only requires a swift walk-through.