According to Stephen Parker, CEO of Datacraft Solutions, “The Datacraft Solutions team believes in Continuous Improvement (CI), not only in manufacturing operations and supply chain management, but also in the Lean tools offered to our customers. CI in inventory and supply-chain management means the continuing pursuit of higher inventory turns, less stockouts and improved on time delivery in a challenging and ever-changing business landscape. This, in turn, requires fine tuning of the Kanban card-sets to reflect Sales and Operations Plans (S&OP), forecasts and a combination of other demand management factors.”
Kaizen (Japanese for “improvement”) is a philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities continually improve all functions of a business, from manufacturing to management and from the CEO to the assembly line workers. By improving standardized activities and processes, Kaizen aims to eliminate waste, Lean manufacturing.
Kaizen is a daily activity, the purpose of which goes beyond simple productivity improvement. It is also a process that, when done correctly, humanizes the workplace, eliminates overly hard work (“muri”), and teaches people how to perform experiments on their work using the scientific method and how to learn to spot and eliminate waste in business processes.
To be most effective kaizen must operate with three principles in place:
consider the process and the results (not results-only) so that actions to achieve effects are surfaced;
systemic thinking of the whole process and not just that immediately in view (i.e. big picture, not solely the narrow view) in order to avoid creating problems elsewhere in the process; and
a learning, non-judgmental, non-blaming (because blaming is wasteful) approach and intent will allow the re-examination of the assumptions that resulted in the current process.
The challenge is to do this in a simple process with minimal administrative overhead, and quickly. Working with Lean Thought Leaders and after five years of advanced research and development, we have created the industry’s first card releveling tool: Intelligent Card Leveling (ICL). Intelligent Card Leveling will be deployed this year in the third quarter.
Datacraft Solutions (www.datacraftsolutions.com) delivers a revolutionary digital kanban process of automation solutions to lean manufacturers through a secure Internet gateway, eliminating the need to install and maintain a complex IT infrastructure. The company has experienced significant growth in the past two years by eliminating complicated, expensive, time-intensive software implementations as well as extensive training regimens and the need for internal support. Datacraft Solutions’ replenishment supply chain digital kanban system (Signum) allows customers to access and utilize powerful lean benefits immediately for a low, predictable monthly fee. Services are scalable so manufacturers can design an appropriate digital kanban solution.