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We are built to create stories to relax our minds but that also create some issues to be aware of.

2 Min Drill. We are Story making machines.

This is a subject close to my heart. The secret that blocks successful implementation and what you can do about it…

2 Min Drill The secret behind real OpEx

Based on the level of emotion at our last company workshop, LDI has reached new heights in its core value; “Being a loving, caring, and giving family. The LDI “extended” family had the pleasure in building and packaging 10 prosthetic hands that will be internationally distributed at no cost to those in need. This team building exercise was like no other we have seen. It pushed on collaboration, inspiration, assistance, and the overall spirit giving. In the end, many in the team were brought to tears but in the safe environment that LDI provides. Many thanks to all that participated and a special thanks to Carol at Odyssey Teams.

LDI family Building prosthetic hands for people in need.

James Smith is sharing his thoughts on data systems for manufacturing.

2 Min Drill Do you really know your data

In This episode of the two-minute drill, I’m going to be talking about the key components in delivering a deep root to change in an organization. Focusing on leadership.

Implementing a continuous improvement system obviously requires 100 percent committed from the management team, so after you have a clear direction, you have your deployment done, your organization is aligned. Now it’s important to ensure that the management is 100 percent committed…

2 Min Drill 100% Commitment

Organizations often struggle to understand how an what to plan when embarking on an improvement journey…

2 Min Drill What is a Deployment

Food Production – Kaizen


We are a $25 billion food business company and our plant that produces dried product for industrial and food service applications.


Throughput on machine #3 has slowly reduced from 13,500 lbs. / hr. to 12,000 lbs. / hr. over a period of 3 yrs. This increased the number of days the machine must be in operation to complete the annual workload that lasts approx. 5 months. This resulted in $140,000 of additional operating costs. Several ad hoc changes to the machine have been made over the past 3 years with no measurable impact on throughput.


Using a Kaizen process, my team (Practitioner Certified) facilitated a team of Operators, Mechanics, Engineers and Supervisors to utilize problem-solving tools and techniques to restore machine #3 throughput back to 13,500 lbs./hr.  The start of the next pack season was only 3 months away, so corrective actions needed to be implemented immediately.


The Team members used the Kaizen approach with documented Kaizen sheet. The appropriate root cause analysis tools were used to attack this problem

A detailed execution plan was finalized with sign off by the Management Team.   


The Team took a GEMBA walk to fully understand and validate the function and current condition of the equipment. We then created and grouped the info into 4M Fishbone diagram. The top 5 issues in frequency were run through the 5Why analysis to identify root causes. A complete list of key issues/counter measures(using the countermeasure ladder) was generated and an action plan to close was agreed upon by the team and presented to plant management for buy in.


After completion of the action plans, machine #3 throughput reached 13,500 lb./hr. throughput. All changes were documented, visual controls were added to the equipment, a maintenance plan developed, and key operators were trained on proper set up and operation of the machine.



AskLDI Case Studies – food production kaizen

The Energy industry is getting more and more price competitive. Our competitors are under cutting prices to win the business. We have defined a key KPI in the market that enables us to keep prices on a somewhat higher level, if this KPI is at an outstanding level. The KPI is Lead time from order to delivery. A major part of that lead time is design and release to manufacturing

The Lead time for Design request to delivery of product is too long averaging 38 days. We have lost business as a result.

My Team was set with the task of a reduction of lead time from incoming design request, to product release for manufacturing.

The target was set to a Lead Time of 10 days

We used a universal cross functioning team of internal stakeholders from Sales, Customer Service, Design, Quality and Production.

We used the PDCA approach with an internal Practitioner Certified led facilitator, to ensure sustainability and expanded the process on an international level.

We created a Process map to understand the current state and identified the losses. The Team was trained in flow and design to deliver methodologies. We developed a future state map and identified 8 projects that would take us to our target. All projects were successfully executed using Practitioner Certified support, with all project KPIs met.


The results were Lead time reduced from 38 days to 3 days

We secured mew business as a direct consequence with annual revenue of $850,000

AskLDI Case Studies – Energy Industry

We are a $40 million hydraulic component business company and our plant that produces cylinders to mobile equipment.


We had done a flow analyzes and found that a CNC machine was limiting our ability to produce the number of variants we needed. The set-up time was too long and the variation between operators around 100%.


Using a SMED process, our team (they are now Practitioner Certified) worked with the team of operators and followed parts of the SMED process. We chose to concentrate on two things.

  1. Training of operators
  2. Moving internal work to external work


We used an A3 sheet and worked for one week. We followed the PDCA approach to the focused areas and had Management visiting every morning to get support and to allow them to be informed. A detailed execution plan of the training for all shifts and replacement operators was finalized with sign off by the Management Team.   


We video filmed the set-up we chose to focus on and chose the most experienced operator to learn as a team, he also learned since some team members had a really good way of dealing with some tasks. We watched the video together and discussed the content and mad e the detailed plan together before developing One Point Lessons and started to train everyone.


After completion of the action plans, the machine set-up for the chosen set-up type was reduced with 53% and the variation was +/- 5%. We kept the follow up on our daily meeting board to. Make sure we hold the gains.


AskLDI Case Studies – Component Production SMED

We are a $90 million Automotive product business. We make components for cars.

In one of our production cells we found that our OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) was just over 50% and we struggled to deliver. The OEE was varying a great deal and we found it stressful to try to meet the demands.

We started to collect data for short stops (minor/small stops) because we didn’t have that many breakdowns. Our data showed that we had operator missing for 38% of the time. We added a spaghetti chart for some operators to understand movements.

Using a Kaizen approach and PDCA thinking, we gathered the data and found that operators where asked to do several activities away from the machines, such as first piece inspection, moving material, data logging, SPC, etc. We locked at the countermeasure ladder and as a team we developed an idea to add a water spider. The reasoning we had was that the activities outside of the machine has to happen, so we have to find a way to do that without losing production time. A cost and benefit calculation showed that if we could add one person, we could eradicate close to 100% of the short stops.

The presented the findings and the calculation to the management who realized that we were correct.

We added 1-person per shift and followed the short stops for 2 months.

We found that we still had shorts tops and the team met again. It became clear that we needed a signaling system to alert the water-spider. We added Andon lights to support that and kept following the data. Loss eradicated.

We increased the sales and output and the cost was deducted from the calculation. (I’m not allowed to share the USD for that)

We made sure we had SOPs for all activities and trained all persons.

AskLDI Case Studies – Automotive production kaizen

The Classical follow up approach

If you work in a C-suite or you’re running a company following KPIs to see how you’re progressing and what’s happening in your organization is important and a key part of the Leadership process. I would ask you to rethink how you do that a little bit, because what happens in your organization doesn’t show up in the KPIs. That the result, right? It’s the result of capable people performing in processes, bringing value to your customers at the results in your business KPIs.

The questions that follow a problematic KPI

So what questions do you ask the organization when the KPIs aren’t showing the right numbers? One thing that would be a don’t in my world is to say, “What happened? What have you done about it,” and similar questions. If you constantly ask questions like that, people naturally go into defence mode. They can say any crazy thing that they can come up with that’s not true, just to manage the situation with you. In worst case, they might stick to it, so they’re working on the wrong things.

The better approach

What is the right thing to do then? Well, here’s my thinking. If capable people performing in processes is what delivers your value and your result, the concentrate on the processes. If the result doesn’t show up like it should, the KPIs are on a sad trend. You could ask questions like: What process or which processes contribute to this KPI? Have you analyzed the process to find out if anything has happened to make the process under deliver or if anything in the process could be done better? Do we need to repair anything in the process? Questions like these could take the focus to the process and the discussion could be constructive.

Even more questions to consider

How often do you analyse the process? or maybe What type of analysis tool did you use? because people sitting down around the table spit-balling ideas might not be an analysis as such, you might want to ensure it’s done as a team. I would concentrate on the process and understand what has malfunctioned in the process. I would stay away from questions that threatening people in a sense. You might not do it intentionally of course, but people feel threatened by questions, “What have you done,” what if there’s a better way?

Your end goal

The organization is supposed to improve and you ask them to constantly do that, you could also ask yourself to improve your leadership style, right? That wouldn’t be too much to ask, and the fact is that when people see that you act differently that can be a good motivator for the organization to do the same. Concentrate on the processes, ask people relevant questions around the processes to understand how the KPI is affected. Therein lies the secret to success.

Johan Majlov, CEO Lean Dimensions International


Hey CXO stop being so predictable

We get a lot of questions about metrics, different types of metrics to use, and in this case, I want to talk about what good metrics are is for lean implementation of our lean model. What is a good metrics? I think asking that question is a bit too simplified because there are no standard metrics is that I think you can take off the shelf for any company really.


How do you think then? What is the thought process around it? The way you need to think about metrics is basically starting with what is the vision? What are you trying to achieve with implementing a lean thinking, lean model, or lean implementation in general? Because it all starts with where you want to go and the work on the vision should not be underrated in any way because often we try to shortcut that by writing something down that’s important to something you should say when you write down visions.


I even heard some people talking about some type of online system that generates a vision for you. If you just enter some keywords. In the way, we think, it doesn’t make any sense because if you want to get people to buy into a future where they do work and where they must work differently, you need to make the… Give them a good reason and the best way of giving people a good reason is to include them in the reason.


Include the people who do the work in the vision. Then, from the vision, you build these different paths, of course, but to measure anything you measure speed towards the vision and the direction, and we use something called KPI for that, right? The key performance indicators.

But for this specific session, I want to talk about the importance of creating the vision and then the KPIs, not the other way around. In many businesses, they already have the KPIs and said this is the only thing we need to fulfil. In fact, our vision is to fulfil the KPIs. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense I’m afraid and, that again is too simplified because there’s no reason for the people in your organization to buy into KPIs because it doesn’t mean much to them. What do you want to start with is to put as much census into your vision as possible? Get a real reason why people should be together with you in the future, which for me is the definition of vision. Start with that.

Find the metrics are for later. If you stay tuned on this channel here and #opex2, you can find more information about what good metrics will be after you’re set up the visions. I’m going to talk a little bit about that later, but if you follow us, you will get to know more about that for sure. And in this little session, I can’t stress the importance of vision, enough.

Johan Majlov, Founder and CEO Lean Dimensions International


Lean Implementation, Metrics, and Vision