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Eldon Kao
Continuous Improvement Blog

5S – Beyond the Nitty Gritty

Eldon Kao

5S is no longer a new concept in many workspaces, yet many still struggle with the implementation.  Before I settle down into my 5S training sessions I like to first take the temperature of the class, “What do you know about 5S?” Sometimes people can rattle off the 5S’s: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, & Sustain. Most often I get a general reduction to housekeeping activities like sorting and cleaning. This is as good an opportunity as any to highlight what the takeaway of the training should be. If you remember anything at all, the objective of 5S is not just housekeeping but to establish and then elevate the baseline to which work is performed. Its simplicity is culpable of its misrepresentation. 5S sounds a lot like housekeeping but its full benefits can only be reaped if you are critical of the process and not just going through the motions.

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Roadmap to Success

Eldon Kao

In my experience as a Lean practitioner I've had to navigate through different industry/corporate cultures, levels of organizations, and varied personalities. You may have already found that the potency of the Lean agenda depends heavily on how it is received. Through my own experiences training and advocating Lean methods, I've decided to include a short list of some keys to success that may help others incite and sustain change. 

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Exploring Lean Six Sigma Salary Trends

Eldon Kao

Whether you are contemplating acquiring a Lean Six Sigma Certification, a newly minted member, or a battle-tested veteran,  it's worth a prospective look at the Continuous Improvement trends. As businesses continue to seek competitive advantages, the trends from 2015 reflect the rising demand for continuous improvement specialists.

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Subaru's use of Kaizen in Motorsports and Auto Production

Eldon Kao

Kaizen is a Japanese term that refers to a continuous improvement approach that is incremental and iterative that was developed as part of the Toyota Production System in the 1940's. Since it's introduction, the Kaizen method has been adopted by various industries and even by competitors. A recent article from The Wall Street Journal highlights the need and success of Kaizen by Subaru to keep up with increased demands on production. With each round of Kaizens, Subaru is able to improve on efficiency and output. The idea is that the sum of every small improvement will yield a significant impact. 

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The Lean Six Sigma Diet for Big Business Bloat

Eldon Kao

Large companies suffer from what’s known as big business bloat. With each added process there is unintentionally added complexity and variability that ultimately affects cycle times, service levels, scalability, capacity, compliance, and defects among other things. In some estimates, complexity is attributable for as much as 15 – 30% of large business costs. This article from the WSJ written by Deloitte further explains how these process variations and potential savings are greatly underestimated by executives.

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