Many manufacturers see reducing changeover time as a golden opportunity to improve operational efficiency and reduce waste. For good reason, a simple reduction in changeover time can increase output, reduce inventory/WIP, and improve responsiveness to customer demand.
Standard operating procedure (SOP) and work instruction templates help standardize processes and present information consistently. We’ve seen thousands of examples of these templates and the only consistency is their shortcomings.
We spoke with Dr. Robert Maurer, author of “Spirit of Kaizen,” a leading expert in the field of psychology and organizational change, about Kaizen and the role of standardization in improving processes and creating an efficient culture of continuous improvement.
Taiichi Ohno, a founder of the Toyota Production System (TPS), had this to say about Standard Work, “without standards, there can be no Kaizen.” As the foundation for all lean, six sigma, and continuous improvement efforts, the benefits of Standard Work are endless. Ohno's wisdom speaks volumes to the importance of Standard Work, yet many companies aren’t fully practicing it.