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Archive for 'Thought Pieces'

India’s consumer market drives supply chain growth

April 28th, 2011 | By: Martin Arrand

Today I’m continuing my analysis of supply chain management in India with some discussion of the economic context. India’s economy is growing very quickly – recently we’ve begun to worry that it’s growing too quickly, running the risk of overheating . But it would be odd if such a rapid transformation of the economy didn’t […]

Birth of Lean Review – Free download Taiichi Ohno Chapter

May 12th, 2009 | By: Martin Arrand

A lengthy post today that’s been in the pipeline for a while. The Lean Enterprise Institute have published an English translation of The Birth of Lean, recounting the experiences of the early Toyota practitioners, and how their experiences shaped what became Lean methods and thinking. The introduction and first chapter are available as a free […]

How hackers taught me a lesson in 5S

March 11th, 2009 | By: Martin Arrand

Sometimes people tell me that 5S only applies in factories, and if they’ve been exposed to the “inactive banana” school of dim-witted implementation I can’t blame them. But here’s a cautionary tale that might persuade you that the principles – intelligently applied – are sound. Supply Chain View has been “off air” for a while […]

Lean? Or Continuous Improvement?

October 31st, 2007 | By: Martin Arrand

Sometimes people get hung up on semantics. Sometimes it pays to be clear – very clear. I am currently trying to wade through some waters muddied by misunderstanding and poor use of terminology. My employer has had some good quality experience of Lean (albeit in a fairly small section of its operations) for about four […]

What level of availability should my warehouse give?

September 13th, 2007 | By: Martin Arrand

This is a question that arises with frightening regularity. Although we generally want both availability and stock turn to continue improving over the long term (and there are various methods of achieving that), nonetheless there are some theoretical limits to those numbers, together with a requirement to decide the availability target for right now. Let’s […]

Inspiration from the strangest places: Bukowski and Six Sigma

September 11th, 2007 | By: Martin Arrand

You wouldn’t expect a great lesson in Six Sigma from an alcoholic Beat novelist, would you…? This is from Charles Bukowski‘s first novel, Post Office, which is a semi-autobiographical account of the author’s “career” with the US Postal Service, delivering and sorting mail. I’ve mainly paraphrased the episode in order to respect the author’s copyright. […]

Overstock in pure Pull supply chains

August 17th, 2007 | By: Martin Arrand

I have had a couple of conversations recently that have led me to think about how much overstock we might expect in a Pull supply chain even under fairly idealistic conditions. The first was with a colleague working on a redesign of a warehouse in which a large number of products had stock outside of […]

Is Lean still misunderstood?

May 19th, 2007 | By: Martin Arrand

At a seminar I ran earlier this week for CILT, this is a paraphrasing of what one of the delegates said to me: “Lean is all about cost reduction. It focuses on the internal processes of the company. It does not think about the customer.” It is now over 60 years since Toyoda Kiichiro, then […]

Lean and inventory misconceptions

April 10th, 2007 | By: Martin Arrand

I was interested to find an article in this month’s Logistics & Transport Focus headed “No more lean times: why inventory is not waste and warehouses add value”. The author, Steve Sordy, has chosen a title that is a kind of teasing of the more dogmatic of lean devotees – British culture has little patience […]

DRP and Deployment: an interesting 2-tier problem

April 4th, 2007 | By: Martin Arrand

I lent a hand yesterday at a workshop run with a client to aid configuration of an upgrade to their ERP system. The workshop, which focussed on DRP (Distribution Resource Planning) and Deployment (how we turn DRP plans into purchase orders and stock transfers), threw up the following problem. Manufacturer to Packer to Distribution Centre […]