All entries for March 2009

March 15, 2009

Reflective from Lean

PIUSS PMA, I finally chose the 5th question to start, because I think it would be easy to do the research, at least, I wont lack in words to write... and at the end, I have too much information.

Lean and Six Sigma, both are admired by many organisations who want to be sustainable in the future.

We all know lean is basically about elimination of waste, supply matching demand, so inventory cost can be reduced, similar to the concept of Just-In-Time, lean explores more on closing the gap between organisational performance and the requirements from customers and shareholders.

Toyota, the first company to embrace Lean into their production system, now is the global leader in the field. the company is very generous about their experience of success and every year, lots of managers from different firms all over the world are welcomed to visit the Toyota plants. However, not many of them can learn the concept and put it into their own organisation.

Lean is a big contributor to Toyota's success today's, however, it can not be easily copied by other firms. even after leaning all the tools and concepts of lean, it is still hard to implement it. first of all, implementing Lean not only needs taking into account of the company's structure and feature, but also needs to look at the human aspects. People are always the most valuable assets of an organisation. Same for Lean, if a company wants to implement Lean into its production system, it needs to first talk to its workforce. Only if the workforce has the knowledge of where waste can be elimated.

Lean also needs continuous commitment. People easily shift their focus on their day-to-day activities. however, no improvement can be sustained unless effort is put into maintaining it (Drew, McCallum & Roggenhofer, 2004).



March 09, 2009

Innovation

I have not made an entry for a long time, it doesn't mean I haven't learnt anything so far, I have. From Process Improvement Using Six Sigma, to Product Excellence Using Six Sigma. I have learnt a lot, even if sometimes the subject can be a bit boring. Here I am not going to give a summary about what I have learnt from the two courses, I will do it at another time. Knowledge Management is what I want to write about this time.

Today, we talked a lot about innovation at our first KBAM seminar. Now we all know that if a company wants to succeed, they have to be innovative first, to satisfy customers by providing a product which will exceed the customer's requirement, for example, the Walkman, the iPhone... in fact there are a lot companies that have embedded "Innovation" in their brand names.

For example, Rolls-Royce, one of the company's core values is "Innovation – we strive to be open minded and flexible in our work. A forward-thinking culture creates a well-managed and contemporary organisation that is always seeking to improve" (Rolls-Royce website). The other two brand values are "Reliability and Integrity". These three core values form the brand image Rolls-Royce is trying to communicate to its customers. A product, whether it is an aircraft engine, or a gas-turbine based energy generating set,  being reliable, integrable, and innovative; those are the main qualities that a Rolls-Royce customer will expect from any RR products or service, and the three main qualities are also how Rolls-Royce differentiates itself from its main competitors.

Other successful companies such as Toyota and Apple, all constantly create new knowledge and put this new knowledge in their new products, which later becomes one of their products' selling points. This is what we call "a Knowledge-creating company"

 

Ref: http://www.rolls-royce.com/about/brand/


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