Spotlight on CI


         Practical solutions for the real world

 August 2022                                                                 Suburban Philadelphia, PA                                               


On My Mind:

Manny Veloso 


We vs Me

It starts with culture.

I recently toured a company I hadn't visited for a number of years.  I was blown away about how they had improved from my last visit.

This company is so far advanced in their Lean journey that they hold monthly tours to help "pay it forward" and learn more from feedback

While I marveled over all of their improvements in production and information flow, and the ingenuity behind them, I tried to figure out the root cause. What could drive this kind of inspiration and desire to achieve as an organization?

Turns out the owner is a sharp businessman and a humble guy who realizes the path to continuous improvement is constant and part of the DNA of an organization. 

The way to get there is to engage everyone in the journey toward improvement.  It keeps things fun and avoids mundane days.  If Lean thinking is expected then it becomes part of everyday conversations.

One definition of culture is "the way people agree to treat each other".  Do people work for a common goal?  Do they honor their promises to complete things?  And ontime?  Are they always looking for ways to do things better?

If not, then that is a cultural issue.  Culture starts with the hiring process - making sure the right people get on the bus and have a way to be engaged.

This company has an image they use, "We vs Me."  


They ask themselves if the decision they are making benefits the "We" or the "Me".  What's best for the group vs easiest for the individual?  Am I making a decision above the line or below the line?  It’s even incorporated into their vernacular; you’ll often hear people say “Stay above the line”.

Enjoy the Spring-like weather.  All the best. 


Upcoming Events:

Fall Course Series:

Stay tuned for new courses in the fall.  We are finalizing course dates now.  The new series can take people from a complete novice to an expert in Lean or Six Sigma (or both!).  Take courses that fit your skill level, starting with White Belt (overview) to Yellow Belt (team member) and then decide if you want to specialize in Lean or Six Sigma. 

Courses are held on a rotating basis among participant locations to expose students to several different industries and projects

Project coaching is included as well and courses will be offered in a hybrid or online format, depending on the social situation at the time.  

CI Terms Defined




Sounds like something you might find on the bottom of your shoes after walking through a field in the spring.

It stands for Single Minute Exchange of Dies, which means not less than one minute, but less than ten minutes.

It can be defined as the "time from the last good piece to the first known good piece of the next run".

Think of the time it takes to change over a machine from one part to another.  Think of the number of tries it takes to get something to work the right way and the time that it takes, AKA "Tweaking the setup".  

Shigeo Shingo developed the concept of SMED saying, "I wish I had discovered the concepts 10 years sooner than I did."  

It is the fastest way to generate more capacity if that is what you need.

It all boils down to the following steps:

1) Record sequence and list each element as internal or external
2) Convert internal elements to external
3) Reduce internal (and external) elements
4)  Eliminate adjustments





Video Links from Youtube:  

Lucy at the Candy Factory - 3 minutes. Lots of takeaways here if used as an opener for your next meeting.


 boat dock