Operational Excellence Tools Blog

Operational Excellence tools (think Lean, Six Sigma, business process analysis), case studies, and items of interest from the US Industry Solutions Organization at Microsoft.

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  • Blog Post: Informative Lean video case study

    One way to quickly understand what Collaborative eKanban is all about is to watch the Flash demo and video case study on www.ultriva.com . It takes 6 minutes total. Both are really well done.
  • Blog Post: A refreshing outlook on 'New Millennium' Lean

    USC Consulting Group ( www.usccg.com ) has written a very thorough whitepaper describing how technology augments traditional Lean methods, but also argues that technology is a requirement to make a full Lean transformation. The link to the document is http://www.usccg.com/Ref/USCMillenniumBroch.pdf ...
  • Blog Post: 5s for the Information Worker

    Over the recent holidays, I embarked on a backup, cleanup, and Office 2007 upgrade for my PC. As part of the process, I realized that it would be a good idea to take a look at the 5s concept from an information worker perpsective, since e-mail and spreadsheets are the "tools" and "dies" used by many...
  • Blog Post: www.kanban.com is now live

    Ultriva has launched their hosted, subscription based eKanban service at www.kanban.com . It's a .NET enabled online service for small to medium sized manufacturers to better align inventory and production with actual customer demand. It includes a wizard-based interface making it very easy to use. This...
  • Blog Post: New podcast of Lean segment from Feb 10-11 America's Business radio show

    Podcast of the Lean segment from last weekend's America's Business with Mike Hambrick show is now available at http://marcmonp.members.winisp.net/podcasts/AB_FEB10_SEG3%20Lean%20Segment-1.wma
  • Blog Post: New IndustryWeek webcast: Lean at Haldex featuring Microsoft Dynamics

    New IndustryWeek webcast featuring a Lean leader and an IT leader from Haldex, discussing "The Haldex Way," how and why the company embarked on a Lean path, and how IT and Microsoft partner Avanade has been an enabler in the process. This story focuses not on value stream mapping but on building visibility...
  • Blog Post: How Software Can Help Your Lean Program – and You, the Lean Professional

    There is nothing like walking into the “war room” after a kaizen event. I usually see the same thing - butcher paper and sticky notes lining the walls from floor to ceiling. It is the result of people coming together to improve their value streams – the scene is impressive. What I’m less impressed with...
  • Blog Post: New case study - Gates Corporation enabling continuous improvement with Sharepoint

    New case study published on Gates Corporation - details how they are using various Microsoft technologies such as Sharepoint to standardize work, improve information access, and push KPIs and transparency throughout the organization. Excerpt: "To enforce consistent business processes, executive management...
  • Blog Post: A new book for Lean Product Development

    Last week at the Lean Transformation Summit, Prof. Durward Sobek of Montana State University, gave a presentation about a new book just published called "Lean Product and Process Development" authored by Allen Ward. I think you'll find the book to contain some breakthrough thinking on applying lean thinking...
  • Blog Post: New Manufacturing Business Technology article on lean replenishment

    ...shows that the application of lean thinking and tools to the supply chain is a hot area in the industry. Ultriva, quoted in the article, is a provider of electronic kanban and other solutions built on the Microsoft platform using tools such as SharePoint and SQL Server. Check out the article at...
  • Blog Post: Lean Healthcare trip reports

    I recently visited Penn State University Hershey Medical Center (HMC) and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). HMC is applying Lean methods in the area of demand capacity matching in their emergency department. Thus far they've realized significant improvements. Here is a quick summary...
  • Blog Post: Ultriva User's Conference highlights

    In Cupertino, CA today at the Ultriva User's Conference listening to a many customer case study presentations from Emerson Electric, Rexnord, and Dover Inc. What is most compelling in the talks is why each company is using Lean. OK International started on their Lean journey in 2001 to improve customer...
  • Blog Post: 5s OneNote Example

    In a previous post I talked about using a shared OneNote workbook as a way of making continuously updated customer follow-up information available to field solution specialists on their desktop. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to set this up. Step 1: Create a new shared notebook...
  • Blog Post: Lean solutions director Ingo Heel and Just Born Foods profiled on NAM America's Business Radio show this weekend !

    Tune in to the National Association of Manufacturers weekly radio show America's Business with Mike Hambrick this weekend on Feb 10-11 for a segment on Lean Manufacturing. Interviews include Ingo Heel, Lean Solutions Director for Microsoft, and a profile of Just Born Foods' success story presented by...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft announces Microsoft Dynamics Industry Solution for Lean Enterprises

    Details available at http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2007/mar07/03-13ConvergenceDayTwoPR.mspx .
  • Blog Post: Join me at the Lean Transformation Summit

    Join me in attending this conference...several of the companies speaking are using software and tools built on the Microsoft platform to enable their lean initiatives. As a former black belt for a service business at GE, I am particularly interested in hearing a current perspective on the success of...
  • Blog Post: Emerson is tackling inventory turns with technology

    Check out the IndustryWeek webcast from January called Emerson Lean: From Strategy to Execution . It's presented by Ray Keefe, VP of Manufacturing at Emerson and Ashley Stirrup, CEO of Ultriva. What is especially insightful is how Emerson has figured out how to tackle the "bullwhip" issue. The recording...
  • Blog Post: Upcoming webinar on the impact of software on lean transformation efforts

    ...featuring the Harbour-Felax Group and Activplant, March 28, 2007. Details at: https://lra100.livemeeting.com/LRSRegistration/EC/activplant/638697426.aspx
  • Blog Post: IndustryWeek webcast on Enterprise Value Stream Mapping & Analysis

    On May 31st, Lockheed Martin will be conducting a webcast hosted by IndustryWeek. Lockheed Martin apparently has transformed their entire approach to conducting kaizen events through the use of software tools like LeanView from the Orlando Software Group. The registration site is http://www.industryweek...