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Weekly Update (May 13, 2013)

Notable News

  • I am dabbling with the idea of doing a brief weekly podcast, possibly with our frequent partner Tim McMahon, of ALeanJourney.com. We are still trying to work out the scheduling details and what the show would actually look like, so this is your chance to have some input. One of the ideas is a quick rundown of all the content we post combined some current events, but I am open to suggestions. The number one objective is to give you something that can help you keep Lean efforts front and center in your operation. Send your ideas and suggestions to info@velaction.com. Thanks.
  • I’ve also shuffled the posting calendar up a bit. I wanted to move the updates to Monday and cover the previous week. That means a cascade of changes for the rest of the calendar.
  • I’m wondering if it would be helpful to you to have our LTS articles available to you on MP3. (We’ve got 22 articles in this category now, but only 4 are currently available on PDF). Some of our articles are more detailed and extensive than others, and tie in nicely to our Lean Training System. This takes a lot of time, and would be a paid product, but it would be priced for individuals. We are thinking $1.99-3.99 individually, with a 10 pack in the $15.99-24.99 range. It really depends upon the topic and duration. Any interest in us moving forward with a test of this product?

Thought of the Week

  • It is interesting that the term ‘expert’ is viewed with such disdain. It is often written with quotes around it, or appended with ‘so-called’ before it. What is interesting is the correlation between how the word is presented and whether or not the author agrees with what the individual is saying.
  • Perspective matters. Whether a feeder in your yard is for the birds or the cats is just a matter of height. In Lean, problems look different when viewed through your customers’ eyes.

Tips of the Week

  • Schedule time to learn one new thing each morning. It only takes 5 minutes. On idea: Go to our Lean Dictionary, and pick a new term to read each morning. Even if you know something about the term, we might have a morsel you hadn’t thought of before. The key is to schedule time for daily learning.

Interesting Improvement Article

  • Just this morning it was announced that Tesla, the electric car maker, outsold Mercedes, BMW, and Audi at its price point. While it is still early in the progression of electric vehicles, this lesson should be taken to heart by any market leader. Technology can change the game. If you read the article, there is an interesting diversion about an allegedly faked test drive to make the car look bad. The accusation is supported by data taken from the car’s computer. That’s really an endorsement, if true. The car is so good that bad results have to be staged.
  • Hard to believe that pagers are still the method of choice in hospitals. Seems to be a case of regulation not keeping up with technology, to the tune of $8 billion per year wasted.
  • One of the things you do in a 3P (Production Preparation Process) effort is look to nature to come up with ideas. The premise is that nature has had millions of years to think about how to solve problems, so if you need to do something, you can probably find a handful of options in the natural world. A group from Virginia Tech took this concept to the extreme by building a robotic jellyfish.

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