Not so ‘Good to Great’

An executive asked my opinion about having his staff all read Good to Great by Jim Collins (2001). It’s been years since I first read the book, one of many business books collecting dust in my library.  When I went back to the list of companies used for research I saw some I knew hadn’t […]

Supply Chain Kaizen

Euclides Coimbra latest book recently made it to the top of my reading list. Kaizen in Logistics & Supply Chains is a well considered application of lean and blitz to the fields of logistics and supply chain management.  Here you will find detailed advice on flow, takt, cell design, kanban, internal and external logistics, standard […]

Total Flow Management

Euclides A. Coimbra and his associates at the Kaizen Institute have created a wonderful and detailed work on the application of continuous improvement to supply chains.  Here is a full exploration and application of lean from end to end of the extended value stream that they call Total Flow Management.  Two thumbs up! Some of […]

Building a Lean Fulfillment Stream

    Hot off the press from the Lean Enterprise Institute … Page 12 & 13 have a brief description of Coefficient of Variation and a SKU Scatter Diagram (weekly volume vs. SKU stability).  10 weeks usually isn’t sufficient for meaningful or statistically significant calculation of standard deviation.  25 data points would be better, and […]

Green and Lean

Combining the questions of green and sustainability with the application of lean thinking to supply chain and logistics I offer these current publications for your consideration. Hot, Flat, and Crowded, by Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat, presents two cases 1) the impact of global warming, population growth, rise of a global middle […]

Green Intentions

Hot off the press, written by plant manager Brett Wills, with first hand experience on the challenges faced trying to move an organization in the green direction.  Part 1, Going Green, applies value stream mapping and the ‘seven wastes’ to identifying opportunities.  Part 2, The Seven Green Wastes, provides guidelines for reducing each of the […]


In most warehouses the material handlers travel empty more than 60% of the time.  Long pick paths and poor product placement can make labor even more inefficient.  Slotting your warehouse based on travel distance and customer demand can save 5-10% on labor.  When handling issues, product groups, order patterns are factored in an additional 3-5% […]

Supply Chain Guru

Supply Chain design studies often target understanding the impact of new sourcing options such as switching suppliers, opening or closing facilities, new product line introductions, or business acquisition integration.  Each opportunity has potentially great financial advantage, but also carries risks as well.  The task then is to understand and quantify the risk – reward trade […]


When asked recently to recommend reference books on Kanban here’s what I came up with… Kanban for the Shopfloor is a straightforward implementation instruction manual.  The language is plain and simple.  The implementation checklist is complete.  Kanban Just-In-Time at Toyota is a translation of a book published by the Japanese Management Association in 1986 and […]

Five Frogs

Five Frogs are sitting on a log.  Four decide to hop off.  How many frogs are left?* It doesn’t take much for good intentions to end up in disaster.  It’s been my recent fate to be involved in two failed mergers, one a postmortem, the next a trainwreck-in-progress.  Integrating distribution, logistics, information, management and financial […]