TXM Lean Minute – Bring the Pace of the Customer in your Business with a Pacemaker

How do you bring the pace of the customer in to your business so see if you are keeping up? Following on his video about Level Production, Senior Consultant, Greg Boek explains the five steps to establishing a pacemaker that will make sure that your business keeps up with its customer’s needs every day.

TXM Lean Minute: Five Steps to Leveling Workload at your Lean Pacemaker

Read the Video Transcript

How do you bring the pace of the customer into your business so you can see if you’re keeping up?

Hi, I’m Greg Boek.
Welcome to this TXM Lean minute.

To bring visibility of whether we’re keeping up with the customer pace in our business, we need to introduce a “Pace Maker”. There are different ways to do this and to make it visible in real-time.

When you have a lot of inventory or work in process in products or information, it’s difficult to see in real-time if the customer pace is being maintained. This can cause orders to be delivered late, excessive expediting as it’s realised too late that work is running late causing additional costs in overtime and premium freight.

I’ll now take you through how to introduce a pacemaker signal into your workplace.

Refer to a previous video on how to work out the pace your business needs to run or the Takt times

  1. Decide how often to deliver information to the place where work is carried out. For example Hourly, Half or Quarter Hourly
  2. Set up a mechanism that can deliver information to tell your work teams what to do next in time blocks. For example, this can be linked to a timed material delivery process that operates on this cycle.
  3. Have a visual “Queue” of work that can be easily seen by the team, and others walking through the area.
  4. Set up some visual markers that make it clear if the team is ahead or behind the pace of work, for example, green, yellow and red markers are good.
  5. Decide on how to react when the queue reaches these markers.

By bringing a more real-time of view of how your teams are keeping up with the customer pace, it brings problems to the surface immediately and allows you to react to them. This allows you to more confidently remove waste from your system without impacting the customer. This allows improvements in productivity, reductions in inventory and improving quality and safety.

Call us at TXM to help you to implement a pacemaker into your business.

I’m Greg Boek

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