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Reading The Gemba (Shop Floor)

Jun 23, 2015 | Posted by Peter Kisiel

Now that we have ventured out onto the Gemba, what now?

In my last blog, I discussed the importance of staying connected to the Gemba.
So, now that we are out in the middle of the shop floor, what do we do now?
One of the skills that we can practice and develop is trying to understand what the shop floor is telling us.

A way to to do this would be to talk to our supervisors, team leaders and employees. This approach is valid and useful, and can require scheduled meeting times to review status and updates. This can also help leaders gain respect from the shop floor as well.

Another approach could be to having visual indicators throughout the Gemba, constantly communicating the status of the things we find important, such as production rate, downtime and inventory levels. This information can be quickly digested during a plant walk-through without stopping to talk to anyone.

The best approach would be a combination of the two methods used together.

The main point here is that the most effective approach to reading the Gemba will be the method that provides the best support to those working in the Gemba. This support structure is vital in maintaining and improving our value centres, the areas of our business where we make our money.

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