1. 3. Jidoka and Quality, Just-in-time, Push /Pull and Production system.
In today’s lesson, I want us to go back to our house of lean. And I want
you to look at two of the core principles or pillars of house of lean which
are Jidoka and Just in Time.
Jidoka is one of the two pillars of lean management process that can help
you create built-in quality standards. It is a simple practice that allows
any team member to stop the work process if a problem occurs. Then the
team needs to solve the problem before the work process continues.
Why stopping the process is important? First of all it can help you avoid
rework and avoid waste, right.
But you must remember that rework, defects and waste are things we can
measure, so they create direct measurable costs for your company. But
poor quality can also create hidden/indirect costs which can be 2 to 3 times
as large as your direct measurable costs. To be specific, poor quality can
create excess inventory, overtime workers, non-value added steps, queues
and delays, and of course poor quality will affect the reputation of your
company. So you must care for your quality!!!
Jidoka sometimes is called autonomation, meaning automation with hu-
man intelligence. This is because, many Jidoka machines are equipped
with signalling device. And this signalling device can distinguish good
parts from bad autonomously, without being monitored by an operator.
And it can alert the operator about the abnormal conditions.
In general, Jidoka can lead to large productivity gains because one opera-
tor can handle several machines at the same time and create multiprocess
But most importantly, Jidoka helps to eliminate not required and non-value
adding activity from the production process such as inspecting. Normally,
in mass production quality check comes after the production right or it
might happen during the production as you can see from the photo. But in-
2. spection is not only non-value adding but also subject to multiple errors.
For example, inspector might have poor training or bad equipment, poor
measurement capability and there might be other human factors such as he
might be out the night before having a big party.
So how many Fs there are? 36. The issue is 100 percent of the class got it
wrong. The point is all of the Fs we have missed is what we call in busi-
ness quality escapements. What does it mean? No matter how many people
we put in the process did not catch the defects? And you might have many
many many small issues that might occur during the production process,
and you are going to miss something. Some companies might say that
quality is bad, add more inspectors, quality is bad add more inspectors, but
that is wrong.
So automation is very important for quality. But Jidoka is more than au-
tomation. It is an automation with human touch, right. You know why?
Because Jidoka requires more than discovering abnormality and stopping
the process, but also you must be able to solve the root cause of the prob-
lem and quickly find permanent fix. So the real challenge for Jidoka is not
discovering the problem and stopping the process, but the real challenge is
fixing the problem quickly NOW. Therefore, all the staff members must be
trained to use appropriate problem solving tools such as A3, PDCA or
cause and effect (Ishikawa) diagram to enable them to remove the root
cause of the problem immediately.
So, overall, Jidoka relies on 4 simple principles to ensure that a company
would deliver quality products.
Discover the abnormality
Stop the process
Investigate and solve the root cause
Quickly implement permanent fix
These 4 steps can be applied in a variety of ways depending on your indus-
try and can serve as a steady foundation for achieving continuous im-
provement of your process.
3. Now, let’s turn to another pillar of lean, Just-in-Time. You know that, after
World War II, Japanese manufacturers faced several challenges: lack of
money, lack of space and lack of natural resources.
All these factors put a roadblock for Japanese manufacturers. Then, Toyota
came up with a simple solution – they just made their processes lean. And,
the lean management of their resources was built upon the Just-in-time
It took years for Toyota to perfect the Just-in-time production manage-
ment, which is now popular across various industries and applied by some
of the most successful companies, such as Dell, Harley-Davidson and
Just-in-time started as a simple inventory system where you don’t store
produced items or extra resources needed for the production of these
items, but only produce when there is an actual demand for your item or
By following the just-in-time philosophy, your organization will have the
opportunity to create a pull system and apply it to your current production
For example, in a push system, products are mass produced for an estimat-
ed future demand and then pushed into the market. These products must
remain in inventory until they are needed, which could take months, years
or may not happen at all. In a pull system, no one produces an item or ser-
vice or materials until someone downstream has requested it.
Dell is a classic example of pull system.
So businesses that use a pull system experience increased customer satis-
faction because products are manufactured only to fulfill their requests.
Since products fulfill customer requests, businesses will be effectively de-
livering value to customers, and thereby identifying and further delivering
value in dynamic and repetitive way.
4. Essentially, a pull system works backwards, starting with the customer's
order then using visual signals to prompt action. The visual signals which
prompt action called Kanbans. Meaning "signal" in Japanese. Kanban aims
to help you visualize your work, manage inventory and demand require-
Kanban can help us to manage fairly complicated processes, even if it is
geographically dislocated. Kanban can be used for communications be-
tween upstream and downstream or supplier and manufacturer.
So for example, the manufacturer takes 60 days to make shoes, plus 30
days of shipping. During an average 90 day period, the store will sell
1,000 shoes. The store orders 2,000 at once from the manufacturer. They
are separated into two bins in the warehouse. As soon as the first bin is
empty, a new order will be placed with the manufacturer. While the manu-
facturer is making their next order, the store is selling shoes out of bin #2.
The new order of 2,000 shoes, or two bins worth, should arrive to the
warehouse just as the store has sold the final shoes from bin #2. The
process then cycles infinitely. Same applies to the supplier and manufac-
This example of Kanban is for the communication of upstream and down-
stream, but system’s highly visual nature also allows teams within up-
stream to communicate more easily on what work needed to be done and
when by using sticky notes on a whiteboard to create a “picture” of your
Kanban also help you refine processes, which helped to reduce waste and
maximize value (value stream mapping).
In general, companies employing JIT manufacturing practices enjoy faster
times to market, and reduced operating costs, although there are some po-
tential risks. Especially, JIT invokes what is known as the "bullwhip
effect," a phenomenon in which forecast inefficiencies lead to increasing
swings in inventory when trying to respond to sporadic customer demand
as you move further up the supply chain. JIT can thus create high variabili-
ty, unevenness and Muri.