The Value Stream

An Oregon Manufacturers' Resource

Total System Thinking: Learn To Truly See Your Business

So often business owners make decisions based on intuition, luck, or the magic 8 ball. As a small or mid-sized manufacturer, there are so many factors that can affect your company’s profitability, both inside and outside of your control. How do you make proactive decisions for the betterment of your…

The Art of Job Task Analysis

A job task analysis helps break down a job into smaller, manageable chunks for on-the-job training. Whether you are developing work instructions or writing a job description, breaking down a job into a set of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks can seem daunting. Which tasks do you start with? How…

What My Clients Have Taught Me

The past 25 years of my career in manufacturing, and especially my last 4 years as a consultant, have been filled with lessons about making things better, and mostly learning about human nature.  Here are some important lessons I’ve learned from working with Oregon manufacturers across sectors. It doesn’t matter what I know, it only…

Deciphering New Lease Accounting Changes

Over the past 10 years, the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have been working together on a plan to overhaul lease accounting. The primary benefits of leasing will be unchanged under the new rules:  Leasing continues to provide a host of advantages,…

Lean Purchasing for Manufacturers

Lean Manufacturing = Eliminating Waste For several decades, manufacturers have been pursuing lean on their shop floor to reduce costs and improve lead times through waste elimination and process improvement.  Identification and elimination of the 8 Wastes, reduction of non-value add activities, 5S workplaces, standard work, and continuous…

It’s Not the Bottom, It’s the Foundation

I recently came across this blog post from marketing guru Seth Godin, and felt that it was very pertinent to manufacturers who want to make their workplaces great places to work. Read on for an insightful post about leadership, organizational transparency, and the foundational work of managing your workforce so they are…

New Year Resolution: A Value Proposition to Grow Sales

Can you believe it? It is nearly time for new year resolutions! It is also that time of year for 2017 strategic planning. Is growing your sales part of your 2017 plan? If so, let’s talk about why people buy what you are selling. Let’s talk about value propositions Understanding…

What OSHA’s New Drug Testing Interpretation Means for Manufacturers

If you’re like most manufacturers, your drug and alcohol policy probably allows you to test an employee following an accident or near miss incident. But when OSHA released new anti-retaliation rules earlier this year, it changed the way employers can apply post-accident drug testing requirements. In the comments to…

A Practical Guide to PQR Analysis

What Is PQR? PQR stands for Product, Quantity and Routing. PQR analysis is a way of answering the questions: What do you make? How many do you make? What processes are required to make it? In Thinking Lean, everything is related to takt time (pace).  To calculate the takt time…

Skills Shortage? What Skills Shortage?

The Skills Shortage Solution to Date: Panic! There has been much publicity and alarm surrounding the impending shortage of skills in manufacturing. Evidence of the skills shortage has been raised through the analysis of survey results and deduced from the exiting of an aging workforce. Rather than focus on…