Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 239

Supply Chain Now Radio, Episode 239

APICS Coach and SCNR Contributor, Chris Barnes, welcomes Norman Bodek to Supply Chain Now Radio for part 2 of their Profiles in Supply Chain Leadership episode.

[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio. Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology’s the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] This is part two of the three part interview with Norman Beaudet, the godfather of Lehne.


[00:00:34] In part 1, Nauman discussed becoming socially responsible. The basis of Jay EITI and the Toyota production system and paying attention to your Jiminy Cricket. In this session, we’ll hear about Shogo Shingles. Greene book, Micro Banks and the World’s Greatest Charity.


[00:00:50] So back in 1979, I started with a newsletter, Productivity, and it grew very, very fast. I had three thousand subscribers almost overnight. I’ll take one mazing story here, which I love because I started with a newsletter. Then I want to run a conference. And the reason I want to run a conference is because if I do, I will get 40 speakers. These 40 speakers will submit papers and I’ll get 40 papers that I can use in my newsletter to acquire information on U.S. productivity. That was my idea. And then I get a call from a man called Joe Schneider. What an amazing man. This is the only time in my life it’s ever happened and I should do the same things. Joe Snyder really should. We should all do this. We should all call people that we like and tell them, how can I how can I help you? Joe Snyder called me. This is Norm and I’m an independent consultant, in fact, with chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank is one of my clients.


[00:01:54] And Joe said, I love your newsletter, Norman. How can I help you? How can I help you? How can I help you? And I said, Joe, I’m going to run a conference and at the conference I need three people, maybe you can help me. I need a CEO of a major corporation. I have no contacts with them. I need I want to get a Labor leader, somebody in charge of a union. And I want to get a politician, somebody from Washington. And Joe said, Norman, OK, give me give me a little time. I’ll get back to you. A week later, Joe calls back and he says, Norman, I got you.


[00:02:31] Michael Rose, chairman of Holiday Ends, the largest hotel chain of the world. The keynote, your conference. This is Norman. I have. I got done. Evelyn. Don Oefelein is the second in command of the UAW. He’s in charge of the Ford Motor Company account. And then miraculously, I also got Stan Lundeen, who is a congressman from upstate New York. I had three key people. I felt that if I had these three key people, I could attract 40 speakers. And I did. I got 40 speakers from industry to speak for me. I ran my first conference. It was a tremendous success. Mazing. We ran it at the Waldorf Astoria, of all places. They even gave me credit. That’s another long story. And of course, from the conference side, my 40 papers, I had my 40 articles. And then we just continued. You know, in the beginning process, studying Japan, what is Japan doing? Well, I went to Japan. There’s Joe Jerai who spoke. It’s Industry Week. I approached him at the end of his talk. And I said, Joe, you bring people from Japan to America. Would you let me bring people from America to Japan? Will you help me set up a study mission? And he said Norman will do it. And he did. And I attracted 19 top executives, presidents of companies, to go with me to Japan on a two week study mission to find out what the Japanese were doing to be so productive. I had no idea really what they were doing. I was very nervous because I had no idea.


[00:04:04] And hopefully I’m bringing these people to Japan. I was hoping we’re gonna find out. And we did that, of course, on the first trip. I find what Toyota was doing. This was a miraculous experience. I found that what Toyota was doing, I started to meet great managers in Japan, because every company you visit and we visited 16 companies in two weeks. They get up and present to me and then I go over to them. If I like the presentation, to talk more with them. And on that first trip, rEU Fukuda was vise president of Sumitomo Electric. And Fukuda gave us a great speech. He spoke about something called on era training, on era training. This is very similar to what we know is judoka. What he said is the best time to learn. Listen, please, everyone. The best time to learn is when you make a mistake. Amistake is a jewel. In fact, one of the books I wrote, which is called The Happiest Company to work for and I recommend you all buy it. It’s wonderful. The happiest company they work for, they would pay everybody six dollars for every mistake that you made. Fukuda would say, but he would say, Mister, the amount of president, if you make a mistake, you get six dollars, but never make the same mistake again. Well, in order not to make the same mistake again, Fukuda came up with the idea of on air training. And that means when the worker discovers a problem, they discover a mistake or a problem, they stop working.


[00:05:41] Stop. Just like the doka they call over their team and they had rules. One rule was no speech. The supervisor and manager can’t speak. You put pressure on the worker to discover how to solve the problem. The team that the worker was part of and it’s important to be part of a team, maybe five or seven people on the team, and they would study what caused the problem so it never would occur again. This is a wonderful thing, which is called honor training. I got very excited and I worked over kouta. I said I like it very much. And then for Q2, things happen. I invited Fukuda to come and speak at my first conference and he did. And also Fukuda’s said he wrote a book and I shall publish a book in English. I had no idea what I was saying. I never published the book before. I was doing a newsletter. I was running a conference. But I never and I was doing is doing study missions in Japan, never published books before. But I said, I’ll publish your book. It was the first book that I published and it was great. Subsequently, since I learned how to do a study mission, I did it again, but without the help of Japan managers, said Japan Productivity Center. I learned how to do it on my own. And on the second trip six months later, I also attracted about the next time attracted about fifteen people, not 19.


[00:07:06] A little bit less. And on that trip, I was with John Jack Warren. He became the president of all industries. He had 11 plants in America and the two of us found Shigeo shingle on the second trip. Somebody, a Mr. Allstar at Nippon Denselow, who gave a wonderful talk on just in time, gave us a sheet of paper on the sheet of paper. It said the study of the total production system from an engineering viewpoint. It’s called Shingles Greene book. I recommend everybody listening to me today read Shingles Green Book. It’s the heart of Lehne. It’s the heart of the total production system. It’s a marvelous book to read, to really teach you the basics of what we call lead. Now lots of people are doing lean. Why didn’t coined the term lean? I was one of the first to discover it, but I didn’t. Colleen Womack was smarter than me, Joan. James Kromagg, one of his students called it Lean and he wrote a book on it. You know, the machine that saved the world. And he promoted the word lean and became very popular. The only problem is we don’t really do it. We don’t really do it well. Even now, it’s 30 years later. We don’t do it as well as we should. We’re missing some really key elements. Chris. And I’ll explain one of those key elements that I think we’re missing in addition to finding Shingo. I also discovered onoe to AC Ono was Vise president in charge of production at Toyota. He was in charge of all production at Toyota.


[00:08:45] What Ono did. What we’re not doing, Ono would demand the impossible. Ono would go out to a manager. He has 10 people working for him. And Ono said, I want you to do it with seven. He had no idea if they can do it with seven. But he knew if he didn’t ask, they would never do it. And this is what happens in America. We’re doing lean, but we don’t ask people to do the impossible. We follow Ono seven ways that we do. You know, limit eliminating inventory and etc., but we don’t demand the impossible. We don’t take the power of the CEO. This is interesting. What do we mean by empowerment? We talk about it, but we don’t do it. One day I get a call from Jack Catchin. Jack Catchin is a senior vise president with a company called EFT Code. EFT goes about a two billion dollar company then. And Jack said, Norman, I heard about you, and you live in the same city as me, Greenwich, Connecticut. And he said, Norman, I want you to teach me all about quality. There’s a new quality movement. And I said, Jack, I’m very happy to do it. This is very funny because Jackson, what are you going to charge me? I want you one day a month, teach me about quality. I said give me time to think about. I’ll get back to you. I called my nephew, who worked for a large accounting firm at the time, and I said, what did your senior partner get when he worked with top corporations? And he said, they get two thousand a day.


[00:10:17] Okay. Sounds good to me. I mean, I wouldn’t charge them $200 a day. That’s where my head was. But I call back Jack and I said, Jack, how about two thousand dollars a day in Jack? That sounds fair. It was amazing. And then I went to Jack and started to teach him quality. Then Jack says, look, if we’re going to get quality, we have to go out to our companies. We own 10 companies. Let’s go out and talk to the president of each of those companies. And we did my first time in my life. I got on a corporate jet because AFCO own corporate jets. Beautiful way to go, by the way. And we take a corporate jet. We fly up to one of the subsidiaries, one of the companies they own. And we spoke to the president and his senior staff. And Jack said the following. He didn’t say, I want you to bright a quality plan. He said Don, who was the CEO of EFT Co. The boss of the CEO that we’re talking in the subsidiary. He said, Don wants you to write a quality plan and he wants you to deliver it to us in 30 days. I love that that happens so rarely. Don knew if he asked. It might not get done. But if it comes from the president, the person has to follow it. And they did.


[00:11:38] We went to all 10 companies all around the company country, went to California all over the place to these 10 countries. And we told every one of these leaders, Don wants you to write a quality. I don’t even know. Jack told Don what he was doing. I don’t think that matters as long as you’re going in the right direction. You need the power to make things work. Funny part of this story. Well, let me continue. All presidents wrote this quality plan and they sent it to Jack. Jack then replicated it, made 10 copies each 10 times, put it in a notebook. So every sent it back to the CEOs. So each CEO not only had their own plan, but they had the plan of every other president in the group. And then Jack said study everybody’s plan and rewrite yours using the strength of everybody else. This is such a simple and powerful mechanism. If companies would do this, if companies would with do this, OK. Three years later or so, Jack becomes the assistant secretary of defense in Washington. And he calls me, he says, Norman, come on down to the Pentagon. I want you to help. This was a funny moment in my life. I go to the Pentagon and Jack takes me into a room and the room is filled with generals and admirals. Now, I was in the army for two years. I never saw a general, never saw an admiral. And now in front of me are all of these admirals and generals.


[00:13:11] And Jack says to them, I want you to meet Norman Biotech, the man who saved my company. Four hundred million dollars. I wish I had a copy of that to send out to the world, because I was teaching them the power of quality. And we came up with this mechanism to draw it out, not to tell them what to do, but to draw it out of them. That’s what a good manager should be doing. That’s what a good teacher should be doing. Not teach, not telling people what to do, but drawing out from them the best that they can do. And then empowering them to go ahead and do it. Oh, no. Was an amazing manager. Shingo one day though, situates me maybe three weeks before he died. Shingo had cancer, but his wife never told. This was interesting. She never told him he had cancer, so he never stopped working. He would get on airplanes and fly to America to help me. He was such an amazing man. Three weeks later, he died. He went out to a client. His wife went with him. He was in a wheelchair. And that the client says, I don’t feel well. She took him to the hospital and he died. Shingles said, though, to me, Norman, I know you’re working with all those assistants, but I want you to recognize that. Oh, no. Was absolutely ruthless. And be careful, because I think those people are the same. He was absolutely right. I won’t get into that story too deeply. Oh, no, demanded the impossible for people.


[00:14:42] No excuses. One day we’re standing out in front of a warehouse. So to go say the president is there of terror to go see. And Ono was now the chairman of the company, left Toyota, became the chairman of Toyota Tosi. Go say that’s what they do in Japan. They wouldn’t move Ono up to be president of Toyota. He was too rough. So they moved him over and made him chairman of Toyota Gosha. And he says to the president, this warehouse, I want you to get rid of it at Toyota, we do not have warehouses. I want you to make it into a machine shop. I want you to retrain everybody to be a mechanic. I’ll give you one one year to do it. He walked away. He never told people how to do it. Never. He demanded people to do the impossible. That’s what good management should do. Chris is bringing out the best to the people that work for them. And you do that by demanding from them that they grow. People have no idea what they are capable of doing. I’m going to talk about the Hirata method a little bit later, because this is a marvelous technique I discovered in Japan for people to set goals to demand of themselves to be really great in life. Norman, your first book you published was The Green Book Shingle. That was the no, the first book was Fukuda’s book called Manage Geo Engineering, and it’s also a great book. You can.


[00:16:15] You might be able to get it on the Internet. Manage geo-engineering acutal wrote He was a genius. He wrote a couple of great books. He wrote another one called Building Organizational Fitness. You can also get it on Amazon. I have no connection to productivity. So by the book I don’t get anything from it. For his great books to read. The second book that I got was Shinjo because Shingo spent his own money and his son did the translation and put it in English and Japan Management Association publish the book for him called the Greene Book. And I was probably the first the first person in the world to find it. It’s a miracle in my life. I’m like a magnet. I go to Tokyo. After I was introduced, I was given a sheet of paper with the title on it. I called the Japan Management Association. I said, what is this? They said, this is a new book by Dr. Shango in English. I said to my group, all of them, how many you want the book? Only Jack Maureen and myself wanted the book. So I ordered two copies and Jack and I did the same thing on the plane coming back. Took about 10 hours. We both read the book and we both did the exact same thing. We both bought five hundred copies from Japan management. Jack bought 500 copies because it’s the cheapest, easiest way to educate your people that we don’t, do we? He bought 500 books and he gave those books to every engineer in his company and to every manager and to every supervisor how to read that book.


[00:17:54] And they all read it in groups. They would read one chapter and then talk for a half an hour or so. How could we use this information at Ohmar? They read the book, believe it or not. Chris Oakmark became the best lean company in America, if not the world outside of Japan. They eliminated 90 percent of their inventory just by reading that book. They used to have 11 plants. They closed two of the plants because they had so much extra space. And then I broke shingled to them. And once a year, probably for the next 10 years, Shinda would always visit Oakmark. And Oakmark established their own shingle prize back then, and they awarded the prize to the best plant every year. And Shinjo would come to one plant, one visit and one next plant. The next visit of so many funny. Let me give you a funny story about Shingo. Shinjo was a consultant to Toyota. Probably the greatest management consultant of the last hundred years. He was an industrial engineer. He was the seed of the ideas that came to onoe to develop the total production system. Shingo was such an incredible genius in the things that he did. Well, I brought him to America. I met Shingo after I found the Greene book and I bought 500 copies.


[00:19:21] I then went to Japan and miraculously I met Shinjo in Japan. I walk over to him. He’s sitting in a wheelchair at a conference and I should think of my name is Norman Biotech, and he looks at me and then he looks down. Why does he look down? There’s an old saying all guys should look the same. All foreigners look the same. It took him a few few minutes and then finally had Botox on. And he remembered that I bought so many books from him. And then I said, the Sheer, I want to bring you to America. I never did this before. I want to bring you home a saying, well, how can I come to America? I’m in a wheelchair. I sit single. You’ll figure it out. And he came to America maybe at least 15 times to speak at conferences and to go to and to go to various companies like Omar Singo was an amazing man. Oh, no. One day nineteen fifty five total was going bankrupt. They had no cash. They went to the bank. The bank would not lend them any money. Tota didn’t know what to do to survive. Oh no noticed. Miraculously, we probably have three months worth of inventory on the factory floor. We have three months of inventory in the factory. He says if I can get rid of that inventory, if I can reduce the inventory, I have all the cash we need to survive.


[00:20:42] Never before I went to Japan 1980, I went to Oldsmobile Tarrytown, New York to look at there. I never been to a hosue a plant plant like that. When I went to the plant, they were making a thousand automobiles a day. Five hundred in two shifts. Five hundred in each shift. Well, on the factory floor, they had a thousand of everything, a thousand hoods. They had the you know, I mean, four thousand doors. They had five thousand tires. They had a thousand engines. They had inventory stacks all over the place. They also had a railroad car. There were two thousand parts. Fact they had five days of inventory stacked up so that the plant would never shut down. I then go to total three months later on my study mission in Japan on my first trip and I walk into the factory. Believe it or not, Chris, I see 18 engines on the floor, 18 engines on the floor. That means every 20 minutes or so, a new shipment came in with 18 new engines. They didn’t need a thousand parts on the factory floor. They didn’t need a warehouse. Jingo figured out how to get rid of that inventory.


[00:22:00] Also, it has a thousand, so I had only eighteen because what they did was just in time and Shingo played the key role in getting the cash because Ono says, look, I have three months of inventory.


[00:22:12] How do I get this down? Ono went through a supermarket and the supermarket. He said, Mrs. Housewife goes to a shelf and she takes off the items that she needs. And then the supermarket immediately wants to restock that shelf. So the supermarkets have very little inventory. But the job of a supermarket is how do we quickly replenish? And Ono said, why can’t I do the same thing in my factory? Why do we need all this? Inventory comes back and he goes to Shingo. One day with Shingo was this consultant. Shingo was Ono’s advisor. Ono called Singo. The single was very famous as a great industrial engineer teacher. And he says, I need your help. And he says to Shingo problem that I have. I want to reduce inventory. In order to do that, I have to reduce the time that it takes to change over these presses. Now, some of these presses, believe it or not, Chris, took 40 hours to make a change of. But oh, no point is to one press. He says, look, it’s taking four hours to change over that press because it’s taking four hours. We have to stamp out five thousand parts before we changed changed over again, because economically we can’t change the di Froome between every part or every hundred parts.


[00:23:31] Too expensive. I want you to see if you can get it down. And Shingo said brilliantly. Brilliantly, he said, Okay, how many people would say okay, when it’s taking four hours to do it? And they’ve been taking four houses for the last 10 years. Single said, OK, and Shingled just said, this is an irony. I know of no consultant. I don’t know of a single company in America that calls a consultant and says, come in and just sit and watch and tell me what to do. We don’t do that. We don’t. It only happened to me once in my life. I was in Tokyo visiting a friend of mine, which is Dr. Noriaki Okano. He’s very famous. Dr. Karno invented what’s called the of quality model, very famous model on quality. I went to see him. He was speaking at a conference. And while I was there, an Indian gentleman comes over to me and he says, Norman, I want to introduce myself to you. My name is Renos Sherkin of Assam. I’m the chairman of t.v.’s Motor. t.v.’s Motors, a 9 billion dollar company in India and India remains close to 30, 40 billion in America. And I said, I know t.v.’s, you’re my first client.


[00:24:49] Thirty years ago, he says, Norman, yes, I was your first client. I was really embarrassed because I did know him. It only took him 10 minutes to invite me and my wife to go to India.


[00:25:00] I’ve been there three times. I said, What do you want me to do? You to teach to Hirata method? He says, No, I don’t want to teach anything. I just want you to come over and look at my plant. That was amazing, and I did. I just went overlooked at this plant and then gave advice. He also introduced me to the world’s greatest charity, East. He Greene, of course, he’s a very rich man with this company. And India has six hundred and fifty people with no toilets. Six hundred and fifty million people with no toilets. More than half the population in India is living in poverty. They don’t educate woman. Not at all. In the end, these poverty areas and Venus’s. I’m going to do something about this. And he hired a couple of consultants and they went into a village. And they got together, not the men, but they got together, the women, and they said to the woman, what could we do that you can start to make money because the woman didn’t make money, they stayed at home. Well, maybe they did knitting, you know, things like that. And most of the women stayed home and did the cooking and raised the family and they lived in their shacks. And he and these consultants said, what can we do? Well, I went and visited fifteen of those cities and I wrote a book on this. This is this is interesting. I went to three factories. These were in a east factory, was fifteen women. They were all partners together. And they made Indian bread, the flatbread. So there were three factories there with fifteen in each. The women are partners. They share in the profits. And then I visited their city and now they were living in brick houses and they all had running water and they all had electricity and they all had toilets. It’s amazing what people can do when you harness their energy.


[00:26:51] Now, India has something marvelous that we haven’t had in America. Maybe we do now, but they have what’s called micro banks and they’re willing to lend you $15. They don’t do this in American banks. They would lend these woman very little. And the woman would have to save. They didn’t care these consultants, if they only save 10 cents a week, but they had to set up a bank account and save and the bank would let them put it a few dollars a week in savings from this process. They learned the art of saving. They learned the art of running. A business and knows group called Srinivasan’s Services Trust has uplifted 3.2 million people out of poverty. Imagine, Chris, what American industry can do. Imagine what this hundred and eighty one corporations can do if they’re really serious about becoming socially responsible. I hope so. This is just one example of what one corporation can do by helping people help themselves. This is what I love about the Hirata myth. That’s what I teach. I teach people how to help themselves. You pick a goal. What do you want in this life? Don’t tell me you don’t want anything. Don’t tell me you don’t have a goal. If you don’t want anything and if you don’t have a goal, you’re not going to go anywhere. You have to start off and break through your own resistance and pick. What do you want in this life? I don’t care what you want. That’s up to you.


[00:28:30] This concludes part two of the three part series with Norman Bowditch, the godfather of Lean In Part 3, we learn about the White Book Five S and the downside of mass production.


Norman Bodek is President of PCS Inc. In 1979, after working for 18 years with Data Processing companies, Norm Bodek started Productivity Inc. – Press by publishing a newsletter called PRODUCTIVITY. At the time, he said he knew virtually nothing about the subject and had spent very little time in manufacturing facilities. But, he quickly became fascinated with the subject and went to Japan to discover the processes that was making Japan the world leaders in quality improvement and productivity growth. Even though on his first visit to Japan he didn’t know a single person or speak Japanese, he has since, in the last 31 years, gone to Japan 80 times, visited more than 250 plants and published more than 100 Japanese management books in English, and over 150 other management books. As a fortune cookie once told him, “You have the talent to discover the talent in others.” Mr. Bodek said his claim to fame is that he found amazing tools, techniques and new thoughts that have revolutionized the world of manufacturing. He has met Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Dr. Joseph Juran, Phil Crosby, Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Dr. Joji Akao, Mr. Taiichi Ohno, Dr. Shigeo Shingo and many other great manufacturing masters and published many of their books in English. Each person he met gave him a new perspective on continuous improvement. Mr. Bodek has lead over 25 study missions to Japan and was one of the first to find and publish books, training materials and run conferences and seminars on TPS, SMED, CEDAC, quality control circles, 5 S, visual factory, TPM, VSM, Kaizen Blitz, cell design, poka-yoke, lean accounting, Andon, Hoshin Kanri, Kanban, and Quick and Easy Kaizen. Mr. Bodek, who was once called “Mr. Productivity” by Industry Week Magazine, and “Mr. Lean” by Quality Progress Magazine, said his most powerful discovery was the way Toyota and other Japanese companies opened the infinite creative potential often lying dormant inside every single worker. Most recently, he worked with Gulfstream Corporation, a private jet company, where 1000 people that went from 16-implemented ideas in February 2005 to close to 40,000 in 2011, and resulting each year in annually savings of over $2 million. Mr. Bodek founded the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence at Utah State University with Dr. Vern Buehler and is one of the few to be personally awarded the Shingo Prize. He also was inducted into Industry Week’s Hall of Fame. In the last 10 years, he has written hundreds of articles published in various magazines and journals and on management web sites. Norman has written seven books: “The Idea Generator – Quick and Easy Kaizen,” and “The Idea Generator Workbook,” co-authored with Bunji Tozawa, president of the HR Association in Japan, “Kaikaku the Power and Magic of Lean,” Rebirth of American Industry, co-authored with William Waddell, and “All You Gotta Do Is Ask, co-authored with Chuck Yorke, How to Do Kaizen, co-authored with Bunji Tozawa and most recently “The Harada Method – the Spirit of Self-Reliance,” co-authored with Takashi Harada. Learn more about Bodek’s firm, PSC Inc, here:

Chris Barnes is a supply chain guru and the APICS Coach. He holds a B.S., Industrial Engineering and Economics Minor, from Bradley University, an MBA in Industrial Psychology with Honors from the University of West Florida.  He holds CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS, one of the few in the world. Barnes is a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education certificate courses. Barnes is a supply chain advocate, visionary, and frequent podcaster and blogger at Barnes has over 27 years of experience developing and managing multiple client, engineering consulting, strategic planning and operational improvement projects in supply chain management. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn and reach out to him via email at:

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