Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 243

Supply Chain Now Radio, Episode 243

APICS Coach and SCNR Contributor, Chris Barnes, welcomes Norman Bodek to Supply Chain Now Radio for part 3 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 three of a three part interview with Norman Boat, the godfather of Lean In, part to Norman Disgust, Shinjo, onoe on air training and the power of quality. In this session, we’ll hear about Beyond the Seven Ways Pocho Yok Job Enrichment.


[00:00:46] And see, while Youku had a couple of follow ups about Ono and Shingo, one of the first things I did as an industrial engineer in my career was put in a supermarket for just in time. So it was interesting there you say that. I didn’t realize Ono was kind of the founder of that. So on that theme, we still teach things like the seven ways. In your opinion, who who kind of created those seven ways?


[00:01:10] No. Ono to me created the seven way because Ono identified one, which is what we should all do. But very few people do this. Ono identified what are the strategic problems standing in front of him from obtaining his success. And so Ono recognized in order to be successful, he wanted to get what he called just in time. We only make one card at time, so why are we gearing up to four thousand cards when we only make one of the time? Let’s focus on what is it? What do we need to make that one card at time?


[00:01:46] And he called it just-in-time or the Toyota production system in order to attain his strategic goal of just in time. He identified what stands in the way. What stands in the way of attaining his goal of just-in-time not what we need is a key thing is we have to develop our vision. Most companies in America don’t even have a vision. Then we have to establish a mission how to attain that vision. Then you have to look at the obstacles standing in the way of attaining that mission and vision. This is what Ono did and standing in the way of just in time with these ways, inventory was much too large. And Shingo, when he looked at that crunch press, he Ono said, I wanted to go home four hours to 2 hours. And Shingo said, OK, that all comes back a day later. Liegghio, that’s not good enough. Kingo You have to get it down 10 minutes and Shingo said, Okay, imagine. Okay, I’m going to work with you and watch this machine process and see how do we get it done in 10 minutes. And Shingo was such a genius that he did it. He did. He came up with something really brilliant, Chris. He said the machine is running and then it stops. And we do a lot of things when the machine stops. As an example, in plastics, it could take about one hour just to heat the dye. And Shingo said, why can’t we take things when the machine stops? Why can’t we do it when it’s running? This is a brilliant discovery called this inside exchange of die and outside of change of die outside mint.


[00:03:28] What can we do while the machine was running to be ready for the changeover so he would take a die as an example and he would heat it up externally. And then when the machine stops, the die was already hot. It just moves it into the machine. Took the old one out. Now the old one even had a problem because they used to turn about 30 bolts in order to bolt it down and they would change the finger. Look at the tape recorder, the old tape recorder. You take a little disk and you would put it in and just one lever would lock the lock. This tape recorder, he says, why can I do this with a dye? Why can instead of having these 30, 40 bolts, why can’t I just take a lever and lock it in? And it’s done. And so Shingo figured out how to go from inside to outside exchange of dye. And he came up with so many things that we can do to prepare for the changeover that when the change over came, we can do it literally in seconds. And that’s what they did. Took 40 hours with General Motors to take its changeover. And I saw Toyota done at seven minutes, 40 hours, seven minutes. It’s amazing what you can do.


[00:04:44] I mentioned the seven wasteland. And I think now Apex has even expanded it Nauman into eight waste, which which includes, I think, the safety on our people skills. Right. Waste. People skills. And then I was listening to one of your presentations recently. I was with Mark Ravan or something that you did a Portland for their chapter up there, but you introduced a ninth waste.


[00:05:05] Yeah. Thank you. I mean, it’s it’s wonderful. What came comes to me. This divine energy that things could touch took care of me. And I did come up with the seventh waste with a reason.


[00:05:15] This cause I focused when I sold my company productivity in nineteen ninety nine. I couldn’t compete with them, so I had to take something new. So what I took was the Japanese suggestion system which is so powerful in America. We had an American ingestion system. The first suggestion goes back to 1898 with Kodak and the first suggestion was clean the windows.


[00:05:39] Good idea. But they wouldn’t let the worker do it. The supervisor had to do it. Well, the supervisor said, this is baloney. I don’t want the worker to give me ideas to give me more work. So we kill the suggestion system in America. Well, Toyota and other Japanese company copied us. They picked it up. And Toyota, believe it or not, one nineteen eighty. They were getting seventy improvement ideas per year per worker in America. Our suggestion system became a cost saving system and we were getting one idea every seven years from the average worker. One idea every seven years. Then Toyota was giving 70 per year. Very small little ideas that the worker could implement on their own. That’s a very that’s a very powerful process. So I started to teach and I wrote three books on the subject. How do you get small little ideas from people and help them implement it on their own? And how meaningful to this company? You mentioned Paul Aikens earlier. Paul Acher took that concept and he called it to. Secondly, Paul is a master of simplicity.


[00:06:48] It’s really the opposite of my teaching. But he’s been very successful. He is an amazing man. He built his own house. He can fix his own car. He can fly an airplane. He has done so many complex things. But but he breaks it down and he makes it very simple. And so he teaches simplicity to people.


[00:07:08] I don’t. My teacher, Rudy said if there’s a harder way to do it, show it to me, because it must be wonderful. And I want to do it because Rudy recognized when something’s hard. You learn when something simple, you don’t learn. So we should not resist difficult. When you want to ride a bicycle, it’s very difficult. But when you get on it, boy becomes so.


[00:07:30] That suggestion system that you are getting input from the employees. That was number eight.


[00:07:35] That was that became the eighth waste. The underutilization of people’s talent, investing people.


[00:07:40] And the best way to invest in people is have them do it. Challenge them to grow. Let them do it. And the supervisors role is to develop people, not to control people.


[00:07:51] And the newest one that I learned recently was you can expand on that one. You call it the ninth waste management resistance to change.


[00:07:59] Yes. The reason for this is everybody resist change is part of human nature. We’re all afraid to make a mistake.


[00:08:06] You know, this whole idea. We’re all afraid to make a mistake. I mean, create them. Make a mistake. You go to school, right? And what happens when you make a mistake?


[00:08:17] Yeah. You get reprimanded or poor grades or.


[00:08:20] Of course. Of course. So our arm, our educational system is so messed up. Our society reflects our educational system. How can you go through 13 years of school or graduate high school? And you don’t have a skill in go work at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart. You don’t have a skill that’s a crime. Our schools should be focused on giving you skills, education should be reversed every time you make a mistake. It’s an opportunity to learn well in the ninth grade. I have such a poor memory of sitting in history class and Gary looks at me a friend. This is Gary. Why are you so sad, Norman?


[00:09:05] And I said, Gary, because I going home every night, I do my homework. I come in the next day. I take the tests that I just don’t remember. I don’t remember what I read. And Gary says, Norman, same thing happened to me, but I came. I got a solution. I said, What is it, Gary? He says, I go home and do the assignment. And I put onto a little sheet of paper. All of the ideas that I read. I said, Gary, that’s brilliant.


[00:09:30] So I went home that night, took a look small, see the paper. I wrote down all of the key things as I’m reading.


[00:09:36] I put it into my shirt pocket. I come and take the test. The next day. And I said, Wow, I know the answer, but I can’t remember. I look at the little sheet of paper and there is the teacher standing over me. She grabbed the sheet of paper. And what do you think she said, Chris? You’re cheating. That’s right.


[00:09:55] Now, the irony is I felt so guilty for so many years by being a cheater old teacher. She told every teacher in school, one is a cheater. That was such a terrible year in the ninth grade.


[00:10:06] But who did they cheat? They cheated Norman by not giving me the right education. They cheated me. I didn’t cheat them. Who do I hurt? What’s the difference of having the information on a sheet of paper or having it in my head? What’s the difference today with internet? Why do you need a memory? Just learn. You have to know how to access it. To use it, you don’t need a memory anymore. Why do they continue to punish children with these tests? Testing their memory? No. Can I apply knowledge? That’s the key to education. Can I apply it? Can I use it?


[00:10:47] Can I serve other people with it? I should go to school. They should learn. That should teach me cooking. They should teach me carpentry. I’m watching. There’s a new house being built right near me. It is beautiful going up. I’m watching these carpenters. They are geniuses. It’s amazing. Their skill. Putting the lumber together and making this wonderful house. Schools should give you knowledge to apply, not fill your head with junk that you can’t use. You can only use what you apply.


[00:11:14] Now back to that place. I’m verifying that you say Ono was kind of a creator of the seven wastes.


[00:11:20] But when we get back to the issue and now we take the ninth wave, which is managing teaching because everybody was living in fear. Managers don’t want to make a mistake because that’s our culture. We get clobbered by making mistakes.


[00:11:34] And so they are afraid of making mistakes. And so they have all this resistance to change, because if they do the same thing today that they did yesterday, they survived yesterday. All right. They’ll they’ll survive today. Change can bring problems. Change can bring mistakes. Well, yeah. What’s the billion years you can blow up a building? That’s a terrible mistake. But most of these millions of mistakes that we make are wonderful opportunities for learn. And Shingo came up with something so wonderful and he called it poker. OK. Poker Yok in America we something called Miss Miss Mistake proofing. And in Japan they had a word called back the yolk and black. The yolk means full proofing. That’s what we called it, fool proof. And Shingo was talking about back the yolk. And a woman worker starts to cry and he says, Why are you crying? And just because I’m not a fool. You’re calling this back, OK? I’m not a fool. I made a mistake. Yes, but I’m not a fool. And Shingo realized at that moment any change. We didn’t do this in America, but shingled changed that. Nicole did popi. OK, homecomings miss proofing.


[00:12:49] And then Shingo said, every time you make a mistake, you should try to come up with an idea to prevent that mistake to never happen again. And that’s what he did. I would go to a Jeep plant in Japan. I’ve never seen this in America, but I’d go to a plant and I’d see a thousand folks, OK, devices. So if I’m using a drill, the computer is connected to that drill to tell it how much torque should be in that drill. You don’t leave it to the worker. Every time there’s a mistake, you try to come up with something to the mistake could never be done again. And these sensors, they cost dollars. The economy is so cheap to use a sensor. And people should be taught років. OK, every time. Verusen mistake come up with something, you can’t do it again. Managers resist change. That’s the ninth wave. How do we get managers to really lead and promote change? Not be afraid of making mistakes, but pay people for mistakes. That’s why this book I read wrote I published the happiest company to work for. It has a hundred ideas there, how to be happy. This company is amazing. These people at at Miura identity. They came up with more patents than probably Sony. This company has a thousand people. Maybe Sony has one hundred thousand people and they’ve come up with as many patents as Sony. They are they they pay people more than anywhere else in the industry. The people get more, more holidays, more, more paid, sick, sick leave. Every five years, the whole company shuts down for one week and all thousand people go somewhere in the world. The year I was here, everybody went to Italy, the amazing company to work for.


[00:14:32] He has one thing I love which called no whole whole. So no hole ran. So no. Ho!


[00:14:41] You can’t. I said, when you want to make a new decision, you don’t ask anybody else. No discussion. No, no discussion. No, no. No consulting. That’s what Renzo means, actually means spinach in Japanese.


[00:14:55] But ho and no hope, no rain. So that means no discussion, no consulting, etc. We want people to be self-reliant. That’s the essence of what I teach in the whole rather method. We want people to make decisions. We always go to the supervisors and and get their permission.


[00:15:15] That’s crazy. You’re a you’re you’re a human being. You’re intelligent. Why do you have to go and ask permission?


[00:15:21] We think that this is a good process to stop people making mistakes would know they still make mistakes. We want to really empower people. Chris. A new way to empower people as you demand them that they stand on their own two feet. Don’t ask me what to do. Supervisors and managers become very smart when people go to them. We want those people to be smart. But no, our system is the opposite. It’s a shame that when we call companies, especially these big companies and you talk to people at the lowest level, they have so little power to get anything done. It’s almost impossible to call a president of any large company. I’ve been trying this last year. I can’t get through. I got one senior vise president from L.L.Bean. He’s my student now on the haraam rather method. They’ve close. The senior people are afraid to talk to their customers. They’re making too much money. If you’re lucky to get through to a phone number of a large corporation, you’ll get a guardian. You’ll get some man whose job or someone’s job is to prevent you to speak to them. So funny system. Well, hopefully this is going to change with this new thing from the hundred and eighty one corporations because they’re saying we’re going to improve our customer service. If you’re going to improve customer service, then you better start speaking to us. So which is the largest soap company in Japan? It’s an amazing corporation. Thousands of products. It initially competed with Procter and Gamble. Now it’s better than Procter and Gamble. And they get 200 phone calls a year from their customers and they relish it. They relish it because that’s where we’re getting all of our new products from. These people are complaining about something that we should be improving it. We shut off that in America. We don’t want the complaints. It’s funny. We don’t want complaints. What complaints is the way we grow? Yeah, we’re we’re all we’re all so mixed up. So I’m hopeful this hundred and eighty one is going to change or that it’s very helpful for me.


[00:17:30] I just realized on what you call it. OK. OK. OK. I’ve been risk pronouncing it for twenty five years. So that’s one lesson right there. That’s a great concept. And two more follow ups on the lean just to lean history there. One is the five s was that as I’ve been around for a long time, kind of. Where did that originate?


[00:17:50] Well, I like this. A couple of people call me the godfather of Lean. And the reason they call me the godfather of Bling, because not that I did anything. All I did was find the people who created it. So I found Lono and Shingo. They’re the creators of the Toyota production system. And then I found miraculously, I don’t speak Japanese. My wife is Japanese, but I don’t speak Japanese. I can’t read Japanese. But I have published one hundred Japanese books in English. I’m like a magnet, Chris. I go to Japan and I sit with somebody that I like and I say to that person, what do you read? What do you like? And they would tell me. And then it was game. Yes, it was a big gamble. Is twenty five thousand dollars is my cambell to publish a book. Thirty thousand. Even more shingled will cost me one hundred thousand dollars to publish his.


[00:18:44] White Book, which is the single minute exchange book, the white book is great.


[00:18:49] Big, tremendous gamble and no idea what I was doing, but I sold 100 thousand copies of $60 a book, that’s 6 million in sales. It was worth a hundred thousand investment.


[00:19:00] Well, I found the man. I don’t know exactly who created five this. It was given to me by two people. One is SEUS SEUS. Fukuda gave it to me when I was publishing his work, and it was also given to me by Hirano. And I would I would attribute not that he Runnoe invented this, but he was the one that popularized that. He’s the one that wrote about it. He wrote a book called Jerai T Implementation Manual and I published it.


[00:19:31] I put it in two giant volumes, believe it or not, I sold it for three thousand dollars for those two volumes and I sold them like hotcakes. Nobody ever complained about those books.


[00:19:41] And in that book, we talk about five S and Hirano became a master teaching five s. He became the master in the world and he published an I published a number, not one, but a number of books that he gave me on five s and how to do it. A simple but powerful. One of my students, Gwen Galsworthy, picked it up for the last 30 years. She’s been writing one book after the next and she just teaches us all over the world by this visual management. She calls it and it’s so simple and it’s so powerful to focus on how do you make things that people can do things easy. They’re not going to make mistakes. Could it visually? So even in this idea system that I teach, I used to make everybody take a picture of the problem. And then when they came up with the solution, take another picture. And I taught this for a number of years, maybe 10 years, made nice living out of it. And one of my clients was here in in Oregon. And I had a maybe 150 people. And we were coming up with, believe it or not, three implemented ideas per worker per week. That’s one hundred and fifty ideas that these people came up with and implemented them.


[00:21:03] And of course, they were very small and we would take all the pictures, Chris, and put it up on the wall so everybody would see what we did, why we wanted them to replicate it. We wanted them to come in America we call copying wrong, just like Norman in school. Copying is wrong. Japanese recognize copying is great cause you’re gonna learn from it. You copy somebody else, you’ll learn from it and then you improve it. So copying is wonderful. It is wonderful. He was the dumbest kid in school and I ended up teaching at Portland State University, the School of Business. It’s an amazing story. Well, I had students copying. I didn’t handle it very well. One student, I used to do a book review and he went to a friend of his who took the course the previous year. He took the paper and he submitted the exact same paper to me, filled with all the same mistakes. He didn’t have enough sense. Even the correct. Correct the mistakes. And when he showed me the paper, I remembered the paper. And I had I had the students paper in my desk. And I looked at it and I saw the exact same paper that he copied. And I’ve been training that copying is wrong.


[00:22:16] So the student when I got the student, I didn’t throw him out of school. It could have gotten thrown out of school. Foolishly, I just said, go back and read the book and submit another paper on euro. That’s all. I didn’t punish him at all for that, but I made him redo it so that it was his own. But copying if you’re learning, the thing is, can you apply? That’s the trick. If you copy and you can’t apply, then it’s wrong. But if you copy somebody else and when you read a book at home, you’re copying somebody else, aren’t you? The whole idea of learning is copying from somebody else. And yet we say copying is wrong. That’s crazy in American education. We want people to learn from each other. And the big criteria is not the past, the stupid tests that people teachers give you. And I call it a stupid test. The key is can you apply that knowledge? And so we have to turn around education and figure out in education, can people apply knowledge? That’s it. Can they apply knowledge? If we’re teaching something, can they blow blow glass? Can they make glass? Can they can they make tea cups? Can they do cooking or what’s necessary to make a life for yourself?


[00:23:36] Norman, um, it hasn’t made its way into the apex lexicon yet, but there’s a sixth s, which I see a lot of companies and a lot of articles talking about the safety side. So anyone that’s listening may hear of success, but they’re the true original is the five. My next just general topic on Leanna’s and it’s probably a bigger discussion than we have time for today. But what from a Toyota production system? I think in your book you mentioned there’s thirty three tools. Is there is there is that the list that you reference as being like what you have to do to be lean or is there like less than that five or six or what’s the number one or anything like that you can touch upon?


[00:24:11] What I did and others did, too, because from my book and I published 100 Japanese books and many English books also amplified this.


[00:24:21] We identified about thirty three tools. This is what I taught at college and oh no, never had any tools. So this is funny. I didn’t use any tool. Oh no. Just focused on eliminating the waste and becoming successful and getting to just-in-time in one way. And how do you get just in time? I like what Toyota is doing now, by the way, which I don’t see in America yet. His mastery teachers in her other method. I want everybody to be a master and I recommend anybody listening out there learn the Cerrado method. I mean, you could buy my book. You got a Kindle. I think it’s about nine dollars and you get the essence of the Hirata method. Then if you have any money, call me. I’ll teach you the Hirata method and I’ll teach you how to teach it.


[00:25:09] So you’ll make money by becoming a certified teacher because Arata Method teaches you how to become the best that you are. You become a skilled person and you become a master.


[00:25:20] Total has a mastery system today and Coater identifies the Japanese. Identify this throughout the country, as we said, the cleaning lady. They have what’s called a they treasure masters think they have about 50 different disciplines, sword making and all different kinds of crafts. And the best person is called the living master. They identified about 50 living masters. If you’re living master, I saw a plate. I really loved this new plate, ceramic plate. I loved the plate had drawings on the plate and they were selling it for two thousand dollars. Why?


[00:26:03] Because this man was a living master.


[00:26:05] People will buy from the living master no matter what your value is. And so Toyota now is starting mastery and they identify all of the all of the main skills in the plant. And then they said, who in the plant is the best at this skills? Who is the best at this skill? And they become a master. And then there they tell everybody in the company, you follow that man or that woman so that you become a master. Now, back in the eighteen hundreds. Chris, people were craftspeople of farmers. They were very high skilled people in order to live. And then along comes Frederick Taylor, Father Industrial Engineering and Henry Ford. And they simplify work for to Taylor’s idea.


[00:26:52] He said the assembly line. And instead of the person making a car the way they were doing earlier, they used to make cars and teams. So the person making the car was a very high skilled person. Megan Ford was not the first person to make cars. A lot of people made cars before Ford, but Ford became the most the richest, most successful company in the world by de-skilling put people on the assembly line and haven’t worked through the same thing over and over again. Every three minute. Unfortunately, Chris, that became the model in the world, everybody else copied it because Ford was so, so successful, General Motors, Dupont, everybody copied Ford Motor System. Look at work today. Work is devastating. People go to work and we’re looking for simplicity. That’s why we can install robots so easy today, because work is so deadly, so easy to replicate. Oh, easy to do. People have such infinite creative, such potential to have such great skill. Well, Canon Camera does something great in Japan. I’ve been going to Cannes and maybe twenty five times over the last 30, 40 years. They’ve been very good to me. When I first went to Canon. People were making the cameras and things together. Then they set up their assembly line.


[00:28:13] Then they set up their conveyor belt and then the conveyor belt in the assembly line. People spent only three to four minutes doing one thing over and over and over and over again. And the funny thing is the the assembly line and the conveyor belt always goes at the speed of the slowest worker. Well, Canon got the idea and they got the idea from Toyota. Let’s expand the role of people. Volvo did it many years ago. Cannon has twenty nine woman at the last count. They’re called super meister’s. And they’re able to make the whole copier over a thousand parts. Takes about three hours to do it. And they do it in a cell all by themselves. All of the parts that they needed are surrounded around them. They have wood spiders. These people that run around bring them all the things that they need and they’re doing it. Chris, at 30 percent higher productivity almost at the level of perfection because they built in all of these Okay.Okay systems to prevent people making mistakes. And one woman, when she completed this copier, she signed her name and she said, you know, I just thought I made another baby. There’s such pride in work when we expand people’s capability. One day, Chris, I’m at High Tocci and I’m watching a man and he picks up a little disk and he puts the disk into the machine. And the machine did something, took three seconds for the machine to do it. The man takes the part out, puts it down on the table, takes another one and puts it into the machine. Machine does something. And then he takes it out and puts it down. Then all of a sudden the man goes, he screams at the top of his lungs. He went crazy for a moment.


[00:30:02] Then he took a breath, took a deep breath, waited a few seconds, picked up another part, put it in Froome machine. Machine, spent three seconds. He took it up. Put it down again. We designed work from monkeys. Why? To be more productive. We buy we make products for people to use, but we don’t make the process of doing it real living. We make products to improve people’s living rooms. What was zone to remember that? That one company. You know, we make progress. We make products to improve people’s living. That was their motto. But the process was made for idiots. Well, that has to change. And I think the moment in history is coming right now. Chris, we will start to do this. We will start to expand. We will start to train people.


[00:30:53] These hundred and eighty CEOs said they’re committed to it. They don’t understand it yet. I don’t believe it. That’s why I’m writing this new book. Maybe there are people out listening to me that can help me write this new book, because I think from my experience of these hundreds of books in Japan, because Japanese companies are in the main socially responsible, the best company to me is Kyocera. Kyocera, K Y O C are a Kyocera. It is a ceramic company. They’ve been very successful. The probably the best ceramic company in the world. All the computer boards have chips. They’re all ceramic. If you open up your iPhone, you’ll see ceramic. The company was the president was Kosovo in Murray and in a Maureen ran Kyocera first on a philosophy. A philosophy. What does my company all about? What’s my vision? What’s my mission? But what’s the philosophy? My philosophy is whatever we do must be good. It must be good for the world. Well, if it’s good for the world, it must be good for my people. So he focused on people first. I want my people to be happy. He said, I don’t care if they work 12 hours a day. I don’t care about that. I want to be happy. And if they’re happy working twelve hours a day, that’s fine. If they need less than they’ll do less. But I want my people to be happy. He started off with a philosophy of what the company is all about. That it’s good for the people. It’s good for the world. It’s good for the environment, it’s good in many, many ways. A key philosophy. Believe it or not. There are ten thousand Japanese managers. Maybe some Americans, too, that belong to something called say was juco s e i w a j. Y u k you say was dooku.


[00:32:45] This is a study group where ten thousand people meet every month to study the philosophy of in the Maureen in. He was asked by the Japanese government to head up Japan Airlines. Pennines went bankrupt. The National Airline of Japan went bankrupt. They said inevery come in and help. He took over j.l.


[00:33:07] Two years later, they made 2.3 billion dollars. They went from bankruptcy to becoming one of the richest airlines in the world.


[00:33:15] Ina Maureen taught a philosophy. He taught people to be happy. He’s taught taught companies to build skills.


[00:33:24] And if you’ve to focus on the environment and if you do things right, you’ll make all the money that you need. If you do things right, you’ll make all the money that you want in the world. This is what we have to teach to American companies.


[00:33:39] This concludes the three part series with Norman Beaudet, the godfather of Lean. Norman has done numerous interviews in recent years on his journey. Many you can see on YouTube. You can also get his latest book, A Miraculous Life An Unending Search for Freedom.


[00:33:53] For more insight into his interesting life.

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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