Earlier in this series I promised that I would talk about the benefits of Mixed Model Manufacturing for you personally. There are a lot of good reasons why you should add these skills to your resume and your “bag of tricks”, so let’s talk about the most important ones.
REASON #1: PROCESS DESIGN IS THE ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO ADD MEASURABLE VALUE TO YOUR ORGANIZATION.
Generalized efforts to eliminate waste, improve work flow, implement 5S will almost certainly do good things, but they won’t generate big savings that actually show up on the Profit and Loss statement. A study done in Japan at Toyota (which you can read about in the book Toyota Kata) found that 90% of the hard dollar benefits of Lean came from large-scale process design projects, not from individual Kaizen suggestions. In fact, when Taiichi Ohna was asked to define what the Toyota Production System was, and he laughed and said it was Toyota-style industrial engineering.
Fast forward a few decades and Mixed Model Line Design is documents best-practices for industrial engineering projects. You can even join as at a Toyota plant to study this methodology. Click on the link at the bottom of this page to find out more.
REASON #2: MIXED MODEL LINE DESIGN SKILLS ARE RARE
Given that this is where the lion’s share of benefits comes from, in my experience most Lean professionals don’t know this methodology. By building your skills in this area, you will be entering an elite rank.
REASON #3: EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR SKILLS, NOT DEGREES.
Sure, having a degree in many cases is necessary for getting your foot in the door. But having a specific skill on your resume like Mixed Model Line Design can be a lot more meaningful. I can tell you from experience, running my own Lean consulting practice, the resumes that catch my interest are the ones with specific skillsets. General Lean knowledge doesn’t do me any good as an employer.
REASON #4: MIXED MODELING REMOVES STRESS.
How does the Mixed methodology reduce stress, you might ask? By removing the “fog of implementation”, the confusion that can happen on large implementation projects like a line design or a series of Kaizen events. Mixed Model provides you with a Roadmap, which gives you a step-by-step method that you can follow. It’s like driving from New York to California. You can probably get there, eventually without GPS, but you’ll probably take a few wrong turns along the way. How much better to use a guide?
REASON #5: IT’S FUN!
It’s satisfying to be successful, while still being creative and challenged at the same time. Talk to anyone who has gone through a Mixed Model Line Design project, and they will tell you that it was a great experience. And you get to be a hero at the end.