Goldratt, Deming, or Ohno: Who Has The Best Solution?

Most of us in the manufacturing world are always looking for the right method to improve our business. If you’re looking for or have utilized a business improvement methodology, most likely it will be taken from one of these industry thought leaders; Dr. Goldratt, Dr. Deming, or Taiichi Ohno.

  • Goldratt, the author of the well-known book “The Goal”, recommends focus on what to change, what to change to, and how to overcome the resistance to change. His “Theory of Constraints” (TOC) is widely accepted as the most pragmatic and practical solution (tool) to very complex manufacturing problems. His mantra is “focus on a single element in a process chain and you’ll have the greatest leverage for improvement.”
  • On the other hand, Dr. Deming wrote a very influential book, “Out of the Crisis” which delineates 14 key principles on how to improve your manufacturing business. Most of us associate the tool of statistical analysis as being Dr. Deming’s most significant contribution to the business improvement methodologies world. His legacy continues to be characterized as “Six Sigma manufacturing”, where his basic principles are much more in-depth and broad reaching than statistical analysis.
  • Ironically, the most influential, yet least recognized by name is Taiichi Ohno. Known as the “Father of the Toyota Production System (TPS)” he pioneered the most widely utilized methodology for tested improvement processes. TPS has become synonymous with the principle of “waste elimination” which recognizes and illuminates non value-added activity, better known as “Lean Manufacturing”.

If you Google search each methodology you’ll find millions of url’s under each category. The following search engine results were noted for these 3 methods:

“TPS Training” + ”Lean Manufacturing”—total of 2,380,000 results, in 0.40 seconds.

“Six Sigma Training”—- 2,590,000 results, in 0.60 seconds.

“TOC Training”—60,000,000 results in 0.42 seconds.

Clearly there is a lot of “help” out there.

Given these results above, you might scratch your head and ask, but which one is the right method to improve MY business?

The answer is a simple…. That NONE of these is the “ONE” perfect approach. We’ve been there and done that and we know there is not just one solution or panacea that will solve all your business challenges. As our clients have realized, the best approach is a customized solution weaving all of these methodologies together. By taking a broad and pragmatic approach, we can get to the root of the issue quickly.

While taking a broad view, we simultaneously focus on a specific, clearly identified and defined problem that when resolved will quickly create net improvement, maximum value and bottom line results to your company.

If you find yourself in need of a more customized solution that incorporates your specific challenges, then give us a call. At High Value Manufacturing Consulting we often turn to a quotation by Abraham Maslow:

“If only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”



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