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The Mixed Model Manufacturing Business Strategy

About The Webinar

There are four main reasons why a customer would give you their money: to stay out of trouble, to have a better life, to make more money, and to save more money. These reasons can also easily be used as a rationale for adapting a Process Improvement strategy like Mixed Model Manufacturing or Lean.

The conventional reason for adapting Lean is the fourth one: to save money by eliminating waste and improving productivity. However, progressive organizations embrace Lean as a all-encompassing business strategy that addresses all four elements.

Mixed Model Manufacturing (MMM) is a style of Lean that is focused on the need to embrace “mass customization” and produce many different but similar products. There are aspects of MMM that differ from traditional Lean and TPS practices, and these will be highlighted in this webinar.

Strategy I: Staying Out of Trouble

The customer-facing view of this reason would apply to a product or service that would enable a customer to avoid regulator, legal or tax entanglements. Internally we are referring to anything that could cause disruptions in the work flow, or have an impact on product quality. Here are the Mixed Model strategies we’ll cover:

1. The three quality-related practices that are almost free but have a dramatic impact on workmanship quality.
2. The process used by Toyota when “trouble” occurs on the factory floor.

Strategy II: Having a Better Life

Customers are often willing to pay for things that don’t make or save them money, but are simply enjoyable and enhance the human experience. In this context however we are looking for ways in which Lean makes our workplace more enjoyable, less stressful, and which give people a sense of challenge, purpose and direction. Here’s what we’ll cover in the webinar:

1. The “respect for people” goal of the TPS. How does Mixed Modeling apply?
2. Skill-based compensation. This is especially powerful in environments where rapid skill-building is critical.

Strategy III: Making More Money

One of the easiest ways to make a sale is to demonstrate convincingly that your product or service will result in more money in your customers pocket. But how, you might ask, can a Mixed Model strategy improve sales for your organization? Here are the topics we’ll analyze:

1. Responding to the challenge of Mass Customization with the Mixed Model methodology.
2. Shortening both Manufacturing Cycle Time and Customer Response Time by design.

Strategy IV: Saving More Money

From a customer perspective saving money is less compelling that making it, but it’s a powerful sales motivator nonetheless. Lean is strongly associated with the idea of eliminating waste, which presumably also means reducing internal costs. There are two Mixed Model opportunities that we’ll discuss in this webinar:

1. The universally-overlooked opportunity to boost productivity through flexing, i.e. operators moving to the work.
​​​​​​​2. The strategy of eliminating the need for line rebalancing when demand changes.