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Improvement Insights Blog

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SMED – Single Minute Exchange of Dies

John, a senior executive who went to Japan, saw that his hosts were accomplishing in a single minute a task that took his plant over 45 minutes. After seeing that it was possible, his team managed to collapse cycle time at their plant. If you keep your eyes open, you might see someone solving an “unsolvable” issue.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“I’ve been telling you my story about John, the senior leader who went to Japan. He said when they were over there they discovered something called SMED: Single Minute Exchange of Dies.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Getting People Up to Speed In Lean Six Sigma

How do we get people up to speed in Lean Six Sigma? I have found that the traditional approach leaves a lot to be desired. Here’s how I’ve modified the approach to accelerate learning and application.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“You know, ever since I got started in the phone company, we were teaching people for weeks at a time. I kept trying to think, “How can I get these people up to speed so that they really embrace Quality?” It took me a while to start to figure out how to collapse the training and everything using QI Macros to get people trained in one day and up to speed and delivering results.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Pareto Charts Everywhere

John, a senior executive with a large lumber company, went to Japan with 30 other leaders for 30 days. Everywhere they went, in every corner of the company, they found one quality tool over and over again.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma For Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“I started telling you a little bit about my new friend John who worked for the big lumber company and went on that trip to Japan. He said, “Everywhere I went, Pareto charts, Pareto charts, Pareto charts, Pareto charts, Pareto charts, Pareto charts, Pareto charts.”

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Start with Safety and Housekeeping

How do you start a quality transformation? Maybe it’s in safety and housekeeping.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“I was telling you about John (the executive from the lumber company), and when he was in Japan they noticed something interesting: Everything was spotless. Even the corners and the production line were spotless. It led him to this idea that a place to start with quality is with safety and housekeeping because it tells the employees that you care about them. It’s not a bottom line thing, it’s about them, right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

10/17/23 Healthcare Data Analytics Webinar

Over 300 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur demonstrating how to implement Healthcare Data Analytics to save time, save money, and (most importantly) save lives.



You can view a short two-page illustrated guide to the Zero Harm – Trillion Dollar Prescription by clicking HERE.

If you’d like to see a short demo video to see how our software is used in healthcare organizations like yours, click this DEMO link.

If you’ve never used QI Macros and would like to try it out for free, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial at THIS link.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Data Mining, Healthcare, Lean, QI Macros, Six Sigma, Webinar.

A PhD in Leadership – Deming Style

John, a senior executive who went to Japan said he felt like he got a PhD in leadership, but probably not the kind they teach at Harvard. Probably the Leadership Deming spoke of.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“I’ve been telling you a little bit about my discussion with John, who was a senior executive at one of the large lumber companies, who went to Japan for 30 days. He said he felt like he got a PhD in leadership… a PhD in leadership.

“Now I think this is the leadership that Dr.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

10/10/23 QI Macros webinar

Over 30 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur demonstrating some of the software’s most frequently used tools and answering questions asked by attendees.  If you saw a feature demonstrated in the webinar that might have been added to QI Macros after the version you’re using (for instance, the Improvement Project Wizard or the automated Process Change Wizard), you may need to purchase an upgrade to bring your QI Macros to the current version. Send an email to support@qimacros.com and we can help, for instance in generating a quote to upgrade all the users at your organization or just guiding you through the purchasing process.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Webinar.

Cabinet Making Quality Story

John, a senior executive who went to Japan, told this story of using the “Weapon of Quality” to help out a cabinet making business:



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma For Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“I’ve been telling you my story about John, who was a senior executive at a lumber and wood company. It was interesting to me just listening to him talk.

“Once he retired, he was just sitting around and one of his friends who ran a cabinet making business gave him a call and said, “Can you help me out?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

When Did Your Light Switch Turn On?

John, a senior executive with a large lumber company, went to Japan with 30 other leaders for 30 days. They struggled to connect what they were seeing in Japanese manufacturing plants until one day toward the end of the trip. Here’s what happened:



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“This summer my wife and I took a river cruise that we booked for 2021 (but of course, that didn’t happen). They had these community tables where you’d sit around for lunch. One day we’re sitting with another couple of couples and somehow we got on the subject of “What do you do?”

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Who is to Blame for Quality Problems?

Ever noticed that some people want to blame customers, suppliers or coworkers for problems? They’re looking in the wrong place.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma For Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“I don’t know about you, but have you ever noticed there are certain people and they want to blame their supplier or their customer or their boss or their subordinates or their friends or their family or their co-workers? Right? They’re always pointing at somebody else. Let me share with you that if you’re the only one at the scene of the crime of all of these things, it’s not them… it’s you, all right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.