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lean manufacturing
What is happening in lean manufacturing in the world
Curated by Michel Baudin
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Misleading Graphics in Global Manufacturing Report from McKinsey

Misleading Graphics in Global Manufacturing Report from McKinsey | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
Manufacturing remains a critical force in both advanced and developing economies. But the sector has changed, bringing new opportunities and challenges to business leaders and policy makers. A McKinsey Global Institute article.
Michel Baudin's insight:

The bubbles above are intended to represent global market share by gross value added in 2010 in the manufacturing of "global goods for local markets," which includes appliances, automotive, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

 

The complete chart is a map of the world with a bubble for each of the top ten countries. From the point of view of graphic art, the chart looks professional; as a means of presenting data, however, it misleads.

 

From the center of the bubbles, you can see that China's share is twice that of Japan, but the bubble is four times larger. This is because its radius is twice that of Japan's bubble.

 

This is a perfect example of Tufte's rule that you should not us a two-dimensional symbol to show one-dimensional data. Market share is one number. If you want to make an accurate graphic comparison of different countries' market shares, use a bar chart.

 

As most readers know where in the world the US, China, and Japan are, you can lose the map of the world. It looks great, but it adds no information.

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Big Data – The Antithesis of Lean Thinking | Bill Waddell

Big Data – The Antithesis of Lean Thinking | Bill Waddell | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

"It’s too bad lean thinking is free.  I suppose that’s not entirely true; a lean transformation actually costs a few bucks for the learning – consultants, books and training.  But it is nothing like the cost of an ERP system, and it pales in comparison to ERP thinking on steroids – ‘Big Data’.  Because the ERP and Big Data providers play in such a high dollar arena they can and do spend a lot on very focused marketing efforts.  IBM, a company that stands to gain quite a bit from Big Data becoming the focus of business management, is providing “software, curriculum, case studies—including guest speakers” to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Fordham, Yale and about 300 other schools.  Too bad those schools aren’t cranking out kids steeped in lean thinking, but there is no one who stands to make a enough money from peddling lean in a position to buy college curriculums on such a scale..."

Michel Baudin's insight:

While I concur with Bill on the irrelevance of "Big Data" in manufacturing, I can't follow him when he says it is a "singularly bad idea" for business in general. 

 

Big Data, per se, is actually not an idea but a phenomenon experienced in companies like Google, Amazon, eBay, Netflix, and others that process clicks, queries and transactions from millions of users, and generatie Terabytes of data every day. This is what Big Data is. Making sense of it is vital to these companies, and its volume requires special technology.

 

Even in a large manufacturing company, specs, orders, production status and history, quality problem reports, etc., add up to Gibabytes of data in total, not Terabytes every day. While it is beyond what you can handle on an Excel spreadsheet, it does not qualify as Big Data and does not require the special technology that ecommerce companies have developed. 

 

I also agree that the hot dog example from the HBR blog is simplistic. To give a less trivial example, assume you are in the business of providing streaming videos, and you discover from your customer data that those who view “Tora, Tora, Tora” also tend to view “The Bridges of Madison County.” That is unexpected and you wonder why. Then you find out that the customers who view both are married couples, form which you infer that the wife demands a chick flick for every aircraft-carrier movie…

 

This is a made-up example, but Ed Frazelle, in Supply Chain Strategy, quotes a real one about on-line ordering patterns for clothing. What kind of garments do customers tend to order together? I have asked that question around, and never met anyone who came up with the right answer, although, once you know it, it makes perfect sense: they order the same garment, in the same size, in different colors. And it is good to know if you are in charge of order picking.

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