E6S-114 Helmut Welke - Lean Business Momentum

Intro:  Welcome to the E6S-Methods podcast with Jacob and Aaron, your weekly dose of tips and tricks to achieve excellent performance in your business and career.  Join us as we explore deeper into the practical worlds of Lean, Six Sigma, Project Management and Design Thinking.  In this episode number 114 we speak with a long-time practitioner and lean veteran, Helmut Welke, on his approach to improving business momentum without increasing mass.  Here we go. http://bit.ly/E6S-114; Leave a Review! http://bit.ly/E6S-iTunes

Who is Helmut Welke?  (Biography and picture)

Welke International specializes in helping manufacturing and warehousing operations apply LEAN principles to everyday operations.   This includes developing an understanding of what the goals of Lean are for your operation as well as what training and tactical steps are needed to achieve operational excellence.  Mr. Welke offers training on the basics of a Lean approach to improving operations, particularly in the area of material flow to the point of use.   Improving the flow and velocity of material from the supplier to the actual point of use is key to achieving excellence. It allows less inventory in the system and also reduces costs in warehousing and handling the needed flow of material to support the value added operations.

Mr. Helmut Welke is Principal for Welke International, LLC.   He recently retired from John Deere after 38 years of service to the company.  During that time he held a variety of assignments, including corporate Competency Lead for Material Flow; Production Engineering manager; and the Manager of Industrial Engineering for the John Deere World Wide Parts Division.  He also served as an engineer and lead engineer in a variety of international assignments.   Mr. Welke holds BS and MSIE degrees from the University of Illinois. He is also Certified Engineering Manager and a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.  He has been a member of the IIE for over 40 years, starting as a student.  His Institute activities include serving a 3-year term on the IIE Board of Trustees as Sr. Vice-President for Industry.


I            Introduction

a.       Support Business Momentum  by Increasing Velocity and Reducing Mass ; p (Rho) = m x v

i.      Momentum is conservative, affected by mass or velocity.  Business momentum is no different

b.      What happens when a line goes down due to a single  missing part?

i.      Panic - Fault Finding -  "Don’t ever let that happen again."

ii.      Reaction -" I will not go through that again…." - Easier to increase "mass" to increase momentum. INVENTORY / DAYS ON HAND / CAPITAL

1.      Change part ordering parameters; Min-max; Increase Safety Stock

a.       Purchasing orders more parts

b.      Factory work areas get crowded

c.       More part numbers to track for more models

d.      Warehouse managers lease more space

e.       Indirect labor goes up and up

f.       Entropy Increases

c.       Many assemblies consist of hundreds t thousands of parts?  What then? (increase mass!)

II         Symptoms of increased mass

a.       Days on hand goes up - Cash flow

b.      Warehouse space increases -

i.      Capital (need to build it)

ii.      Cash flow (need to heat it, maintain it)

c.       Lost parts occur more often - Write-offs and Reorders

d.      Higher material handling costs

e.       Inventory obsolescence increases

"But we won’t ever let that happen again."

Welke inventory.jpg


III      We had to maintain momentum (p)  of the Line- of the business p = m x v

a.       Increasing Velocity is more difficult. but Momentum based on Mass is hard to Maneuver

i.      Marketchanges   /  Design Changes/  Quality problems pop up

IV      LEAN Manufacturing:  FROM Supplier to Point of Use  needs Intelligent Design of the entire SYSTEM

a.       ONE Department or Group Responsible for the System

i.      “If you try to make every sector of your business a profit center, you will wind up destroying the system.  Every component must work to accomplish the aim of the system — even if this means that one sector sacrifices its profits for the good of the group.”  -W. Edwards Deming

b.      One group to specialize in handling, storing, picking delivering material to the POU

c.       Using IE tools to continuously improve the ‘System’

i.      Standard Work and Time

ii.      Improved methods and ergonomics

iii.      Simulation of routes, queues, requirements

iv.      Analytics and metrics to consciously improve

d.      Lean System Design Guidelines

i.      Operator should not be part of the replenishment plan

ii.      First-In First-Out (FIFO)

iii.      Minimize fork trucks in the work area

iv.      No land locked parts

v.      Defined and consistent container footprint

vi.      Defined logistics plan for container/dunnage removal

vii.      1-Touch Methodology: Supplier to POU when Possible

viii.      Visual/clear replenishment aisles and Routes

V         In summary: what is the secret to successful increase of velocity ?


i.      Warehouse strategies

ii.      Systematic planning of the locations and routes

iii.      Part picking and Delivery

VI      Any other questions I forgot to ask?

VII   How can the listeners contact you?

a.       Helmut Welke,; consultwelke@aol.com; (563) 940-5360

Outro: Thanks for listening to episode 114 of the E6S-Methods podcast.  Stay tuned for episode number 115, the "Magic Formula - Scripted Six Sigma." We talk about when and why it can work, and when it won't work so much.  If you enjoy this program please do us a favor:  go to iTunes right and leave a review. It's really the only form of "thanks" Jacob and I get from doing this.  If you know of someone who would make a great guest on the podcast, be sure to let us know.  Follow us on twitter @e6sindustries or start a conversation in our discussion group.   Don't forget to you can find notes and graphics for all shows and more at www.E6S-Methods.com. "Journey Through Success. If you're not climbing up, you're falling down.  How's that conservation of momentum? It's not the fall that gets you. It's the landing... Leave a Review! http://bit.ly/E6S-iTunes