Q1. Why is the approach of visual management considered an essential part of the lean system of Autoliv?
Q2. In relation with the manufacturing environment of Autoliv, explain the JIT considerations mentioned in the chapter?
Q3. How Southwest Airlines determine that they are accomplishing their goals effectively?
Q4. Mention the long-term problems related to the satisfaction of customers, managing of capacity and revenue for SWA?
1. The visual management approach is important part of Autoliv because it permits Autoliv to keep a vision on the time required to complete an order placed by the customers. For the purpose of management of heijunka cards, “rail” is utilized in each cell. For example, when the card shows the color green, it indicates that the orders of the customers can be easily finished within the usual working hours. However, in case the card shows the color yellow, it indicates that the completion of the order of the customers shall require overtime.
Visual communication also enables the recognition of those cells that are either backed-up or are performing improperly. In case the cells are unable to perform properly in accordance with the pace to fulfill the orders of the customers, the rail shall get stacked up with the cards and it shall be easily visible that the particular cell is unable to meet the required expectations. This shall enable the members of the cell team or the related management to take appropriate measures in order to prevent the overtime that might arise if the remedial actions are not taken.
2. According to TPS, there are six types of JIT activities. The following are those activities:
- Eliminate waste: removal of the activities that do not add value
- Kaizen: understanding that the extra capacity or the inventory conceals the associated issues with the production process
- Jidoka: the process is automatically stopped in case of some wrong happening and the issues are fixed on the line immediately when they occur
- Poka-yoke: methods of reducing mistakes that aim at designing such systems that minimize the errors caused by humans
- Takt time: the time of cycle that is required to match the sales rate along with the production rate
- Heijunka: the load of production is leveled using both volume mix and product mix
3. The executives of the company determine the accomplishment of their goals when the internal metrics as well as the external metrics are reached. For instance, the Department of Transportation keeps a track on the complaints of the customers, departures and the mishandles of the baggages of all airlines. The Southwest Airlines collects the required information and sets the achievement targets according to which the employees get to compare the work done by the company with others in the same industry.
The company ensures proper communication with the employees via newsletters and meetings. Prizes and share in the profits are provided as rewards for accomplishments.
4. The founders of Southwest Airlines had the idea of providing on time, cheaper and a comfortable travelling experience to the passengers that would make them fall in love with their airlines. However, a major issue was reduction in the turnaround time of the aircraft as it would add up seat miles to the present capacity of the airlines.