The Mother Of All Maps

I was recently reminded of an exercise I did back in 1991. Yes folks I am talking 26 years ago, so don’t rub it in!

So back in the days I was working at Michelin Tyre’s, the UK was experiencing a renaissance in car manufacturing. Of course Maggie Thatcher had done her best to kill the car industry in the 80’s and appartently our workers were unskilled and ill disciplined?

However during the late 80’s and early 90’s, a few well know Japanese manufacturers, namely Nissan, Toyota and Honda decided to set up manufacturing in the UK.

Strangely, they found the workforce to be highly engaged, so taught them the appropriate skills and had superior management systems that allowed them to quickly churn out cars, literally by the hundreds of thousands…funny that Maggie T?

Anyway, the Nissan challenge for us, was to set up a complete end to end value stream, that started at raw materials in the Stoke on Trent factory, and ended with the humble car tyre being fitted to the car as it rolled down the production line. So I remember working through every step in the process and creating a timeline analysis, of Manpower, Materials, Machinery and Method.

To cut along story short, we designed a fulfillment system that for it’s day was one of the first true Just In Time systems, and I can recall we managed to get the pallet we placed the tyres onto at manufacturing to travel all the way to the Nissan factory and used at the side (border) of the line. I also recall on 48 hours of supply inventory at the local DC, and also the fact that Nissan scanned the bar coded delivery tag and paid our bill every day! We used a pre internet protocol called EDI, which never seemed to break and was probably a dinosuar compared to today!

So, regarding the picture…I was coaching some one on “unpacking” their production sequence using trusty Post-it’s and brown paper as part of a current state analysis.

I thought it was particularly creative that they ran out of wall and use the bookshelf for the last 10 steps!

Great work team!

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