Although Lean and wireless professionals seek the same goals, few are fluent in each other’s language. Those who are have already helped their companies tap into the competitive advantages possible by integrating wireless technology into a Lean culture of continuous process improvement. Highlighting wireless as a powerful and inherently Lean tool, Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives proposes practices and paradigms to help you seamlessly integrate these two dynamic resources for virtually effortless process improvements.
This authoritative resource discusses the application of a wide range of wireless technologies, including RFID, wireless sensor networks (WSNs), real-time location systems (RTLSs), and global positioning systems (GPS). It addresses the modernization of infrastructure, elimination of costly hardware and redundant equipment, the facilitation of e-Kanban, and the provision of real-time visibility into any operation. It also touches upon "airsourcing," the wireless cousin of outsourcing. The book contains a strong healthcare component with a case study on Mercy Medical Center that appears throughout the text.
Drawing on success stories from dozens of companies, including American Apparel, the US Postal Service, Ford, Boeing, and Motorola, this complete resource also gives you access to a Lean Wireless ROI Calculator you can use to input values unique to your company’s operations and calculate estimated savings in labor and excess capacity. If you are a wireless technology provider or user, this book will help you understand how to maintain a focus on creating value. If you are a Lean practitioner, you will learn how to use wireless technology to fulfill your mission of continuous improvement.
A must read for executives looking to optimize performance while automating traceability in outsourced supplier networks.
—Raj Saksena, President and CEO, Omnitrol Networks Inc.
Thin Air clearly explains how wireless solutions can offer sophisticated asset management applications, impact patient flow, and increase staff efficiency thereby playing a major role in helping healthcare administrators improve efficiency, streamline operations, and ultimately help caregivers in their primary mission of providing quality patient care.
—Jason Howe, CEO, Awarepoint
Introduction: The Confusion of the Tongues
Lean Wireless is Already Here
Rules Before Tools
The Marriage of Lean and Six Sigma
Lean’s New Neighbor—Wireless
The Wireless Tsunami
Surprise—The Modern Network Is Already Here—We Need Only Plug In
Why Now? Lean Wireless and the Costs of Doing Business
The Unbearable Cost of Business
The Immovable Structural Costs
A More Inclusive Picture—Variable Costs
The Lean, Wireless, and Lean Wireless
Information Is Lean
America and its Companies Require Wireless Strength
American Companies Require Near-Term Results (Not Solutions)
Automation Means More Work—Not Less
The Lean Wireless Missions
Adopt a New Paradigm: Rules Before Tools = Results
Overcome the Inertia of Legacy
Focus First upon Internal Value Streams
Identify Opportunities for Wireless Value
Plug Value Streams into the "Internet of Things"
Ease the Disease of Wireless Ownership
Manage the Troublesome Social/Enterprise Interface
Design Effective Interfaces
Scalability: Use Wireless to Open the Loops
Case Study: Kanban Replenishment
The Democratic Frontiers of Lean Wireless
Crowdsourcing: We All Own (and Drive) Innovation
The Wireless Library
The Wireless Athlete
Extreme Traceability, from Farm to Fork
The Lean Wireless Election: A Supply Chain Success
The Lean Wireless Election 2: Web 2.0 and Decision 2008
Lean Wireless President and Police
The Significance of iWIP
iWIP in Lean Manufacturing
The Healthcare Proving Ground, Part 1: Lean Wireless Inventory Management
The Healthcare Proving Ground, Part 2: RTLS Adds Value
Democracy Marches On
Afterword (and Forward): Lean Wireless 2015
Appendix A: Lean Glossary
Appendix B: Wireless Glossary
Appendix C: Standards Used in Wireless Enterprises
Appendix D: Lean Wireless ROI
Each chapter concludes with "Endnotes"