Gemba walk is a Japanese concept which focuses on adding customer-oriented value at the floor that needs to be incorporated in the product or service. Gemba simply refers to the place where real work happens. Gemba is not only focused on production but also on cost, delivery and quality. However, the overall focus and innate intention for conducting Gemba is improvement on the floor.
In the manufacturing and business world, there are those we call direct and indirect earners. The idea of direct earners versus indirect earners enables professionals understand the importance of Gemba Kaizen. Gemba walk is an improvement on the floor for direct earners which requires the strong support of indirect earners.
These are the people who are involved in the manufacturing of the product and/or the delivery of services. These are production personnel on the shop floor. If they stop work for one minute, the business prospect of making more money will be lost by one minute. Roles that directly support direct earners include maintenance, logistics, procurement personnel etc.
The indirect earners are the people who are not directly involved in making products or providing services; they have no direct role in daily product making or service offering. They represent the people at the top layers of organizational hierarchy; examples include CEOs, Directors, Managers, President, and other supporting areas including Quality, Finance, and Human Resource etc.
Despite how hard these people work in their respective areas, they do not directly earn money instead they are in the company to support those who are directly earning money for the company by making products, delivering services etc.
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A successful gemba has the following attribute:
Adebayo is a thought leader in continuous process improvement and manufacturing excellence. He is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt (CSSMBB) Professional and Management Systems Lead Auditor (ISO 9001, 45001, ISO 22000/FSSC 22000 etc.) with strong experience leading various continuous improvement initiative in top manufacturing organizations.
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