Why should I use Gemba?

Gemba walks have become increasingly popular over the past generation, which has led many more people to look into this interesting system. Many people wonder why it should be used, and what makes it better than something like ‘management by walking around’ or even just spending time on the shop floor. There are many reasons why a company should use Gemba, and why individual supervisors or managers should take advantage of this system.

First Hand Knowledge

One of the biggest reasons that you should be using Gemba walks is that it allows you to gather first hand knowledge of a given area. While it is important to have trusted people working under you who will provide you good and accurate information, there really is no way to replace getting out and seeing things for yourself. Whether you conduct a Gemba walk weekly, monthly, or on some other schedule, you will always benefit from what you learn.

Interacting with Employees

Conducting Gemba walks forces you to get out and spend some time with the front-line employees. These employees are a great resource for helpful information on how to make improvements, what is going right, and even their overall morale. While you can (and should) certainly do this without a Gemba walk, the formal nature of the walks helps to keep it on a schedule and ensure you are seeing those who work under you on a regular basis.

Great for Any Goal

A Gemba walk can be beneficial for just about any goal you have. Whether you’re looking to improve processes, eliminate safety hazards, avoid defects, or just about anything else, you can accomplish it through Gemba walks. The flexibility of this management tool really makes it ideal for just about any situation you can think of. Even for non-managers such as safety coordinators it can provide a lot of benefits in terms of information gathering, idea generation, and more.

Every facility is going to have their own set of reasons why using Gemba walks makes sense. Start implementing the use of this strategy, and then tweak the way it is used until you are able to get the most out of it possible.

 

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Additional Resources

Gemba Guide
 
Lean Manufacturing Powerpoint
 
Other FREE Resources:

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