Tag: Home Remodeling

Is There a Difference Between 6 Sigma, Lean, Kaizen, BPM, Continuous Improvement, and Reengineering?

Anyone new to process work can easily become confused by so many different terms that seem to mean the same thing. I wonder sometimes why we keep adding new terms to what basically comes down to “quality.” All these techniques have the same goal — to achieve improvements in delivering a product or service to the customer. “Improvement” may follow the form of more efficiency for the business or more effectiveness for the customer. All methods have a connection to the Total Quality Management (TQM) movement promoted by gurus such as W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran, among others. Some offer a more philosophical approach than a specific set of tools.

With so many techniques to choose from, do you select the newest, the trendiest, or perhaps the tried and true method? Do you have to choose one technique? Why not take the best from all and call it something else that works in your culture. You can simply call your technique Business Process Improvement, Continuous Improvement, or something similar that works in your organization. The name you decide to use makes a difference in the acceptance rate at your company because as we all know “culture trumps process all the time.”

You may find my simplified explanation of the various terms (in alphabetical order) helpful:

  • Business Process Management (BPM): A recent term that denotes process management software. It comes from the IT world and companies that have software to sell, promote this technique. It attempts to continuously improve processes by promoting business efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility, and integration with technology. I view it simply as a new spin on using technology for process improvement…not a bad thing, but did we need another term?
  • Continuous Improvement: A more philosophical concept than a technique, CI strives to constantly improve processes. It promotes a culture of innovation and constant improvement.
  • Hoshin Kanri: A strategic planning method that uses the collective thinking power of all employees to help a company rise to the top in their field. The concept of including “all” is key to Hoshin Kanri, so that the company focuses on a shared goal. “Hoshin” means compass and “Kanri” means management (or control).
  • Kaizen: The Japanese word for continuous improvement. “Kai” means continuous and “zen” means improvement. It is not another technique, but a philosophy that denotes incremental, constant, repeatable improvement.
  • Lean: Focuses on the flow of value to the customer – anything else is considered wasteful. Companies who follow Lean have the goal of reducing the time between a customer order and shipment by eliminating waste. When you think of Toyota, you think of Lean.
  • Lean Six Sigma: Sometimes viewed as the best approach, since it combines Lean and Six Sigma, this technique merges the “process variation” aspect of Six Sigma with the “process flow” aspect of Lean, both important concepts. However, the term seems more like a sales term to me.
  • Re-engineering: Focuses on the radial redesign of end-to-end
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Garage Door Services and Repairs

A garage door is more important to a house than some may think. It sets the tone of your house and depending on the condition can make it look newer or older. This is true for repairs as well. Between motor repairs and paint peeling repairs there is a lot to consider when using it to compliment your home.

Hiring a professional for garage door repair is something to look into. They have the skill and the knowledge to detect what is wrong and fix it perfectly and safely. Don’t try and fix it yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing because you can damage the door or severely injure yourself. Plus, it doesn’t help that you probably don’t have all the right tools that a professional has. That could end up costing you more.

Of course, as a home owner you naturally want to take care of business on your own. But sometimes it’s easier and safer to hire someone. The garage door is one of the most dangerous things to maintain replace and repair by yourself. It is actually the largest moving part of your house and it can way up to 400lbs. It also has parts such as high tension springs and chains which could honestly be fatal. It is definitely not a guaranteed safe thing to mess around with.

A professional can make sure to have it running smoothly and function properly by installing correct parts and removing damaged parts that are hard to detect if you don’t know what you’re doing. If the smallest detail isn’t done correctly it can cause the entire door to fall off the tracking. This can be dangerous to you, your car and your property.

Of course everyone wants to know about the cost. Garage door prices are cheaper now than they have ever been. A spring or a roller needing replacement can be less expensive if a technician replaces it than if you try and do it yourself. Sometimes you don’t even have to pay the trip fee if your garage door seller sends out repair people to assess the problem.

If you do it yourself you could be damaging your door worse. If you put the wrong part whether it is the brand, size, material or maybe just a completely different part all together it could cost you more time and more money. Hiring a professional will help you get the job done, and get the job done right.… Read More

LACMTA Metro Purple Line Westside Extension groundbreaking ceremony, November 7, 2014

LACMTA Metro Purple Line Westside Extension groundbreaking ceremony, November 7, 2014

Photo by Steve Hymon for Metro harvested from The Source:
thesource.metro.net/2014/11/07/happy-purple-line-extensio…

Leaders of the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today joined federal, state and local elected officials in the Mid-Wilshire District of Los Angeles to break ground on the long awaited Metro Purple Line Extension Project, the largest, most ambitious public works project in the Western United States.

In July, Metro’s Board of Directors approved a contract with Skanska, Traylor and Shea (STS), a Joint Venture, to construct the Purple Line Extension Project. Construction of the subway extension will connect West Los Angeles to the region’s growing rail network, making it possible to travel between Downtown Los Angeles and Westwood in 25 minutes. The first subway segment will extend the Purple Line 3.9 miles from the existing Wilshile/Western Purple Line terminus near Koreatown into Beverly Hills. Three new underground stations are planned at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega, providing fast, frequent, high-capacity transit service farther west along busy Wilshire Boulevard.

“The Purple Line will ease traffic along the congested Wilshire corridor and will make traveling from the westside to downtown faster and greener.” said Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles and Metro Board Chair. “When it comes to infrastructure, L.A. is on the move. We are right now investing 36 billion dollars in our transportation infrastructure to ease congestion and create thousands of jobs. All together, this is the largest public works project in the nation. In the car capital of the world, we are looking to reduce traffic and cut air pollution by giving people car-free options to get to work and play.”

The Purple Line Extension is a critically important rail project that is partially funded by the 2008 Measure R sales tax that was overwhelmingly approved by two-thirds of L.A. County voters. The first segment of the subway is expected to be completed in 2023 with a project budget of $2.821 billion. In addition to this local funding, Metro received a $1.25 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Administration to help pay for the first segment. The U.S. Department of Transportation also granted Metro a low-interest loan of $856 million from a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) to complete the funding package for the project’s first phase. Combined, these nearly $2 billion in project commitments represent the biggest federal transportation investment for a single construction segment in the history of Los Angeles County.

The remaining $821 million in project funding for the first segment includes Measure R, City of Los Angeles local funding, and other existing local and federal funds.

“Today we launch the construction of the first subway segment along the Wilshire corridor to West Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky. “No transit corridor in our region is in greater need of mass rapid transit. The area to be served is one of the most dense employment centers in the county and is plagued by some of the worst traffic congestion … Read More

Remodeling Your Floors With Hardwood Flooring

When remodeling a house one of the most important decisions to make is what type of hardwood floors to use. Though other alternatives may seem like a bargain at first, wooden flooring is less susceptible to cracking and other forms of duress but has also been shown to greatly improve your home value. Not only does hardwood timber flooring make your house’s market price greatly increase, it also has a nice polished professional look to it that will impress both guests and yourself. While it may seem overwhelming at whether you home should have engineered flooring or solid wood floors, the choice is easily decided on by what you want the final product to accomplish.

If you want a nice rustic look to your house, than timber floor boards are a great pick for you. Despite being more difficult to install, the charming naturalistic look of timber floor boards will make your house truly feel new. The comfort and nostalgia of going with a timber floor board is one of the most satisfying home choices that a remodel can bring. Though solid timber floors require a good deal of maintenance, it will be worthwhile when you take in the lovely aesthetics they add. If you decide to go with timber floors, you will probably need to get assistance in the installation because they can be cumbersome to install without proper equipment.

When choosing your solid timber flooring houses often use a type of oak floors as they fit with the neighborhoods’ style and the area’s culture. Though the types of oak flooring vary depending on the area, European oak floor is by far the most common. The reason behind this is European oak flooring has a subtle yet sophisticated look making it very appealing to those interested in adding a refined taste to their house during their remodel. Even if you’re only interested in increasing the resell value of your house, oak flooring houses sell for much more than the cost of the investment. If you aren’t interested in installing oak floor buyers may also enjoy the textured look of Distressed Wood flooring. So don’t be afraid to experiment and deviate from the traditional method as the distressed look may go well with the rest of your interior.

If you want to enjoy the look of wooden floors without the maintenance and upkeep, then you may want to consider engineered wood flooring. While it doesn’t have the same thickness and form factor of hardwood floors, it is much easier to both manage and install. If you prefer to do all of your remodeling yourself, than engineered oak flooring is probably the right choice for you as it is much more straightforward to place down. Regardless of whether you choose to go with natural timber floors or engineered flooring, the look will be just the thing to make your remodeled house feel new and beautiful.… Read More