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What is a Gemba Walk ?

What is a Gemba Walk?

Definition: In the manufacturing world, a Gemba walk is the action of walking around a factory floor performed by management with the goal to identify problems, waste and improvement ideas.

Meaning of Gemba.

Gemba (genba): Japanese word meaning “the real place”. It’s where value creation happens, but also where most problems and waste take place.

Why Gemba Walk?

The gemba walk is very important to sustain a strong continuous improvement culture in a company. Here are just a few reasons to do it:

  • Increase in productivity;
  • Increase of OEE (overall equipment effectiveness);
  • Reduction of health and safety hazards;
  • Increase in respect from floor level employees toward management.

For checklists, templates, detailed strategy on how to implement a Gemba Walk structure and more. Click here.

How to Gemba Walk.

  1. Every two hours, team leaders walk around the work centers they are responsible for to identify potential problems that could happen in the next two hours, as well as improvement opportunities.
  2. Once done, the potential problems identified in the gemba are prioritized and prevented by the team leader.
  3. The recurrent problems, as well as those that have a significant impact on the company’s productivity, quality or safety, are converted into improvement opportunities.
  4. At least once a week, the plant manager will meet with his team leaders for the improvement meeting, in which a follow up on the improvement project currently in progress is performed. Based on the team leaders’ workload, new improvement projects can be started from the bank of improvement opportunities.

Tervene’s gemba (the floor tour)

Tervene developed a solution to empower management to carry out structured, standardized gemba walks several times a day. These floor tours aim to identify and prevent potential problems from happening. This methodology has a great impact on reducing reactivity to problems on the factory floor, thus freeing more time for generating improvement. Take a look at how Felix Compounds increased their OEE of 21% in less than two months with Tervene’s continuous improvement software!

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