“Our focus is on developing Excel spreadsheets that can perform lean process analysis that is beyond what a typical Excel user is capable of programming,” he says. For example, the Standard Work Combination Sheet correctly analyzes cycle times for things that happen on different frequency cycles, including shift setups, batch changeovers and inspections. “This helps users to correctly answer questions like ‘How much does it cost?’, ‘What’s our capacity?’, ‘How will things change if we do a kaizen event to reduce setup time by 10 minutes?’” To answer those types of questions usually requires more than $10,000 software written on top of a database, “Systems2win has survived and flourished all these years because people are shocked to see that type of capability in a $300 Excel add-in,” Ziegler remarks.
With so many templates offered, the Tool Selection Matrix makes it simple for clients to drill down to find the right tool for what is needed next. The matrix “makes it easy to use Excel’s Filtering features to quickly filter a short list of the tools that you might consider using for the next phase of your lean journey,” he says. “For example, you might filter to show only tools that are popular for lean office or lean healthcare. And then further filter for the tools that are useful for lean management, or lean flow, or quality improvement, or whatever you are trying to accomplish next.” Each template can be personalized using familiar Microsoft Excel, and international users can optionally switch between English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Chinese.
One of System2win’s strengths is to thoughtfully respond to customer suggestions. The Takt Time Calculator and the Kanban Calculator Ziegler says are good examples of responding to real world customer pain points. “For years, we figured that there were so many free online calculators that people could use, but then a few of our customers asked us, ‘Have you actually tried to use any of those free online tools?’” Ziegler adds, “Five different calculators yielded four different answers. We couldn’t find one online calculator that took into consideration all of the factors that should be considered to correctly calculate either Takt Time or the correct number of kanbans.”
Our focus is on developing Excel spreadsheets that can perform lean process analysis that is beyond what a typical Excel user is capable of programming