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Visual Management Approach

Q1. Why is a visual management approach such an integral part of Autoliv’s lean system?

Q2. Describe the JIT considerations presented in the chapter as they relate to Autoliv’s manufacturing environment?

Q3. How does Southwest Airlines know they are achieving their goals?

Q4. What are the important long-term issues relevant for managing capacity, revenue, and customer satisfaction for SWA?


The visual management approach is important part of Autoliv because it permits Autoliv to keep a vision on the time required to complete an order placed by the customers. For the purpose of management of heijunka cards, “rail” is utilized in each cell. For example, when the card shows the color green, it indicates that the orders of the customers can be easily finished within the usual working hours. However, in case the card shows the color yellow, it indicates that the completion of the order of the customers shall require overtime.

Visual communication also enables the recognition of those cells that are either backed-up or are performing improperly. In case the cells are unable to perform properly in accordance with the pace to fulfill the orders of the customers, the rail shall get stacked up with the cards and it shall be easily visible that the particular cell is unable to meet the required expectations. This shall enable the members of the cell team or the related management to take appropriate measures in order to prevent the overtime that might arise if the remedial actions are not taken.

a. Eliminate waste: removal of the activities that do not add value

b. Kaizen: understanding that the extra capacity or the inventory conceals the associated issues with the production process

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