Among the best tools ever developed in the process improvement arena are: SMED, which stands for Single-Minute Exchange of Die. This setup reduction technique is also sometimes called "Quick Die Change." Setup time reduction is of crucial importance at capacity constraining resources, because at these points the throughput of the entire organization is at stake. The Theory of Constraints gives us more insight and offers even more options when it comes to setup reduction than do other systems.
Poka-Yoke, or "mistake-proofing." Mistakes and errors rob the organization of both time and money. A sheet metal part is chemically treated on the wrong side. A part is built backwards. A machined part is milled in the wrong location. Defects due to human error create scrap, rework and reduced throughput. Poka-yoke provides techniques for keeping errors like these from occurring in the first place.
Process mapping and "spaghetti" charts. At capacity constrained resource and other problem areas, time is truly money. This lean tool provides motion studies that eliminate unnecessary movement and travel, and can provide ergonomic benefits as well. When throughput is at stake, skilled employees should be working, not walking.