Jason : all quite correct, and will remain so intill something new comes along. the new thing that came along was QRM (quick response manufacturing) which, if you follow the rules, can land you reduced lead times AND better quality. QRM is a game changer. so, all of that is good.
the problem is that QRM, powerful as it is, is simply another tool. and you will soon enough reach an end to it's glorious benefits as well as all the other things you've tried. QRM was developed/promoted mainly by Dr. Rajan Suri. reading his books is mandatory to keeping up with production methodology. it is not at all intutive at the most basic level, but once you start to see things thru Rajan's eyes, QRM issues jump out at you from every angle.
i deploy QRM theory over a wide array of life's issues these days. from buying headnet material, to paying monthly bills, it's all the same story. analyise the task, reduce the changeover time, do not waste effort grouping work. do not waste effort batching jobs. do not squander the "now".
time is not money.
money is pathtic NOTHING compared to time.