Note: The following is part of a series written and delivered as a presentation to SMC Business Council’s Manufacturing Group on 05.13.2010. I am sharing it with our blog readers to stimulate a discussion. Feel free to weigh in and give me your comments. I’ll be posting it over the next few weeks to allow time for the discussion to evolve. A special thanks to Tom Henschke, newly appointed President at SMC for the opportunity to share the message.
The Premise: Your Lean System Might Stink…
In order to produce world-class results, lean or operational excellence must be your primary strategy, encompassing the entire enterprise. Failure to replace your current “operating system” completely with a true “lean”, what I will call Operational Excellence, system, will only frustrate your organization.
The long range gains for sustained lean implementation include revenue growth, increases in productivity, increases in cash flow and a happier, engaged workforce.
Your Lean System Stinks Because You Didn’t Replace your Other Systems with IT
The problem with not replacing the operating system wholesale is that, instead, we’ve added pieces and parts of a lean system – tools – to our existing, broken processes and systems. The result ranges from limited, localized successes to all-out failures. Frustrations abound: executives who are confused with the results and front line leaders and workers who have to make production AND do lean things, confused about which has priority. See our post on the “and OE (or Lean)” Problem.