Lean manufacturing does not mean doing more with fewer people. The desire for greater output with a smaller workforce is widespread. Stock prices rise at the mere mention of down-sizing. However that was never the intent of lean.
Our definition of lean is: “Establishing a culture where people are given the expectation, education, resources and encouragement to continually improve targeted processes using TPS (Toyota Production System) methodology.” Emphasis is placed on effectiveness not efficiency (doing the right things vs. doing things right).
A few weekends ago we reveled in the good times at the 7th annual Rogue Valley Blues Festival held in the historic Ashland Armory. The Blues were born in this country and have influenced every type of music since their inception. A derivative of early work songs and spiritual call and response hymns, the Blues took music to a whole new level. And the baby of the Blues was Rock and Roll.
Implementing a lean enterprise is a bold move. It means changing the culture in your company. It is counterintuitive to the thinking, “We must take advantage of economies of scale and produce as fast and as much as we can.” Companies are achieving major operational improvements by boldly applying the lean philosophy of “just the right amount, at the right time, with the right quality.”
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Oscar Wilde once said, “An idea that isn’t risky is hardly worth calling an idea.” Now that’s a bold thought. So, let’s rock and roll.
By AEM Consulting Group, Inc.