The following article, by BMGI Consultant Stan Shaw, was recently published on Lean Enterprise Institute.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have traveled and worked globally, deploying Lean in Scandinavia, Brazil, the US, Europe, Southern Africa, as well as the Middle East. I’ve been equally fortunate to have seen most industries within the automotive supply chain from mining minerals to primary raw metal processing to secondary component processing and final assembly at OEM’s of cars and “yellow metal” vehicles. (I’ve yet to see the flipside or re-cycling. I’m sure one day I’ll be afforded that privilege).
All of the above industries have, in principle, various levels of maturity at applying Lean. All have similar management structures, and yet the single biggest hurdle all “new practitioners” have seems to be how to overcome the transition of what they see into an understanding of what needs to be done in order to create value (or extract value from the identified opportunity for value). It’s all well and good knowing the five principles of Lean and the wastes etc., but processing the theoretical understanding into something they can actually do in terms of action is hard at first for anyone. Continue reading