Cutting Through Catch-Phrases and Getting Your Company Lean
Editorial Director of outbound, Mitch MacDonald says that tools like Six Sigma should be focused on the end of attaining a leaner company, a link that can often become muddled by those employing the technique as a mere catchphrase. A recent report by researchers at Georgia Southern University write, “Lean is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value-added activities) through continuous improvement by flowing the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection.” The problem for many smaller companies, is that they get caught in the details of programs aimed at achieving cost-effectiveness and miss the larger picture. DC Velocity Reports:
The authors also point out that although it’s billed as a “cutting edge” approach to manufacturing, the edge really isn’t all that sharp. In fact, they note that the basic concept of lean can be traced all the way back to Henry Ford’s assembly lines circa 1920, when the notion of continuous flow was first introduced. Still, as with so many business management concepts, what’s old has become new again. And so, it seems, lean is all the rage.