It is important when you are starting out your lean journey to understand what Lean is really about. Steve Cook, a former Dell Computer supply chain executive and newly appointed chief operating officer of MFG.com recently took time to explain three common myths about Lean.
Myth #1: Lean = Job Cuts
"If done well, Lean initiatives are less a cost-cutting exercise and more a growth exercise," said Cook.
Myth #2: Lean = Doing More with Less
Lean is about doing more to get more, knowing that reducing waste is a growth strategy, a way to help the company be more competitive, Cook said.
Myth #3: Lean = a Cost Reduction Strategy
While Lean initiatives clearly involve reducing costs, "it's a myth if it's the reason why you're doing Lean," emphasized Cook. "The underpinning of Lean must be about making the organization more successful."
Lean is really a systematic way to learn to see the inefficiencies in your processes and to solve these opportunities in such a way to grow the business profitably by adding value the customer will pay for. If you want to be a successful company you will learn to empower and engage the entire organization to focus improvement on value-added work from the customer’s perspective.
Cook added a saying from Dell which reflects this, “You’ll get beat up for high cost, but you’ll get fired for quality/availability issues.”
Is your organization solving problems only for themselves or are they solving those for their customers?