Friday, May 7, 2010

Lean Quote of the Day, May 7, 2010

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

Feel free to share some of your favorites here as well.

“Kanban is like the milkman. Mom didn’t give the milkman a schedule. Mom didn’t use MRP. She simply put the empties on the front steps and the milkman replenished them. That is the essence of a pull system” – Ernie Smith, Lean Event Facilitator in the Lean Enterprise Forum at the University of Tennessee

While many organizations utilize kanban systems for pull production they still rely on ERP/MRP  for purposes of planning.  How do you know if your ERP system is working for you

Check these 10 warning signs to see if your ERP system is killing your business.

1. The ERP system can’t integrate mission-critical business data.
2. Changes to the system are costly and time-consuming.
3. Your disaster-recovery plan involves tapes.
4. Beefy PCs or “fat clients” are needed to run the system.
5. Maintenance fees are high.
6. You can’t access the data easily if you are traveling.
7. Upgrades are disruptive to the business.
8. Trading partners can’t easily interact with the system.
9. New employees need time to learn the system.
10. Globalization is too difficult.

Now, if you are unsure of the issues that a poorly run ERP system can cause then I suggest you revisit's brief and semi-chronological history of 10 famous ERP disasters, dustups and disappointments as a warning.

I believe that ERP and Lean are compatible and beneficial if done correctly. The problem is we often let the ERP solution run our business instead of making the software suit our business needs.

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1 comment:

  1. Great quote! I am working on a kanban implementation and this quote will come in handy.