Has Lean Manufacturing put on weight due to Middle Age?

Do you think a Reflective Approach support Lean ??

  • Not At All - Can be Detrimental to the implimentation of Lean

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • OK to start but we can soon revert to type

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Could be used if the Management Team accepts this approach

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Take it or Leave it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Important Part of the Programme

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Critical to the implimentation of Lean

    Votes: 2 100.0%

  • Total voters
    2
Q

QMJones

#1
Has Lean Manufacturing put on weight due to Middle Age ?????? :confused:

Having spent many years within both Automotive and FMCG companies exhorting the virtues of “Lean” is “Best” it always amazes me that when you speak to CEO’s etc the first thing they envisage is labour reductions, this in their opinion is the best way to achieve lean.

Even when you explain that as a percentage the direct Labour cost might only be 10 –15% of the overall manufacturing cost !! – There are much bigger fish to fry.

The integration of Lean manufacturing into most organisations start with either the CEO or Finance director (VP or Vice VP or Assistant to the Vice VP – for our American cousins) spending a number of very informative days at a local 5* Hotel (with Golf Course) and returning with this new Vision, they then get together the operational team and instruct them to get on with it. A bit cynical I know but you all must see the odd thread in my ranting’s.

Well lets get to the crux of the matter, I have an opinion, this is that unless the Senior Management Team within an organisation can make the shift to Reflective Management prior to the introduction of Lean they are doomed with failure in the long term.

What do I mean by Reflective Management, this is the ability to look inward as well as outward to bring an holistic approach to Management and Manufacturing, not the “We Love you all and want to be your friends” approach but a more inclusive style that truly takes on some of the ethos of Kaizen, Gemba and Hoshin Kanri not that as a European I am fully indoctrinated by the Japanese manufacturing principle, but I envy their simplicity and openness.

I would welcome to hear from anyone – or company that has approached Lean in this Reflective manner as I am currently researching this topic for my Msc.
 
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C

Craig H.

#2
QM

I agree that upper management has to realize that if organizational change is to happen, they, the managers have to change their style and their way of thinking. This is true for several reasons, but the most important is that in order for any change to take hold, the rest of the people in the organization have to change as well. If they see a change in approach and attitude at the top, it is much more likely that the rest of the organization will "buy in".

Craig
 
E

energy

#3
No clue

My experience with Lean Mfg concepts was very dissappointing. Lean Mfg alone looks for redundancies in the system to reduce duplication of efforts and proved a waste of time at my previous employer. A smart General Manager with an eye on waste and inefficiency, leaves nothing for Lean to do. We had too "invent" something to show that the CEO's idea and the cost of the program was worthwhile. Yup, orders were given to find something, anything to see that this happens. What a joke!

As for the "Reflective Management added as a side dish with Lean, IMHO, they don't mix! One involves processes and the other, well, is something else.

Our Program was looked at by the participants as just a PR ploy and try as we might, collectively, there was no justification to spend the amount of time that we put on it.
 
R

Randy Stewart

#4
A smart General Manager with an eye on waste and inefficiency, leaves nothing for Lean to do.
I have to differ with you here. Lean is really focused on improved throughput, even if processes are duplicated. JIT, Kanban, etc. are all parts of Lean. You need a buy in on the floor because the operators will be more help with the effort than a smart, eagle-eyed GM any day. The GM should be driving the effort but the emphasis on "parts out the door" fogs the eyes.

QMJones, you may want to look at the threads under ISO-9000 and System Thinking for more discussion.
 
E

energy

#5
If you say so

Randy Stewart said:
I have to differ with you here. Lean is really focused on improved throughput, even if processes are duplicated. JIT, Kanban, etc. are all parts of Lean. You need a buy in on the floor because the operators will be more help with the effort than a smart, eagle-eyed GM any day. The GM should be driving the effort but the emphasis on "parts out the door" fogs the eyes.

QMJones, you may want to look at the threads under ISO-9000 and System Thinking for more discussion.
The Lean Team was comprised of all Department Heads with the resultant charts floated out to the worker bees for approval and comment. This GM has complete loyalty from all the employees because of his no nonsense approach to Manufacturing and all Operations. Buy in was never the problem. Seeing the Emperor's New Clothes was. It can be a simple or as difficult as you want to make it. :p :ko:
 
R

Randy Stewart

#6
You know better than I what the true problems were, I wasn't there. It has been my experience that a Lean Team made up of Department Mgrs. are #1 not very lean, look at the money being spent on the team, and #2 not real productive.
I'm not saying this happened at your shop, but things being rolled out by D.H's can be viewed as "no questions or comments wanted - just do it".
 
E

energy

#7
No argument there

Randy Stewart said:
You know better than I what the true problems were, I wasn't there. It has been my experience that a Lean Team made up of Department Mgrs. are #1 not very lean, look at the money being spent on the team, and #2 not real productive.
I'm not saying this happened at your shop, but things being rolled out by D.H's can be viewed as "no questions or comments wanted - just do it".
You're right. But, I never saw such a well oiled machine as this Manager and his reportees. He has a flat line reporting system and all suggestions to improve processes/products were scrutinized and as efficient and streamlined as possible. For example, Project Engineers routinely sit with all hands in involved in the upcoming project. Alternate methods for achieving Customer requirements were often implemented due to the "workerbees" intimate knowledge of the processes. Quicker, cost effective and "meets or exceeds Customer Reqt's". That's just the way it is. :agree: :smokin:
 
G

gary.lister

#8
Interesting comments. You may very well be right. We enjoy strong senior management support for Lean (and we've expanded it beyond manufacturing / production to adminsitrative, office, finance, engineering, design, etc.) at my organization (major US Air Force installation, 25,000 plus employees, mostly civilian), but in another life I run a small but growing professional association of people involved with Lean. Most of our members are front-line employees. Rarely do we get a senior manager as a member. Even less rarely does he or she contribute in the discussions.

I look forward to participating in these discussions and learning all I can about the implementation of Lean.

Regards,

Gary
 
Q

QA_Dude the White

#10
Be careful of the "lean to the point of anorexia" phenomenon. In the search for the ultimate throughput, and as someone put it "fog in the eye" to get the parts out, my company has produced a metabolism that generates new failure modes.
 
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