3.24.2009

Winner: Best explanation of Lean this Year


Brief and obscure article link. This is important for auto repair shops. The current market conditions have created an opportunity for auto repair to grow their business. People are not buying new cars, so the trend is moving towards repair of the cars already in ownership. Here are the highlights that give them my Best Explanation of Lean this Year Award:

"Instead of pursuing your competition or chasing benchmarks, the organization must pursue perfection."

"In our business, our objective is not to fix cars, but to fix the process of fixing cars."

"In a lean environment, the entire objective of the business is to do nothing but improve the process, so there is almost zero focus on fixing cars."


"The beauty of it is that you are fixing cars while you are doing this [fixing the process]."

"You're just not thinking about how to get that particular job done, but how you can improve your step in the process in relation to what everybody else is doing."

"Once you're there, it's very simple to execute."

What makes this the best explanation of the year? For one, you could take out the phrase "fixing cars" and replace it with "serving burgers", "building kites" or "welding ship hulls". Also, the explanation focuses on a couple of key points for lean thinking:

1) All hands on deck focus on the process, not what we provide or make.

2) The process of fixing the process is done simultaneously with the task of adding value. Although not explicit, this is the key when considering the use of Standard Work and Kaizen. By stabilizing the process, through standard work, and completing the daily work according to our customer oriented objectives, we can think of new ways to solve our problems (kaizen).

However, the last statement is the icing on the cake and one that I think many leansters may feel is quite understated. "Once you are there" has so many unanswered questions buried within it. How long to get there? Answer: who knows? Is it simple? I don't think so.

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2 Comments:

At March 30, 2009 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Venkatesh 'Vic' Srambikal said...

That's what I call an "overdrive" :)

 
At March 30, 2009 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Venkatesh 'Vic' Srambikal said...

Now that's what I call an overdrive :)

 

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