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Strategy

Happy New Year!!!

I hope 2012 got off to a great start for everyone. I like to use the time around new year to re-evaluate my 1 and 5 year plans. I think of it as my personal “Strategic Planning” session. From that perspective, I’d like to talk about Lean Implementation strategy at a high level.

With the right Leadership and the right Vision, developing a Lean Strategy in the next step. “What is Lean Strategy” you ask. In fact, “Lean Strategy” is simply the business strategy applied after securing lean commitment, leadership and vision. In other words, once the leadership team in on board, and are “thinking towards Lean,” traditional strategic planning takes on a new direction…becoming the Lean Strategy. Ultimately what we’re looking for is the top down approach to implementation, starting with a recognition that waste exists in our processes and to be the most competitive supplier possible, we must drive out waste wherever it lies.

Lean Strategy is more that doing a slew of lean events around the factory and office, although you will get your chance to do that. It is a concerted approach to identifying what value is from the customer’s perspective and the plan to make that value flow non-stop throughout your supply chain. The strategy should answer questions like:

  •  What does our customer value?
  • What competitive advantages do we currently enjoy…and what advantages do we need to develop or strengthen?
  • What does the customer perceive as our weaknesses? What are our unrecognized weaknesses?
  • What do we value as an organization?
  • What is our mission?

We must answer these questions from a Lean perspective to take us to the next step of developing the top level goals, which I’ll talk more about next time.

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