Reviewing some process improvement results (BVA2.0) for the last six months has made think about Lean principles and how they relate to Winshuttle and SAP. Wikipedia describes Lean as:
“Lean,” is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, “value” is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for. Basically, lean is centered on preserving value with less work.
I’ve studied mechanical design and manufacturing and I’m originally from Detroit (my Detroit blog entry) so I have spent time reading, observing, living, and studying lean manufacturing. And the recent Winshuttle process improvement results have stirred these semi-dormant ideas and principles of Lean in my mind. Watching people try to accomplish tasks with ERP systems reminds me of a Henry Ford’s description of the waste of the average farmer in 1900’s
“I believe that the average farmer puts to a really useful purpose only about 5%. of the energy he expends…. Not only is everything done by hand, but seldom is a thought given to a logical arrangement. A farmer doing his chores will walk up and down a rickety ladder a dozen times. He will carry water for years instead of putting in a few lengths of pipe. His whole idea, when there is extra work to do, is to hire extra men. He thinks of putting money into improvements as an expense…. It is waste motion— waste effort— that makes farm prices high and profits low.”
– Henry Ford (My Life and Work)
ERP systems are adding time, cost, and waste into business. My renewed thoughts about Lean have energized me to provide a series of blogs about how the key principles of Lean apply to using Winshuttle with SAP. Each blog entry will focus on a key goal of Lean: Quality Improvement, Elimination of Waste, Time Reduction and Cost Reduction. Stay tuned for Episode 1 – Quality Improvement…
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