Leaving behind the trials of 2020 would certainly be welcomed, but simply turning a page on the calendar isn’t going to make anything easier. We pine for the good old days, but let’s face it, those days came with challenges too. The pandemic shined a light on the weaknesses in our systems while bringing new challenges. So, as we sit on the cusp of the new year, what will make 2021 better than 2020 for our businesses?
We asked our consultants to weigh-in and below is a snapshot of their suggestions. If you’d like to chat directly with one of them to learn more, click the link below to reach us.
Become a Servant Leader
In a crisis, leaders often circle the wagons and act like war-time generals sending orders down through the ranks. It’s a natural tendency…there’s a crisis, you’re in charge, it’s your responsibility…but if Lean has taught us anything, it’s that command and control is not as effective as collaboration. Turns out this is even more true in a crisis. Fight the urge to single-handedly solve all problems and instead create an environment of empowerment. Set a clear vision, outline the organization’s goals, communicate the objectives so that everyone understands how their day-to-day activities contribute. Then, get out there, be visible, teach, coach, and provide the resources that your teams need to succeed. Your role as leader is to create a single-minded organization in which leaders at all levels serve the needs of the people that service the customers.
Understand Your Losses
Not all production losses trace back to machine failure. In fact, in many cases maintenance downtime is only a small percentage of your total loss time. This is good news because machine failure is typically the most resource intensive (in time and money) to combat. Fixes to non-maintenance losses is much simpler and inexpensive to implement. The key lies in gathering and analyzing data on all of your losses. Note, we have encountered many organizations that don’t believe they have losses beyond machine failures. Don’t get caught in this misconception. Go, look, capture the data, analyze the data and you’ll be surprised what you can do quickly to increase capacity and reduce cost.
Do Value Stream Management…Right
When you think value stream, do you think mapping? When it comes to the value stream, all too frequently we are finding organizations’ efforts begin and end with value stream mapping. While mapping is incredibly important and should continue to be done, there’s a higher-order reason for doing value stream right…that is to say, focusing on value stream management.
Value stream management replaces functional/department silos in favor of cross functional teams with single-point accountability for individual value streams. The teams focus, day in and day out, on the elimination of all forms of waste – Muda (TIMWOOD*), Muri (underperformance), Mura (unevenness) – so value flows more quickly to the customer. Think of a value stream as a “business inside of the business.”
Value stream management begins with defining product families, the creation of logical collections of products based on improved material and information flows; the overall goal being the establishment of physical flow within the system. Additionally, value stream management ensures each value stream is tightly connected to the organization’s strategic deployment process so all activities have a positive impact on organizational goals.
While it takes some work to implement, value stream management will have significant long-term positive impact on your operation. (If you’d like to know more about Value Stream Management, click here to view our virtual session which goes deeper into the subject.
Start Focusing on Failure Demand
Ever have a day consumed by work that is being done for a second…or maybe a third or a fourth time? That work, resulting from the inability to get it right the first time, is known as Failure Demand (FD) and it’s eating your lunch. In many admin environments, associates are spending as much as 65% of their time working on Failure Demand. That’s a staggering amount of non-value-added work, represents a whole lot of opportunity to disappoint the customer, and inflates operating costs. From miscommunication to missed promise dates to poorly designed processes, there’s plenty of opportunities to make big gains if you start focusing on eliminating failure demand.
Get in on the conversation
Want to know more about any of these topics? Click below to contact us.
*TIMWOOD is an acronym for the seven deadly wastes which are Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Over Processing and Defects.