Why Do Lean Implementations Fail? Chapter 2

iLean News   •   March, 2020

Most important reason for lean implementation failure on our chapter 1 was “The Purpose of the implementation” now we can talk about the second most important reason for failure;

Getting Stuck in Lean Tools.

How many professionals did you hear talking about the tools when it comes to implementation. How many of them actually talking about the philosophy of Lean rather than tools and techniques. Most used phrase by everyone is “Let’s get the low hanging fruits” with either 5S or SMED. None of the lean tools can bring you sustainable profitable growth if you loose the sight of the customer. Most often all lean activities are based on product or production focus rather than customer focus.

So what should Customer Focus really mean; lets think about how customers are thinking or even better lets think about yourself as a customer. You walked to a coffee shop and want to buy a cup of coffee.

Would you want to wait for 1 hour to get your coffee? Absolutely not. So you want it quick.

Would you pay £15 for a cup of coffee. In case you are in a very special coffee shop and after a very special cup of coffee you would never want to pay that. So you want it cheap or cheap enough for a coffee.

Would you drink a coffee if it tastes bad. Absolutely not. So you want the quality.

Would you like your barista to swear when he was serving your coffee. Noway. So you want the good customer service with a smile.

Why would your customers be different than you. It doesn’t matter what you provide all your customers are after the same characteristics; fast, good quality, good price and good customer service.

When you are implementing Lean and working with Lean tools you should always ask yourself the same question. Does this make my product or service quicker, cheaper, with better quality and better customer service? We have been to many places as you may imagine. Every lean implementing company or facilitator would brag about how much money they saved with their implementations. Surprisingly -not at all for us- their savings are never shows up on their bottom line. Their number of customers wouldn’t increase. Nor would they sell their products cheaper.

Because they have got stuck in Lean tools to show savings for the company. 5S should be done for SMED or increasing quality. It is not only for looking nice to visitors and managers. SMED should be done only for getting quicker on deliveries by decreasing batch sizes, cost cutting is its second purpose. Kaizen should be done for customer satisfaction, making the value flow, it is not for management satisfaction or making the numbers work. Soon, we will be talking about these in more detail and why these tools
should be used for something different than everybody thinks.

So please stop being product or production focused. And please do not get stuck in Lean tools and keep your eye on the main goal. Making things quicker, cheaper, with good quality and good customer service. That is the only way for customer satisfaction. That is the only way to create sustainable profitable growth.

If and when you become Lean, you have all the results for being able to sell more. When you are quicker, cheaper, with better quality and better customer service; you can sell anywhere and everywhere in the world. Lean is Great, Export is Great and Britain is Great.

If you want to know more about how to become lean and how to export more, please contact us. You can also visit International Trade Matters Limited for more information on getting ready for export.