Consultants Love Waste Elimination/Lean — The Bottom Line Doesn’t .
Consultants love the idea of a continuous improvement path that provides a long-term consulting customer. Since continuous improvement, lean, agile, and waste elimination programs do not have tangible implementation paths, the customer may not see an end in sight. It is not a “destination, but a constant journey” that results in indefinite consulting engagements and islands of disconnected improvements.
It is easy to create a productivity benefit during a Kaizen event. I have led dozens of them around the world. The pressure applied to the production workforce during the event will naturally encourage a step to increase performance. As outsiders to the day-to-day production, we can easily highlight unnecessary and non-value steps. The event teams and leaders document the improvements that eliminate waste at that snapshot of volume and product mix. Later, when they change the product mix and volume, the island of productivity improvement may also change. In turn, this creates another consulting opportunity for continuous improvement.
Meaningful productivity improvements are good, but islands of disconnected and scheduled production do not change the bottom line. Leading a Demand Driven corporation that eliminates scheduling, reduces lead time by 60-90% and doubles inventory turnover will always have a major impact on the financial bottom line and customer response.