We’re Reaping the Benefits of Lean… Now What? (Part 2)

In the first part of this blog series, we discussed the benefits of gained capacity through Lean implementation and developing a strategic plan to utilize gained capacity for providing additional value to your customers.

As you begin to create a vision and set priorities for your strategic plan, consideration should be given to the following:

  1. The voice of the customer. Talk to your customers and ask them what they value. Spend time with your customers to understand their problems, so that you can provide the right solution for them.
  2. Build relationships. Build relationships with your customers so that you’re the first one they call when they need a solution.
  3. Define your value. Show your customers what you have to offer that perhaps your competitors cannot.
  4. Accountability. Hold your team accountable for implementation of your strategic goals. The results should be measured as it relates to utilization of capacity and value added to customers. Remember, you can’t manage success if you can’t measure it.

Once you’ve started down a Lean journey, your work has just begun. Lean is all about continuous improvement. An effective strategic plan, when approached properly, will continue to guide you. We’ll leave you with one last thought about strategy, quoted by Dave Fechtman, CEO of Velocity Advisory Group: “The greatest enemy of strategy is success.” Don’t let your wins make you lose sight of why you decided to go Lean in the first place.

About the Authors

Mike Sibley and Katie Davis are passionate about creating thorough and sustainable systems to help organizations become Lean Enterprises. In addition to writing and speaking on Lean Six Sigma, Mike and Katie work directly with an organization’s members to evaluate an existing process and identify solutions that eliminate waste, as well as build efficiency and quality into the process. Mike and Katie have applied these approaches for manufacturing, construction, professional services, and governmental entities.


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