Lean is dead?

I know that you can say whatever you want in the press, particularly if you’re trying to sell this, but I couldn’t believe I read this:

I had a feeling as I went into this that people had reached their limits working on Lean Manufacturing on the production floor. Many companies had reached what they thought was the limit of their savings, and they didn’t know where to go next. That’s why I wrote this book: I knew that there were opportunities out there — I call it Beyond Lean — so I established a blog to ask for savings ideas.

This from Patricia Moody talking about her new book, The Big Squeeze. She basically asked people how they saved money (sounds like kaizen to me). I didn’t read the book, and honestly, I will not. I hate to be this negative, but how could someone who’s actually contributed to books on lean understand so little about it. Apparently most companies are done their lean journey, have eliminated all their waste and needed to be saved. Thank goodness no one thought to look at the supply chain – there’s waste there, in case you didn’t know. Sorry for the sarcasm, but I’m outright mad that people can write so irresponsibly.

Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org

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Jamie Flinchbaugh is a lean advisor, speaker, and author. In addition to co-founding the Lean Learning Center, he has helped build nearly 20 companies as either a co-founder, board member, advisor, or angel investor. These companies range from high-performance motorcycles to SaaS tools for continuous improvement. He has advised over 300 companies around the world in lean transformation, including Intel, Harley-Davidson, Crayola, BMW, and Amazon. Jamie co-authored the popular book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, and continues to share his experiences as a Contributing Editor forIndustryWeek and as a blogger at JamieFlinchbaugh.com. He holds degrees from Lehigh University, University of Michigan, and MIT, and continues to teach and mentor on campus. Jamie is best known for helping to transform how we think about lean from a tools-centric model to one based on principles and behaviors. His passion for lean transformation comes from seeking to unlock the great potential that people possess to build inspiring organizations.

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  1. Joe Wilson says

    I’ve read enough of her work in “Powered by Honda” to realize I don’t need to see any more. What could have been a Honda equivalent to The Toyota Way, but years before, ended up being a 300 page advertisement for Honda’s purchasing group.

    However, I am completely shocked at the amount of people who ask the question, “What’s after Lean?”. I’m pretty sure that the answer doesn’t come solely from procurement, but I’m sure that there are bunches of people who don’t understand Lean who are asking the question.

    1. PEMoody says

      Joe, just stumbled on your post on Mark’s blog from way back in 2006- wow, that was an amazing review of Powered by Honda. When we published that book BP, Honda’s production/purchasing system was having a strong impact on profit margins, and Honda just reported profit margins – again – that beat Toyota. What do you suppose is happening? Of course we’ve done a few more books since then, but sorry to hear you didn’t like the Honda book. I still like thinking “Beyond Lean” because there is so much money to be saved with Strategic Sourcing and spend management. Best regards, pemoody

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