LeanBlog Podcast #14 is a discussion with Dave Gleditsch, the Chief Technology Officer for Pelion Systems, a leading provider of software for lean manufacturing applications. I first met Dave after I read his Industry Week columns and traded some emails with him. He has a great background in manufacturing and lean, so I think he has an interesting perspective to share on lean and technology. Don’t worry, this podcast isn’t a sales pitch for Pelion’s software. I think you’ll enjoy the discussion.
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Show Notes and Approximate Time, Episode #14
- 2:00 What prompted you to write your first column?
- 2:30 The real issue was a poor definition of what lean really is, lean has some very concrete things for improving and innovating.
- 3:30 It’s not just cost cutting, it’s about maximizing customer value with the minimum required resources.
- 4:20 At American Standard, lean helped save the company, but it also became a platform for growth
- 5:00 Do traditionally cost driven people automatically focus on lean as only a cost cutting tool?
- 6:00 In the boardrooms, the real cost is gross margin expansion — impacting the top line AND the bottom line (lean and six sigma are great tools for that). You can’t just cut costs on the path to growth.
- 7:00 How first introduced to lean concepts?
- 9:20 Had a lot of lean experience at HP in the 1980’s, worked with Shingo, Hall, Schonberger, etc. Had to try to interpret the original Shingo “Green Book.”( A Study of the Toyota Production System from an Industrial Engineering Viewpoint)
- 10:40 Hall’s book Zero Inventories
- 11:00 Dave working with Shigeo Shingo
- 12:00 More about Dave’s experiences with lean at American Standard
- 15:20 What is Pelion Systems? What services and technology do they offer?
- 18:40 Pelion had the first web kanban portal
- 19:10 What business problem is Pelion helping to solve?
- 20:45 Can technology help speed up or further a culture change?
- 24:00 You have to look at more than manufacturing, but also at how different parts of the companies work together.
- 25:20 What about the The Toyota Way principle about technology? “Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.” What about the anti-technology bias that tends to exist in the lean world?
- 30:15 What about companies who have been burned by ERP or technology promises in the past? Does that make it challenging for a software company today? What about technology vendors who seem to promise a “silver bullet” solution for manufacturers?
- 35:00 Is the software industry learning from past rollout mistakes? Are companies using the technology evolving?
- 35:25 How Pelion operates with a clear customer charter, business case, etc.
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