Thanks to blog reader Steve for sending this my way. This article has some examples of how GE is using Lean to drive improvements across business units. Ideally, this is how a business (such as power systems) should benefit from being part of a conglomerate – common processes and sharing of ideas (such as lean).
The locomotive division showed how G.E. techniques helped it discern that customers wanted to speed up the time between order and delivery, and then to whittle that time down to 10 days from 31.
The consumer finance division showed how it was using the same tools to shorten the 63 days it takes for G.E. to agree to administer a store's private-label credit card.
Going from 31 days to 10 days is the typical scale of cycle time improvements that can be achieved using lean. I bet they can still get faster than 10 days.
The article focuses less on Lean methods and more about how Wall St. looks at GE.
“We are definitely honing the total G.E. message, trying to make everyone understand how the pieces of G.E. fit together,” said Keith S. Sherin, the chief financial officer. “Investors should realize that G.E.'s management spends tons of time focusing on processes to achieve growth.”
Does Wall St. understand processes? Or just the end-result, bottom-line numbers? It seems that they only focus on the numbers. I guess, at some point, you might just have to just manage the business the best you can and hope that the Wall St. results follow? I bet you get into more trouble by focusing only on Wall St. and trying to “jumpstart” your stock, as that can be a distraction from customers, employees, and processes.
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