Nissan and Lean Dealerships


    From today's Automotive News (not freely available online):

    Industrial engineers trained in the fine points of Japanese manufacturing are about to descend on some Nissan dealerships. Their goal: teach retailers an industrial practice called “standardized work,” an auto factory method that Nissan and other manufacturers believe makes workers more productive and more focused on quality.

    Former Toyota factory manager Doug Betts is leading the effort:

    “Some of our dealers are restricted by capacity issues,” Betts says. “In some cases they're making customers unhappy by making them wait for the service they need.
    “If we can show them that, just through better practices, they can run 20 percent more cars through their service bays without spending any more money on their building and without hiring any more people, that will be attractive to them.”

    The article mentions how dealers might resist the changes. Sure, if they were told “we're coming in to do standard work.” The response might be much more receptive if they focus on goals that matter to the dealers (increased service revenue and better customer service).

    You have to focus on the “Why” for lean. Why are we doing lean? Stay focused on that and make sure you explain it to folks. Don't just “do lean.”

    Nissan's message
    Here's what Nissan will tell dealers.

    • Dealership performance can improve without investment.
    • Workers are more efficient when they follow standard procedures.
    • When routines are consistent, workers can spot problems faster.

    Is Toyota doing any of this??

    Keywords: Toyota, Nissan, Lean Manufacturing, Auto Dealers

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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