Podcast #307 – Andre DeMerchant, “You Can’t Cut Your Way to Success” in Healthcare or Otherwise

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Joining me for Episode #307 of the podcast is my friend Andre DeMerchant, the President of DeMerchant Healthcare Solutions Inc., based in Kitchener, Ontario. We first crossed paths when we had the chance to work together with an American healthcare client via our then-affiliation with Pascal Dennis and Lean Pathways.

In today's episode, we talk about Andre's history working for Toyota in Canada and what he learned there — and why it's important that he learned about “how flow works” at Toyota. We chat about the terms “Lean” and “The Toyota Production System” and what those words mean to him. How does TPS “transcend culture and language,” as well as industries?

We then shift to talking about healthcare and some of the common challenges, including “financial hardships,” that are faced in many countries. Why are hospitals “poorly prepared for change” in many cases? Another main theme is “cost cutting” and why you can't cut your way to success.

Streaming Player:


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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/307.

Topics and Info for this Episode:

  • Two big issues currently facing healthcare:
    • Pending change with no countermeasure
    • Financial hardship
    • Is this true in the U.S. and Canada?
    • Is it possible to wait to improve until there's less uncertainty?
  • Why is “cost cutting” the approach taken by many organizations?
  • Why?
    • Lack of forward vision—ineffective strategies, lack of deployment
    • Further whys?
  • What happens now?
    • Can Lean help even at this late stage?
    • Parallels to manufacturing of 40/50 years ago

Video of Andre:

More Info:

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android apps, or via Apple Podcasts.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher. Please leave us a review and rating!

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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