Podcast #307 – Andre DeMerchant, “You Can’t Cut Your Way to Success” in Healthcare or Otherwise
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.
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?
- What are some downsides?
- Are they just “doing cost cutting wrong” or is there more to it than that?
- Article about GM and Toyota – laying off or not laying off staff in the same scenario
- Blog posts about healthcare “flexing“
- Is flexing “a temporary solution?”
- Why would you lay off your Lean or Operational Excellence group when you need them most?
- How is Lean a better approach?
- Why “respect for people” and a “social conscience” matters
- 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:
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