The future of lean is exciting. It will allow for the elimination of waste and the increase of value to customers. Volumes of quality data on customers allow customers to get an even better insight into customer behavior. And when those customer behavior insights are integrated with operations, companies are able to enhance the classic lean maxim “learning to see.”
“Lean-production techniques have been revolutionizing operations for 50 years. Advances in technology, psychology, and analytics may make the next 50 even more exciting.” This excerpt comes from the McKinsey Quarterly, an insights publication by McKinsey and Company celebrating the next frontiers of management thought.
Highlights from the Research
New technologies, new analytical tools make looking at customers with more precision possible. Seeing what your customer truly values allows you to supply them with the ideal product or service. We have seen tools including CRM adapt in recent years to give better insights into customer behavior. Lean applies most strongly to manufacturing, but the techniques can be extended beyond into other areas. One example is with e-commerce giant, Amazon.
Read why Amazon’s former head of global operations, Marc Onetto, thought the company was as natural place to apply lean principles.
Standardizing Procedures Saves Time
Lean techniques seek to improve product and service quality while simultaneously reducing waste and labor cost, found John McPherson and Adrian Mitchell in another McKinsey publication. The example used by was a restaurant that needed to save time on its sandwich creation. Similarly, we have found that the standardization of processes using ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) saves an immense amount of time. Also, use cases are often able to be automated and where a shipping manager had to manually type in label information, the ERP system correctly fills in those details and then automatically prints the required labels.
What do you think: How has automation or lean techniques aided your business?