Lean Doesn’t Have To Be Mean
G U E S T A R T I C L E
recently attended a Training Within Industry (TWI) workshop hosted by ASQ Ottawa and Nessis Inc. taught by Richard Evans. I wrote about some of the things he discussed in R&D? More Like Rob and Duplicate. But there are things that he had said that keep coming back to me.
Being lean essentially means that a company is committed to improving upon its business practices. Lean ideology is a natural progression of a capitalist economy. Companies are in competition with one another, and therefore the best company is going to win more contracts. Therefore companies are going to strive to be better than one another. They will be continuously improving.
Richard mentioned a survey – called the 2020 Survey – that was handed out by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters to survey 500 organizations in Canada. One of the questions on it was “Are you currently or over the next 5 years intending to apply lean?”. 65% said no. A lot of people would go “oh wow that’s terrible.” But what that really means is that 65% do not know what lean is. Ask “Do you have any intent to improve your business over the next 5 years?” then you would get a 100% yes.
There is an undeserved stigma on lean. Some people joke that lean is actually an acronym that stands for Less Employees Are Needed. And while this may be a dark joke that we mutter to each other whenever management wants to implement a change that we don’t agree with, the continued reinforcement of lean being the enemy has made all of our jobs harder and more precarious.
So what does lean do? Lean makes companies more efficient. This means they can do more, faster, without waste. But the thing is that human labour is so multifaceted that it is always valuable. If you have 10 trained employees and you apply lean methods that allow for 5 people to do the work of 10, then no good company is going to reduce its workforce by half. Instead it is going to recognize that it can now produce twice as much and open a second line. That means they can meet deadlines faster. The company now has doubled its productive time which means it has room for more contracts. Also, the company is more likely to win contracts because they are that much faster. It creates room for exponential improvement.
Lean means eliminate WASTE. Attract MORE contracts.
If this is something that you think you would be interested in doing, feel free to hop over to www.nessis.ca where we can help you grow. Because when you win, we win.
About the author:
Trevor Brookes is currently working with the Nessis Incorporated. He is responsible for updating the companies social media, generating digital content, and facilitating meetings between clients and sales representatives. Trevor is also a professional actor and has been connected with InVision Artists Talent Management. He has also presented a workshop “Implement TWI in your workplace and improve your company’s efficiency”, organized on November 9, 2016 by Nessis Inc. and ASQ Ottawa. View Trevor’s full profile at Linkedin.
This article has been produced with permission. Title picture is not associated with the original writing and is the property of ASQ Ottawa Valley Section.