Expert Insight: Lean Thinking
  By Mike Loughrin  
  June 12 , 2007  

Lean Supply Chains: Crafting a Lean Audit


Employee Empowerment and Flexibility Are Key; Provide Your Input

Loughrin Says:
As a demonstration of walking the talk – this is a collaborative product development project.

What do you say? Send us your comments here

Thanks to each of you who provided insight for our development of a lean supply chain audit as described in our first article (See Let's Get Lean in 2007) from Lean Thinking at SCDigest. We are using the information you provided to enhance our current draft of an audit program and will seek additional comments in the near future.

As a demonstration of walking the talk – this is a collaborative product development project. A sampling on how thought leaders will benefit from this collaboration includes two interesting items:

  • Employee Empowerment - One company has recently developed an employee questionnaire designed to measure quantifiable aspects of a lean initiative from the eyes of hourly employees. They have applied a rigorous approach to ensure they ask the right questions and then utilize the information to find opportunities for improvement. I will share more about this program after gaining a better understanding and securing approval from the company involved.
  • Go Lean and Green - Another company is demonstrating the ability to push the boundaries on where lean concepts can be applied and how our lean supply chain audit will need to be flexible. This company has embraced lean as the foundation of their operational excellence initiative. They are sending multiple people through our Certified Lean Master program including their Facilities Manager. This individual is now working to eliminate waste in the value stream that supplies energy to the manufacturing and administrative areas. He is finding that the 5 principles of lean and lean tool kit are an excellent fit for a project that will deliver a big cost reduction and promote the desire for a greener supply chain.

Call to Action

While we are off to a great start, we know that some of you have hesitated and have not yet provided your insights. You need to stop procrastinating!

Send your ideas on what you feel should be included in a lean supply chain audit. You have the chance to impact the collaborative development of a tool that we intend to position as the global standard for defining a lean supply chain.

As mentioned in our inaugural article – our goal is to be your source for knowledge and the sharing of ideas in crafting lean supply chains.

Send your ideas to:

Agree or disgree with our expert's perspective? What would you add? Let us know your thoughts for publication in the SCDigest newsletter Feedback section, and on the web site. Upon request, comments will be posted with the respondents name or company withheld.

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