Is lean alone enough? Many companies attempt to convert from traditional to the new manufacturing by relying exclusively on lean tools. Hospitals and offices too. In keeping with core lean principles, they focus on reducing the time component of a process–attacking time as a cost factor in order to increase profit margin. That means reducing cycle time as well. Listen as Gwendolyn Galsworth begins a discussion thread on the interface between lean and visual. (Fasten your seatbelts because, in a few shows, this thread will bring us face to face with the role of 5S to help or hinder.) Make no bones about it: lean (time-based improvement) is a critical step in transforming the enterprise and increasing profit margins. But impressive gains that improving your critical path can generate will erode over time—and not that much time—if you don’t take specific steps to build sustainability through visual workplace technologies.
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