You’ve heard all the reasons. Probably many even came from you.
You’re being asked by the C-suite or your Private Equity partner to make improvements that you don’t know how to do as rapidly or to the depth you are being asked to. Your process owners tell you all of their processes are “optimized” (whatever that means!). Your culture isn’t right for or your organization thinks you have already checked the box for ___________ (lean, six sigma, OPEX, TPM,… Fill in the blank). You are asked for aggressive results but aren’t given the means to do it. And the list goes on.
The list is long and unless you are one of those rare handful of companies that is the market leader / low cost producer in your business segment, you are dead wrong.
Even though I came out of one of the best learning environments of this generation – Motorola then AlliedSignal then GE – I’ve never been tied to labels like Lean, Six Sigma, TPM, or Shainin. To think that a prescribed method implemented to a template is all you will ever need is insane. We started running into companies a decade ago that were looking for the next magic bullet and would start every conversation with something like “we’ve implemented Lean and Six Sigma and we’re looking to move to the next level”. We started countering them with no you haven’t which was not very effective. We then learned to ask them if we could see the operation that was having the greatest difficulty and then show them how to significantly improve the operation with a payback on the investment of at least 3 to 1 in the following 12 months. It’s usually greater than 10 to 1.
We’ve labeled the idea the 10/90 challenge. This is how it works.
1) In ten days or less, we will identify specifically what can be done in the following 90 days that will give demonstratively better results that will impact safety, output, or customer satisfaction. Of course we ask for complete transparency – access to financials, data, process, people, and systems. We will take on any process wherever it lies in the order to delivery cycle including any and all planning processes.
2) In the following 90 days, we put a team of two into the process and make significant gains – enough to at least give the 3 to 1 return. Of course we insist on complete cooperation of all stakeholders including access to key stakeholders for a few hours a week away from their work and reviews on a regular cycle (weekly locally, monthly with Leadership).
3) We then have a discussion of the return for working the entire system.
The truth is there are no silver bullets. Teaching popular methods alone doesn’t mean squat. Having leadership in favor of change doesn’t mean squat. Hiring someone from GE, P&G, or __________ (fill in the blank of the latest company that has a rock star CEO) doesn’t mean squat.
If you want to know what does mean squat, call me.
(586) 412-9609 office