This is a timely reminder for those companies who consider themselves to be Lean to take another long hard look at themselves.
The authors demonstrate that within the four walls of the production plant many manufacturers have put into practice Lean principles, but they go on to demonstrate that all the company has succeeded in doing is optimise a small part of the real value chain. The Authors criticise short-sighted approaches to Lean which provide little or no benefit for the customer and loses the opportunity for companies to differentiate their business.
The next competitive advantage will be gained by those companies who are brave and confident enough to really start connecting their value chains to the customer (end-user) and their suppliers.
Often companies say things like, ‘we have enough to worry about getting our own part of the business sorted out without worrying about what our suppliers or distributors are doing’ this thinking illustrates the problem the authors are discussing and provide direction for companies who simply cannot think outside the box let alone work outside their box.
This is well written, researched and provides a clear direction for lean Manufacturers, lets hope it does not take another century for them to learn.