Virginia Roberson is part of our INDUSTRIAL team on a fact-finding mission to surface the technologies and trends impacting manufacturers and to share what we discover along the way.
Industrials are planners. Every shop floor manager has a contingency plan for a temporary production disruption or a disaster recovery strategy in the event of a fire, earthquake, or flood.
But in the words of Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face.”
Many manufacturers are probably feeling coronavirus-sucker-punched right now. There are ways to fight back. IndustryWeek is producing a wealth of stories from manufacturers who are turning to their Lean roots to survive the "new economic normal."
As many of you already know, Lean is derived from Toyota Kata, which focuses on reducing waste while simultaneously maximizing productivity. Lean is a philosophy that includes several execution methods, such as hoshin kanri.
Hoshin kanri can provide clarity into shop floor operations so managers can initiate specific actions, including setting goals, developing projects based on clarified needs, and assigning tasks for each department “silo.”
Most importantly, this execution tool translates company objectives into concrete plans at every level of the organization and creates alignment across all horizontal and vertical functional silos.
As aptly stated by Lean specialist Dan Markovitz in a recent article on the value of hoshin kanri in a time of crisis,"You need a plan before you rush into the fire—or before you send your team into the fire."
Mr. Markovitz is preaching to the choir. As industrials, we’re all reassessing our business contingency plans and looking for new ideas to stay operational or get the lights back on.
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