Dan Jones takes a walk through two complete supply chains. The first from vegetable grower through a consolidation warehouse to a Distribution Centre and then to a Tesco store. The second a virtual walk through the supply chains of an aerospace manufacturer. He reflects on the learning points.
A Managing Director of a small engineering firm was seeking help on his lean journey. After contacting his local university, one of the most prestigious in the country, they sent two postgraduate students to show him how to draw a Value Stream Map. However they stumbled when it came to what next.
Lean Thinkers never take the current state for granted. For example, rather than optimising the flow of products through a bottleneck process, they think hard about how to design right-sized equipment to insert in the value stream and eliminate the bottleneck.
Everywhere I go it is increasingly obvious that Lean principles cannot progress in operations alone. Once you begin to straighten out your physical flows you have to involve all the supporting processes in the offices.