Lean Management

Through a common friend, I got introduced to Andrew Cheah a “Lean Management” specialist who is presently in the country, sharing his skills and helping Mauritian enterprises to improve their productivity. His tour of Mauritius is under the aegis of Enterprise Mauritius.

As it was last Friday, the eve of Diwali, my friend very appropriately, hosted the meeting at Indra the Indian restaurant where we had a delicious dinner. The Indian music and the north Indian cuisine, though not so lean created the décor for discovery of Andrew Cheah’s knowledge and competences.I thus was enlightened on Diwali

I found common grounds with his expertise and the experiences. It reminded me of the time, I went through in 1997 and there after when I was given the task to redress ailing companies. In Socal, the then Renault car agency and Sunquick bottling plant, my team applied Gemba Kaizen systems to streamline our processes and to bring in higher productivity and performance. As far as I can recall, our net productivity gain in the first month after the Gemba kaizen’s initial implementation, was calculated to be 20%. Stunning isn’t it? Gemba Kaizen is the essence of lean manufacturing, and some experts name the Japanese based systems as the TPS( Toyota Production System).

You may be interested to read the 14 management principles detailed by Jeffrey K Liker in his book entitled “The Toyota way.” I am willing to share the documents I have on the subject,

The success formula in any business or enterprise is conceptually simple: increase your output and reduce the cost of your input cut all wastes. Easily said isn’t it? The devil is not in the “What”, it is in the “How”. Execution is the key. Lean Management, TPS, Gemba Kaizen, Six Sigma, and others are system tools that give the methods. Lean Management can be and should be applied through out what we do. It then becomes a habit, a way of life,

You will recall under the impulse of the NPCC which was then lead by Nikhil Treebhoohun, a vast popular campaign was launched to cut waste in everything that we do. “Muda” was used as the buzz word. It would seem that we as a nation have lost the benefit of this movement because after the spark there has been no sustained action. The campaign was short lived because it did not become a way of life of Mauritians. Just like to live in a clean environment has become a way of life for the Singaporeans. I can tell you on my ever first visit to Singapore, way back in 1967, I can vouch that Singapore was a filthy, smelly, dirty seaport infested with flies and mosquitoes. No focus, no persistence, no follow through, equal no success!

We discuss at length with Andrew, precisely on the sustainability of the “Lean Management” which integrates a follow through and ensure that the enterprise continuously remain Lean. “KAIZEN” is the magic word.

Thanks Emmauel for the introduction of Andrew.


#1 Andrew on 10.24.06 at 9:59 pm

Joseph is absolutely right when he mentions of sustaining the effort. Lean is always known by most by its tools such as Kanban, 5S, SMED, TPM,… However, what most important is to create a Lean culture that have everyone start looking at what they are doing to see whether it is something that the customers care for. To create this culture, you need to have the top management support and perseverance to put the system in place.

For further discussion, you can always write to me at acheah@leanadvisors.com

#2 Olivier on 10.26.06 at 8:38 am

Interesting. Gemba Kaizen is about change in culture as well as being a process.
Corporate culture is such an important thing.

A software development analogue would be “Agile Development”.

#3 joseph on 10.26.06 at 4:43 pm

Thanks never heard of Agile Development . Will investigate.

#4 Ten Practices for Making Innovation at Joseph’s blog on 10.26.06 at 8:00 pm

[…] After Lean Management which is a “Toyota” much acclaimed management system to be model from for our busineeses, I take much pleasure in sharing the practices of Toyota in making Innovation happen. […]

#5 Kaizen Institute at Joseph’s blog on 03.05.07 at 10:41 pm

[…] More so, in today’s difficult times, lean management is the way to remain competitive. This system of operation is often also called the Toyota way as most of the tools proposed by the Kaizen Institute were originally inspired by Toyota manufacturing methods. […]

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