In underperforming operations, managers know there are issues but they are too busy putting out fires to focus on fixing the problems. Band aid solutions are put into place while the root cause of the initial problem hasn’t been addressed. Firefighting is no way to run an effective organization. The best place to start addressing reoccurring and ongoing problems is to go back to the basics and do an honest assessment of your operations.

Ask yourself, “What do the customers need and what is preventing that from happening”? For Lean practitioners that means understanding value and waste. Learn to see your value streams and start making the necessary changes to meet those customer needs. As you walk through your operations you will quickly see what is preventing the products and services from flowing to your customers. Inventory is piling up, orders are being expedited, defects & rework, congested work areas, poor work flow, and safety concerns. Change is required.

Getting everyone to understanding the need for change is not always easy. Not everyone sees things that same way.

Lean process improvement will create a problem solving culture. It takes knowledge and effort, so you will need some training for your people and facilitated implementation support.