It may just be me, but it appears that the number of companies citing lean manufacturing in their financial reports, news releases, and general news articles has been increasing. Of course many of them really have no idea what lean is really about, or perhaps they only understand the waste reduction pillar without even knowing about respect for people. Lean is apparently becoming a requirement, or even an analogy, for success.
Let’s take a look at news stories for just the past twelve or so hours via the Google News aggregator. Some are actual stories and some are press releases.
- Brahmin Leather Works – In 2000, it adopted “lean manufacturing,” a concept pioneered by Toyota, that has reduced its Fairhaven order turnaround time from two or three weeks to four days.
- Eggrock – Eggrock produces customized, ready-to-install bathrooms for the multi-unit residential market. Eggrock said its bathrooms reduce construction time and costs while improving quality in a room that is critical to multi-unit construction.
- Challenger Powerboats – In just the past several months alone our gross margins have improved dramatically due to the implementation of strict ‘Lean Manufacturing’ principles and processes.
- Federal-Mogul – The Company’s leading technology and innovation, lean manufacturing expertise, as well as marketing and distribution deliver world-class products, brands and services with quality excellence at a competitive cost.
- Bell Helicopter Textron – Production officials with Bell Helicopter Textron here say lean manufacturing processes put in place in 2005 are proving out so well that an extra V-22 Osprey can be programmed for final assembly over and above initial planning requirements this year, bringing the total for 2007 production to 15.
That’s enough for now… you get the picture. Some look like real successes, some look like worthless self-promotion. But lean is in, perhaps too much so.
Let’s just keep it real.