Each month new articles, book reviews, and other content are added to the Superfactory website. The new content is featured in the monthly e-newsletter which goes out to 50,000 subscribers worldwide, and we will also post a monthly heads-up on this blog.
New content in March includes:
Last January Jim Womack sent an e-letter to the Lean community
titled "Beyond Lean", meaning that it was time for the Lean
community to move beyond its benchmark company, Toyota. Perhaps so, but
there is still much to learn from them, including how Lean thinking is
not actually part of anyone's DNA. Lean leaders can make decisions that
are just as dumb as anyone else. While it may be appropriate to move
beyond Toyota, we must remain firmly fixed on the "Continuous
Improvement" and "Respect for People" principles, practice Lean
management in a non-zero-sum manner, and achieve flow in demand-driven
buyers' markets for goods and services.
In his e-letter to the Lean community, Jim said:
"Lean methods for product development, fulfillment from order to delivery,
supply stream management, customer support, and management of the overall
enterprise are now well known and widely accepted in concept. We’ve won the
battle of ideas on how to operate and improve processes. But creating
management systems and organizations that can practice (not just preach)
lean every day year after year turns out to be a lot harder. "
While the last sentence is accurate, I very much disagree that Lean
methods are "now well known and widely accepted in concept" and that
"we've won the battle of ideas." If that were true – even only in
concept – there would be a year of headlines in The Wall Street Journal
about the death of conventional management (the editorial page would go
berserk); neoclassical economists would torch their shops and take the
insurance money; Yasuhiro Monden, Art Byrne, Gary Kaplan, Brian
Maskell, and Cliff Ransom would become full-time analysts on CNBC; and
every course in business schools worldwide would undergo massive
There may be no more iconic American brand than Harley-Davidson. But
like many storied companies, Harley has had to evolve to stay on top
and at times its very existence has been threatened. Practically
extinct in the mid-1980's, the company began a miraculous turnaround
centered on a product development and manufacturing revolution. With
dramatic improvements in efficiency and bottom-line results, Harley
returned to dominance. At the core of this incredible story was author
Dantar Oosterwal, who brings the transformation of Harley-Davidson to
life in "The Lean Machine". Filled with crucial lessons for any product
development environment, it's also a great American success story.
Our partner Gemba Academy is celebrating its one year anniversary by running a promotion. During the month of March the first 500 subscribers to an online training video package will also receive the equivalent DVD package at no additional cost. As an example, with the Complete Lean Package of 73 video modules this promotion is worth $795! Learn more here.
We continually update the other major sections of the website, including:
- PowerPoint Presentations: Over 115 downloadable PowerPoint presentations on lean manufacturing, lean leadership, lean industries, quality, lean enterprise, and safety concepts. Special promotion: purchase a Package or Bundle of presentations and receive the Gemba Academy Lean Starter Package DVD ($97 value) at no cost.
- Factory Toolbox: Almost 300 downloadable forms, procedure templates, assessments, and tools to help you not reinvent the wheel.
- Events Calendar: a listing of lean excellence seminars, workshops, training, and conferences worldwide
- Topic Information: Summaries and resources on over 40 enterprise excellence topics.
- Virtual Factory Tours: Web and streaming video tours of over 100 factories.
For all you LinkedIn junkies, we have created a LinkedIn group for Superfactory, which now has over 3,500 members. Join the group to network with other Superfactory enthusiasts and to show our logo on your profile. If you haven't explored LinkedIn, check it out to see why over 17 million professionals use it for networking.
We are always looking for new articles and other content. Contact us via the Superfactory website if you would like to contribute to our knowledge base.