The Lean Accounting Glass isn't half empty – it's more like 99%+ empty. The hundreds of mostly financial folks descending on Las Vegas this week for the Lean Accounting Summit represent a drop in the bucket when you think about the thousands of manufacturing companies and their financial leadership who should be here, but it has the look and feel of a glass that is rapidly filling up. It is rewarding beyond words to see how far Lean Accounting has gone to transform manufacturing in the five short years since the first Summit.
Next week I am off to New Zealand for Lean Management/Lean Accounting seminars in Auckland and Wellington. The following week I will be leading Lean Accounting seminars in Australiain Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Those events are shaping up to be a Who's Who of manufacturers in the South Pacific. Lean Accounting has turned out to be the key that unlocks a whole new world of opportunity for manufacturing, and seeing it grow roots and start to take hold in Australia has been exhilarating. We are already planning a first Pacific Lean Accounting Summit for Australia for next year. It seems inevitable that the watershed between the companies that get it and those that don't will start to appear in the Pacific region in the same manner as it is in the US.
The simple fact is that a worn out manufacturer who still wants to set prices based on marking up standard costs has no competitive chance against one that uses lean accounting data to price strategically.
Manufacturers who still want to focus on hammering their value creating activities – suppliers and direct labor mostly – cannot succeed against one that uses lean accounting information to bolster value adding while relentlessly driving out waste.
Manufacturers who think they can parse their business down to profitable and unprofitable products and think in terms of profitable or unprofitable customers might as well pack their bags and get their Chinese visas up to date because the companies that manage their business holistically through the lean accounting prism will overwhelm them.
Spending time with so many people from so many companies that really get it and are emerging as the ones who are growing and winning largely on the strength of their lean business model is exciting and rewarding. I am really looking forward to the next few weeks both here and among the Kiwis and Aussies. Hope to see you somewhere along the way.