The structure defines the flexibility of an enterprise

By Masaaki Imai Why humans can walk upright and apes can not, if the skeletons are relatively similar What enables us to walk in an upright position while the monkey has to do it on all fours are the differences in bone structure. We have a lighter bone structure, suitable for an upright, while apes have a heavy bone structure, with strong shoulders and pelvis, adapted for walking on all fours. Currently there are two types of production systems: the traditional production system, based on projections of sales and manufacturing-stock (pending sales estimates are met), and the production system (JIT) which produces only what the customer wants at the time the customer wants. The production system as a cause of problems But forecasts are never reliable, and this is now truer than ever. In a globally competitive environment conditions are constantly changing, and companies that manufacture in accordance with the traditional production system can not react flexibly to market changes.The vast majority of companies around the world continue to work with the traditional production system, and the main problem is that management of these companies do not even realize that the cause of their problems is precisely the system of production that are using. The result is higher inventory levels, high labor costs, quality problems, lack of flexibility, etc.. The management of these companies have to wake up and recognize first what the main problem, the root problem, to realize that Lean System is the only way to survive in this globalized world in which we live. Certainly there is a mantra that should banish: Read well understood and implemented does not necessarily mean job cuts. By contrast, only a Lean production can ensure the continuity of the business and therefore jobs in the long term. Another important aspect is the costs, which are obviously important.But one should speak of “management costs” rather than “cost reduction”. “Cost reduction” means inevitably in most cases to job cuts and buy cheaper materials. However, “management of costs “means the optimization of material flow and information, alignment, creating the basis for flexible and free of debris within an effective cost structure. The Lean system (or Kaizen) provides methods and tools to transform the company step by step in a Lean organization. Without the introduction of methods such as 5S, Kanban, One Piece Flow never be achieved important changes. But we must not forget that the introduction of these methodologies is necessary but by no means sufficient. Furthermore, it is often thought that the Read only allows small improvements, but can not be a radical change, a big jump.