Experience Implementing Lean Systems: Most writings on lean
have to do with assembly line flow, in the real world this is the furthest thing from the truth. Many industry types
abound and the majority process, and will continue to process, in batch. An understanding of these different industries
show strength in your coach. Having implemented 4 or 5 successful lean initiatives is not the experience needed, look
for someone that has coached, learned from and has had successful sustainability in 40 to 50 client sites.
Creditability: A successful coach will have the ability to motivate your
work force from the shop floor to the boardroom. The coach should be able to translate the philosophies of lean to all
levels; bring out the knowledge from the shop floor and transition ownership of the process to the site management.
Action: Your coach should be very demanding of you and your team.
Results should be the main focus and an attitude of DO IT! DO IT NOW! Results come from you and your team and
stalling for a moment puts you behind. Lean builds upon itself and you cannot move forward until you finish the previous
discipline, therefore, you should hear “You’re not moving fast enough” quite often, if not, you have not
chosen wisely. Having been trained by some of the best trainers at Toyota I have heard more than once, “Business
is war” and “We can never rest in our search for waste”.
Look for a coach that has an overall proven process. A process that will not only give you quick gains and returns
from quick hitting activities, but one that will give a sustainable return and foster continuous improvement long after they
have finished their contract. Be very aware of those that are, or have, a “solution looking for a problem”!
When you are looking at their process the ROI should exceed a minimum of 10 to 1. These gains are not only on the shoulders
of the coach but on the pressure and time you apply to your operation, but ROI has to be a driving force in choosing a coach
for your team.
The coach should be able to walk onto the production floor on his initial visit, spend a couple of hours asking questions
and walking the value stream from shipping dock to the point of schedule and offer you a vision of FLOW. Having
"eyes for flow" and "eyes for waste" ,after all, is what you are hiring them for.
Value vs Cost: When you start your search for a lean
practitioner to help transform your operation into a World Class organization, going with the “low-cost bidder”
may save you thousands and cost you millions! Choose wisely, the best value is generally NOT the least expensive.
Remember, this is literally “major surgery” for your company! Hire the best, the pay off in the end is well worth