5 Reasons You Need to Go Lean

Pets.com sock puppet

Image by niallkennedy via Flickr

Do you remember Webvan.com?  They were the online grocer who raised over $300 (US) million in their IPO.  They built a gigantic infrastructure including a $1 billion order for warehousing to support on-line grocery shopping.  They peaked in value at $1.2 billion but crashed when they could not generate enough business in a business with razor-thin margins.[tweetmeme]

What about Kozmo.com?  They were the guys who offered free home delivery of videos, snacks, and the like with no minimum order.  They found that they could not make money delivering one candy bar at a time.

Maybe you remember Pets.com.  If nothing else, you may remember the cute advertising and sock puppet.  Unfortunately for the investors who handed them $82.5 million, they did little well besides making entertaining commercials.


Image by GDS Infographics via Flickr

So what do these companies, YadaYada.com, Kibu.com, Flooz.com all have in common?  That’s right, they were major failures on the dot.com bubble.  These start-ups attracted investors with the lure of the new world-wide-web and with spectacular marketing campaigns but were not in business for the long haul. While it may be unlikely that your company is on a bubble similar to the dot-com era, many companies are still making short-sighted decisions.


Is your business making decisions that are healthy for the long run?

Lean Manufacturing is all about doing things right – even making short-term sacrifices for the long-term success.  Lean Manufacturing at its best allows you to use operational excellence as a strategic weapon.  Jeffrey Liker describes in The Toyota Way how you can dramatically improve your business by:

  1. Eliminating wasted time and resources
  2. Building quality into workplace systems
  3. Finding low-cost but reliable alternatives to expensive new technology
  4. Perfecting business processes
  5. Building a learning culture for continuous improvement

[tweetmeme]Lean Manufacturing is for those who are dedicated to long-term success.  Continuous Improvement can be a sustainable competitive advantage.  Where are you and your company?  Are you a textbook example of Lean?  Is your organization making short-term decisions similar to the dot-com era?  You are most likely somewhere in between.  Even those who say they are Lean are often just dabbling in Continuous Improvement.

What is holding you and your company back?  Are you ready for the long-term success of Lean Manufacturing?

Best regards,
Chris Paulsen
Lean Leadership Blog
Written for the Consumer Goods Club


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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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