One of the most misunderstood aspect of Lean transformation is that it’s perceived to be inward looking and not customer centric.
Just how off the mark is this flawed theory, is what I’ve tried to answer below:
Nimish: The answer of course is very strategic. Before you can deliver more value to your customers you have to remove the waste from your own value adding activities.
Lean is all about removing waste from your value adding activities to get to a state of continuous improvement. It is strategic because it allows you to deliver more value to your customers than your competitors can. Therefore the main focus is always on the customer.
Determine what the customer sees as value and then focus your efforts on removing the waste that stands in the way of delivering that value. This is true for any business, not just manufacturers.
Once you have removed the first layer of waste then you go back again and again to keep removing more. The idea of continuous improvement is not a dream, it is the reality of how a lean company behaves every day. There is no such thing as “when will we be done?” when talking about continuous improvement.
So, don’t be fooled, all of the things we do in lean to improve our value adding activities are aimed at being able to deliver more value to our customers.
As a result they are always customer-focused and not inward-focused.