Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Case Challenge that will set your foot into the Lean Transformation Consulting space

I would have made this blog a boring one by just writing down an article “Lean Transformation for a Textile Manufacturer” but I am not going to do that here. Rather I will take a case based approach to explain you what happened. I will request all of you to first read the case challenge and try to analyze based on your learning this week and then look as the analysis of the case.

Client: Leading Textile Manufacturer of India
Annual Sales: $15 billion++
Employees: 48000+

Case Challenge
Rising input costs and shrinking margins spotlighted the need for heightened efficiency. Long production lead times and large inventories were just some of the places that needed a complete makeover. The client tried to implement six sigma capabilities but nothing improved. As a part of the new initiative launched by the CEO the manufacturer sought a firm foundation for Lean Transformation and performance improvement.

You are an external consultant and you have been given the lead role in transforming the business by using Lean Manufacturing methodology. Do a step by step analysis of how you will execute this challenge.

After the project kick off the first thing that needs to be done is involve all the key stakeholders and conduct their interviews and try to understand what their opinions and ideas, besides this also try to clear if there is any smoke. After you are clear what is actually desired out of you meet the functional experts and prepare a business blue print of their current AS-IS business processes and start conducting operational assessment across all the business units by using the FIT-GAP methodology. Where tag a process as FIT that does not need a change and tag a process as GAP if there is a scope of improvement. After all this prepare a project metrics, list all the projects and their potential value once executed, comparing estimated effort and financial impact.

Once the key projects and problems are identified as per my analysis I would suggest them numerous short duration kaizen events. Kaizen is a fast paced and effective method that has been used worldwide to produce rapid results. In order to build enthusiasm and to showcase to the leadership of the company first let us prototype lean methodology. Choose key processes in this company and implement you lean strategy and collect the data at the end of each day for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks you can compare the metrics (lead time, inventory time etc.) with the previous non-lean process and showcase the result to everyone. This will definitely help you gain confidence in the organization. Once the results are positive, implement your lean strategy across all shortlisted process in the organization and watch the lean process results closely for the next 2 months. Once you leave the organization you should have certain KPIs that will help the organization in running the process.

Besides all this put key focus on change management as well, Train internal consultants from the organization who will lead the complete transformation experience and help train their peers.

Below diagram shows the workflow step needed in case of lean transformation.

I hope this analysis has further solidified the learnings you made during this week at SCM course and has also improved you case solving abilities. Remember that there is no wrong or right methodology for solving case or in fact doing a real world consulting project. It’s a high probability that you could have thought of something which has never been done before. So be confident and all the best for EOC and subsequent job fairs.





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