McKinsey Quarterly: Next frontiers for lean

Lean-production techniques have been revolutionizing operations for 50 years. Advances in technology, psychology, and analytics may make the next 50 even more exciting

This article first mentions a view examples of the application of lean principles within Retail banking, Hospitals, Airlines, Restaurants and Asset Management then highlights that in the future lean will play an important role in improving customer value in all industries, bridging gaps among operations, marketing, and product development.

URL: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/manufacturing/next_frontiers_for_lean

Some more snippets:

Lean is one of the biggest management ideas of the past 50 years. No less than Ford’s original assembly line, it has transformed how leading companies think about operations—starting in assembly plants and other factory settings and moving more recently into services ranging from retailing and health care to financial services, IT, and even the public sector.

Yet despite lean’s trajectory, broad influence, and level of general familiarity among senior executives, it would be a mistake to think that it has reached its full potential.

And

Market- and consumer-insight tools (for instance, statistically based regression analysis, as well as advanced pricing- and financial-modeling tools) are creating a far more sophisticated (and much closer to real-time) view of what customers value. The changes may just be getting started. Better-integrated datasets across channels and touch points are rapidly enabling companies to get much more complete views of all interactions with customers during the journeys they take as they evaluate, buy, consume, and seek support for products and services. Usage patterns of mobile devices and services are painting a richer picture than companies previously enjoyed.

The end result should be more scientific insight into how product and service attributes contribute to customer value; new ways to look at what matters most for classic lean variables, such as lead time, cost, quality, responsiveness, flexibility, and reliability; and new opportunities for cross-functional problem solving to eliminate anything that strays from customer-defined value.

 

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