How can lean be considered a full business strategy? Isn’t it it a box of tricks to make production more efficient?
Today’s markets are both highly competitive and volatile. Customers want one thing on day, and another the next. Because most markets are now renewal markets (customers already have the product, and choose to replace it), XXth military-style strategies of market segment conquest simply don’t make sense – and indeed, lead to costly failures documented in the management press.
But as long as one has to create dedicated production facilities for any new product, the financial gamble for new product introduction is huge, and here again, the literature claims from 50% to 80% of new product fails – staggering.
The lean approach is to use waste elimination to liberate capacity in existing facility. The second leg of the strategy is to design new products so that they can be assembled on existing lines.