How to use technology to support the lean enterprise: Achieving profitable growth through lean

Overview:

The ways in which organizations institute Lean initiatives and Six Sigma programs vary.

The competitive nature of business demands that organizations differentiate by increasing their value to customers. This focus drives companies to eliminate wasteful activities and increase responsiveness while maintaining superior quality — all value-laden initiatives that can be translated into profit. For many CEOs, this means implementing "Lean" initiatives that expose and attack waste, and setting goals for continuous improvement through Six Sigma principles.

The ways in which organizations institute Lean initiatives and Six Sigma programs vary. From disparate, spreadsheet-based procedures to integrated, automated processes, the approaches and their respective success rates vary. Consensus is growing that technology is key for successful Lean initiatives.

A well-implemented enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution provides such a foundation. By coupling Lean initiatives with core enterprise software, you can improve inventory visibility, link upstream vendors and downstream distribution replenishment processes to manufacturing, and respond to customer order changes in real-time. With Lean and Six Sigma processes tied to your ERP software, you can evaluate performance using consistent measures for success to continuously improve operations to deliver the highest value to the customer.

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