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BUSINESS EXCELLENCE requires doing Renovations

Your business has evolved from the initial spark of inception. As the business has evolved you have tolerated certain attributes which have become incorporated as part of your business process and environment.

Initially your business surfs along profitability leveraging your strategic differenator but ultimately like any business you begin to face challenges. So what to do? … Like most you begin to review process(es) to identify and implement business improvements.

But Business improvement initiatives can take on many different forms … and quite often as an organization you may be fooling yourself because you fail to go deep enough. Think of your journey like deciding to conduct renovations to your home … which can take on many different forms …


Consider this initiative like putting new lip-stick on your pig. This can often be initiated by a new leader or a visit to a trade show or visiting another facility that may appear clean and organized.

I go through this with the Resident Love Goddess as she gets tired of how our house is organized … knick-knacks are jettisoned, furniture is rearranged and perhaps some curtains and linens are replaced … it may look like a new environment. This may make us feel good but does little to process … in business.

People will embark on their version of a 5S program which never goes beyond a “SORT” and a basic “ SET IN ORDER” … which ultimately will make you place look tidy but does little to improve process. However you have spent considerable time and money on paint, new shelves and signage.

The pursuit of this initiative is akin to rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.


Like demolishing your home back to the studs this allows you to review how effective your insulation, electrical wiring and plumbing is operating and is it complaint to code.

For many this is like hosting and EVSM (Enterprise Value Stream Mapping) Workshop. You in essence place your Operation on pause and evaluate each process step to seek and implement incremental improvements.

This is a good exercise for improvement but you may still limit yourself and your organization.


Of course many of us do not have this luxury to embrace this kind of initiative. But it can happen if you out-grow your existing process envelope and need a new environment or are committed to enhancing your existing environment to a desired state.

But before you start … consider what kind of “Key Performance Indicators” are going to be very important as feed-back to your competitiveness. Perhaps you may consider the following …

Guiding Principals

  • Simplicity – no dependency on computers

  • Visual – status knowledge in 15 seconds from 50 feet

  • Organized -- everything required to do the job within 30 seconds of operation

  • Continuous Flow – no moves and ques in process

  • Management – no constant measurement systems – only management systems

  • Effectiveness – manage from the shop floor not meeting rooms

  • Agile – empowered and constant learning organization

A Vision without being articulated and quantified just becomes a wish. So you need to define your end game with specifics … similar to the following :

"Along with disruptive technology and organizational strength, our operational prowess is considered to be the key enabler of the company’s continuing success. As such, a steadfast focus has been maintained to develop the Company’s management operating system to achieve and continuously improve operational competence and performance. "

Production System

The Production System is a holistic management operating system that defines how our people, processes and operating practices combine to continuously reduce waste and achieve the desired goals of our Customers, Employees and Shareholders.

The Production System is founded on the principles and tools of lean enterprise and reflects an ardent conviction that there is always a simpler, better way.

We will strive to find a better way and drive continuous improvement by involving everyone in the elimination of “the 9 wastes” through systematically solving problems and standardizing on the best solution.


There is always a simpler, better way ,Customers will only want to pay for value added activities

Everyone should:

  • View the product from the perspective of the customer

  • View the business from the perspective of the production worker

  • Be engaged in eliminating waste and continuous improvement

  • Embrace constant progressive change

  • We must optimize the entire value stream using lean tools and leveraging employee input.

Whatever level of Renovation you decide to do … start with a dream of Total and then complete what you can afford.


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