So how did Oosterwal go from Softails and hogs at Harley to sausages and hot dogs at Sara Lee? "The reason I went to Sara Lee is that I believe you have to put yourself outside your comfort zone, and if you really think you know something, go try it in a different environment," he explains. "Sara Lee offered me the opportunity to create an innovation system on a global basis." And create they did. Within a year of his arrival, having brought his Lean Product Development principles to his new organization, Sara Lee saw a 35 percent increase in R&D efficiency and, within one U.S. division, a five-fold increase in revenues from new product sales. "You can change the names and faces and places that people work, but the fundamentals are the same wherever you go," Oosterwal concludes.
How are you helping your company to accelerate new product development? What place do you see for Lean in the NDP process? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts. I'll look forward to hearing from you.
— Andrew K. Reese
Editor, Supply & Demand Chain Executive