Extended Lean Can Make Your Supply Chain Hum

OEMs are ready to embrace Lean Manufacturing after the 2001 recession, but traditional approaches were designed for vertically integrated enterprises. The answer to their problem? Extended Lean and Statistical Kanban.


Says Cortes, We still use forecasts to tell us where we think we're going, and we use MRP to establish our lead-time offset, so we know how long it will take to order, receive, build and ship a product, but we are not going to order or build anything unless the customer actually buys a product. It is a completely different mindset from how most manufacturers operate today, particularly in a complex supply chain where the OEMs talk to their sales guys, estimate demand, add a little extra, then buy material and fill up their finished goods inventory. And if the forecast is wrong? Hey, it's just another multibillion dollar write-off.

About the Author:

John Rumasuglia is the president and CEO of Extended Lean Solutions, an Extended Lean education and consulting firm in San Jose, Calif. Write to him at john@extendedlean.com.
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