Thursday, October 06, 2005

So what does Lean Manufacturing mean to you? Is it just the latest buzz word? Is it just JIT re-stated? Is it applicable to smaller firms than say, Toyota? We'd be interested to hear your thoughts on Lean, as we receive leads from manufacturers listing lean as a requirement.

From my research (and I'm no manufacturing guru, so take it with a grain of salt) it seems to come down to keeping inventory as low as possible and reducing waste at every step. Duh! If that's what it is, then MISys has been doing lean since before it was called Lean.

That being said, one of our highly proficient business partners, who does deserve the label guru, shared that he was able to create a kanban system for one of our large MISys users. It essentially creates a nearly real-time graphic that shows dynamically the levels of inventory, color-coded, without needing to enter MISys or run reports. MISys is still running, of course, it just interprets MISys data, via Excel, and shows it on a computer screen, thus giving personnel an immediate and current glance at where they are at with their inventory. Kanban without the little colored postcards!

We'd love to hear from other business partners what creative solutions they have developed for their customers, and I mentioned to Dave Brown that MISys should have a place on its web-site for solution concept sharing. Maybe another MISys business partner has a request to develop a similar kanban system. Another one I heard of in the background but know little about is bringing time and billing information into MISys by the job. This is another request we have from prospective MISys users, so if it's do-able we'd love to know about it and we'd love to see that kind of resource shared in some way. Your thoughts?

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