WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (CitizenWire) — Ascoli Publishing LLC announces the release of “Go and See: A Journey About Getting To Lean” (ISBN: 978-1610950084) by Robert B. Camp, BSE, MBA. Go and See makes a strong case that once a company goes “Lean,” it fireproofs itself from most of the chaos in today’s market – including competitors from countries with cheap labor. And the first step is to “Go and See.”
Camp believes that becoming “Lean” is the single most important thing a company – any company – can do to compete in both a national and world markets. As the book goes to press Robert B. Camp is a “Lean” coach for a hospital in the process of “going Lean.”
Having spent 30 years in manufacturing, he is a regular speaker and Board Member at AME (the Association of Manufacturing Excellence). He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, holder of an MBA from Franklin Pierce University and a has been a practitioner and teacher of “Lean” production methods – sometimes called the Toyota Production System – for more than 20 years.
Go and See is written in an understandable and easy-to-read style that belies the deep truths and methodology Camp makes available to readers. Whether a novice just starting out, or a pro looking for a different angle, Go and See is a small but rather complete handbook that has a great deal to offer.
At its essence, “Lean” eliminates waste and, with it, the class distinction between management and labor. In a “Lean” culture, all labor becomes management and all management becomes labor. It’s not just that the accounting department might find itself in offices on the shop floor, but that hourly laborers might find themselves providing senior executives expert advice on how to improve those laborers’ processes.
On the journey toward becoming “Lean,” all the members of an organization learn that to be “Lean,” labor must become “self-managed,” holding itself accountable to pre-established standards. Similarly, white-collar disciplines come to understand that only the part of the organization producing the ultimate product or service (Operations) is making money. The role of all other disciplines is to provide value-adding services that support Operations. These concepts will seem upside down to much of 21st century business culture.
There is no doubt that “Lean” works, yet it has two significant challenges in the United States. The first is from “management” that is unwilling to accept that the philosophies and methodologies of Lean apply to them, and not just the hourly workforce. If those at the top of the organization are unwilling to change, then the systems they own will not change and the largest opportunities to get “Lean” will be overlooked.
The second challenge is from unions because of their role in protecting jobs. Most would agree that the more profitable a company becomes, the safer the haven it provides to its workers. Yet, “Lean” eliminates waste, and after a while, all those minutes of eliminated waste result in thousands of hours of wasteful activities that have been eliminated. Some management teams have seen this as an opportunity to trim staff and so Lean has come to be equated with layoffs. Hence, unions sometimes fight the implementation of Lean. Camp provides a simple solution to this conundrum.
The greatest hope for the United States to regain manufacturing excellence is by mastering “Lean.” Perhaps the easiest, and most necessary place to start is in small businesses, where the owner has fewer layers of bureaucracy to cut through in implementing change. In small businesses, change can be undertaken more swiftly and the organization can gain immediate BOTTOM LINE benefit from the changes “Lean” brings about.
Go and See is less a formal textbook than a coaching tool, pointing out the stones that lie just below the surface of the stream. At times it is also a fountain of hope for each organization that chooses to undertake the journey of Getting to Lean.
NB: Robert B. Camp of Go and See should not be confused with the author Robert C. Camp who is famous for his definitive work on “Benchmarking.”
“Go and See: A Journey About Getting To Lean” is available at www.AscoliBooks.com .