The article titled Lean: One Size Does Not Fit All, authored by Tim Sramcik and recently published on the SearchAutoParts.com site, raises many important points. Sramcik believes there are five crucial myths that often derail leaders at the outset of a Lean implementation in an auto repair shop:
- There's a single lean model shops can adopt.
- Lean, by itself, can supply you with answers.
- The lean journey is predictable and affordable.
- You can count on your staff to buy in.
- Lean is the only way.
I was particularly intrigued by his discussion of myth #5 in which he describes some shops using other methodologies such as Theory of Constraints (TOC) to remove bottlenecks and increase productivity. He states that "TOC stands in contrast to Lean because its intent is using existing resources to spur substantial growth. Instead of doing more with less, shops maintain reserve sources... to handle spikes in work, thereby expanding the customer base."
Sramcik goes on to quote John Fagan -- the manager of Smail Collision Centers in Greensberg, Pennsylvania -- "With lean, your capacity is limited. You can only do so many jobs a day, and the only way to grow is to open a new location." Do you agree with this statement? Is Lean really relegated to increasing flow and reducing waste but not for spurring growth and increasing market share? Please post your thoughts.