Those improvements that cannot be directly tied to financial statements are included in a comprehensive metrics portfolio that balances the financial and nonfinancial metrics, thus providing a complete picture of TFC’s operating condition.
In one meeting, the leadership team struggled to relate how a focused factory
and aligning resources to increase throughput velocity would lead to quantifiable results. In other words, what would be the return on TFC’s lean investment?
As CFO, Matt helped the team see the link between financial improvements
and implementing a focused-factory approach. One focused factory has dedicated resources (operators, machines, support sta;) for repetitive and predictable work. Another focused factory manages one-o;s, construction projects,
and other highly variable work with unpredictable demand … without disrupting the more routine business. The overall result: higher velocity for the routine
business and better focus on the nonroutine business. It’s a win-win all the way
Had Matt not invested some of his time earlier in TFC’s lean journey, he could
not have led senior managers through this exploration. And without Matt’s
“lean-savvy” CFO perspective, company leaders probably would have developed a weaker and less aggressive lean strategy, and would have le; lots of areas—those with big potential returns on lean investment—untouched.
Is your company’s CFO onboard the way Matt is onboard at TFC? Are your other support functions taking active roles and ownership in your company’s lean
journey? If not, are you leaving returns untouched?
Most just beginning the lean journey focus on spot projects within a function—a
vertical approach—and they usually don’t involve people from finance. As the
lean journey matures, people start to take a horizontal approach (cutting across
functions), which usually involves leaders in accounting and finance.
As Matt became more involved in setting lean strategy, TFC had broader lean
participation. As the ownership for TFC’s lean success spread to all the support
functions, from Matt’s finance and accounting department to engineering to HR
and beyond, it became apparent that lean manufacturing is not just for the shop
floor. It a;ects everyone.
Je; Sipes is principal of Back2Basics LLC, 317-439-7960,
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