manufacturingtechnologyinsights

oConsulting: Lean 4.0 - Objectives tell the way

CIO VendorKatarina Hachmöller, Partner
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals”, Henry Ford.

Business goals play a key role in doing efficiently what the company really needs. Breaking down objectives to every person on process level is still one of the most difficult leadership tasks. Unfortunately goal orientation is treated secondary in a lot of Lean/Production System deployments. Often, even behind implementing tools. Sometimes breaking down goals is misinterpreted as reporting up some numbers.

“When it comes to digitalization, we see much higher potentials to be unlocked through enabling transparency, real-time feedback and inter connectedness than by just automatizing processes” says Katarina Hachmöller, Partner at oConsulting, the Operations spin-off of Valeocon Management Consulting.“It’s about breaking down the hopefully ambitious goals of top management to every single person on process level to make sure everybody thinks, acts and thus works in the same direction.” Building on the Lean principles of ‘involving everyone in the process’ and ‘striving for perfection yields substantially better outcomes of the value stream aiming for overall improvements not local optima. And, here digitalization helps to move things forward quickly.

In the Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry oConsulting sees a need for upgrading in two aspects:

1) Where process control has to be on an advanced level, the need but also frequently the passion for applied statistics is higher. Methods at the interface between applied statistics, Lean and Digital help managers and process operators to lead these processes.

2) Processes in product, then process development from early on have to follow strict processes to ensure patient safety. Shifting the focus on adhering regulatory requirements the processes in some companies lost their power to fulfill advantages for the patient as well as to meet business requirements like time to launch or design to cost. Streamlining processes to fit purpose and regulatory fixes these problems.
Andreas Kleinert, Partner
This may happen by aligning support functions from Quality, Regulatory, Supply Chain, Production, also Finance and HR within their functions to the main product groups or organizing along Value Stream units.

• Utilize the industry’s typical need for data and facts as an advantage by turning re-active approaches of explanation, justification, and documentation into pro-active management of product and process capability and control as a competitive advantage. Process people typically are more affine to statistics in Life Sciences than in most other industries. Build on it.

The O stands for Operations, the Loop of Continuous Improvement, and “O(h), sustainable approaches and a fun experience!”


Andreas Kleinert, Partner at oConsulting says with a smile: “Our secret recipe for sustaining project results? It’s the way of implementing the performance improvements: Be quick with the first reality run within a week, and be even quicker adapting it to processes and people’s needs within a couple of days, in order to move from version 1 to version 3 in an agile way.” He says it is important to have the process owners in the driver seat own the transformation. May it be a digitalization approach, a leadership tool for managing performance or a manufacturing standard, controlled experimenting works well also in highly regulated environments. Especially here we find high demand for a deep understanding of the processes which can be achieved this way.

Enabling an organization for achieving objectives requires capability building. Most professionally successful people have experienced in their life at least two outstanding colleagues or leaders to intensively learn from. An alternative to boost an organization’s capability building is have leaders and process people co-implement improvement and learn from those who have the experience in this. It’s much more to it than just understanding the theory of a method. It’s about getting into the flow a method can create and, Katarina adds: “Experiencing the transformation can be a lot of fun.”