I am not sure, IT needs to get lean on manufacturing, does the clearest job of explaining some things, but it does state some things well:
SAP or Oracle MRP are a problem because they cannot set up an “execution” system to perform based on lean principals.
It is this new concept that is the biggest stumbling block for IT in terms of adopting lean manufacturing. Most major companies have invested multiple millions in their ERP system, and it’s IT’s job to run the system. On top of that, these software-acquisition decisions for the major ERP systems are made by the CEO and CIO, who don’t understand the shop floor.
What the article is really talking about IT departments providing the proper tools for organizations to manage. IT should also adopt lean methods for their operation (many in IT that are practicing lean are doing so with agile software development methods). Toyota, not surprisingly does well at using IT to support lean manufacturing.
ERP stand for Enterprise Resource Planning and in IT circles referrers to amazingly complex IT systems to manage the organization. Some people think they are useful, I think they are overly complex, poor management implementations that end up having organizations conforming processes to the IT system instead of having an IT system that support the organization. And they are far too complex – web 2.0 type applications should be the focus not ERP. IT should liberate people to be more flexible with designing processes, PDSA… not act to enforce rigid rules.
Related: lean manufacturing articles – Information Technology and Management – Agile Management
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