The sea and the rocks

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Lean and Inventory: Misunderstood

“I think most are familiar with the river and boulder analogy. The water level in the river is the level of inventory and the boulders in the river and the problems in our business. As we lower the water level or inventory level those boulders or problems stick out. …

One of the major impediments to inventory reduction is the mistaken notion that just improved inventory management is all that is required to get the job done. The real culprits are the inefficient business processes that cause excessive inventories to exist in the first place. …

So the objective should be one of continuous improvement. We should consider improving production scheduling, reducing cycle times, increasing manufacturing flexibility, improving quality, improved forecasting, and developing and partnering with suppliers as the goal.”


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