Greetings everyone. This is Jim Lewis again. Brad afforded me the oppor- tunity to get in front of
an audience again, and I couldn’t pass
it up. Retirement is great, it affords me
the time to travel, which I did a lot of
in 2018. My road trips have covered
at least half of this great nation, from
New York to Arizona. I have observed
one common thread that binds them
all together. That thread is the “Help
Wanted” signs posted at every conceivable business venue.
It used to be that the only places
that were hiring were either fast-food or
seasonal. Now even manufacturing companies are hanging out signs on their
property and posting banners where
they are likely to capture the greatest
attention. For example, every time I pass
the boat manufacturing facilities on
Interstate 44 in Lebanon, Missouri, I am
stunned by the acres of inventory built
in anticipation of new sales.
They are not alone. Their competi-
tors and suppliers are doing the same
thing. As a Lean Sensei, I can’t help
but wonder, “Why?”
Another hiring ploy is the signing
bonus, which has become popular in
many regions of the country. It is re-
freshing to see a resurgence in hiring,
but is that the direction your company
should be pursuing?
What do you do?
Agencies that tout employment statistics are claiming there are more jobs
available than people seeking work. I
don’t doubt that to be true. So, what is
your company going to be faced with
as demand increases? What options
do you have? Well, you can work more
overtime, which will lead to lower
morale and higher costs; you can redirect staff from office positions to the
factory; or, you can turn your back on
the increasing demand and hold to the
status quo. None of those options are
viable for the long-term. The only real
solution is to apply Lean Thinking.
Did you think lean only applied to
businesses that were struggling finan-
cially? Actually, lean is more applicable
to the current situation of increasing
demand than to companies that are
in bad financial straits. The leader
of a company that is not financially
viable has neither the money, time nor
patience to invest in transforming the
business to lean.
If your business is growing exponentially you might be feeling that same
pressure. Don’t wait until demand has
you making poor business decisions, get
started with lean now!
by Jim Lewis
email@example.com LEAN JOURNEYS
Lean in a booming economy
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Jim Lewis has worked in the furniture industry for 40 years
with a special emphasis on facilitating the transformation
process for businesses embracing the Lean Business Model.
He founded The Center for Lean Learning, which is now
headquartered in St. Thomas, ON, Canada, and led by
Brad Cairns. Lewis is still active as a consultant for the firm.