I have stated this in different ways over
the years, but it is a message that never
gets old, “If your shop is not lean, you
have, at a minimum, 30 percent more
resources than are needed to meet
Thirty-percent is a conservative es-
timate. A typical non-lean shop should
be able to double throughput with an
engaged staff and focused, dedicated
leadership. Don’t take my word for
it though. Call Dustin Hunter, CEO
of Hunter Trim and Cabinets in Ft.
Worth, Texas. Dustin’s number is (940)
He will be happy to talk to you and
even more delighted to have you visit
his shop. Ask him to tell you how his
company’s revenue has grown five
times since December 2012. Throughput of cabinets has increased exponentially with virtually the same resources.
Can that happen in your shop? He
didn’t believe it could happen in his
either, but now he’s convinced even
more growth opportunity will be
achieved by continuing to apply Lean
Thinking through an already engaged
You may be thinking, “How can this
guy make such bold statements when
he knows nothing about what we make
and what we go through every day to
create a meaningful experience for
My 50 years of experience in a
wider variety of business and industry
segments than I can record here, lead
me to conclude that business leaders
tend to ignore the obvious solution
by throwing money or people at every
perceived problem they face. Then,
when demand levels off or declines,
the reverse strategy is employed.
All the while, the root cause of
the company’s inability to respond to
changes in demand - an engaged work-
force - remains untapped.
I am confident that your company
can meet every current and future
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