Lean Thinking Begins with the End Customer and His Needs

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Lean Thinking Begins with the End Customer and His Needs
Eric Schmitz, Other, Belgium

The basics of Lean Thinking are still to find in the Womack - Jones book 'Lean Thinking':
1. Value
2. Value stream
3. Flow
4. Pull
5. Continuous Improvement.

Items 2 until 5 are extensively treated and discussed. A lot of tools are used here.

However, the first one: Value is the real foundation. But tools, related to this item, are not very well known or used. It always begins with the end customer and his needs, expectations and value-perception.
In the SME-organizations (small and medium enterprises), which I am focusing on, know how of the customer and his value perception is not analyzed well and understood poorly.
Mostly the technology, the historical behaviour of the company, or other internal issues are leading. Not checking on the gemba = the market.
The Kano model, House of Quality, Hoshin Kanri and Catchball are the most hidden tools of Lean. Is this also your experience and how do you tackle this with your customers?



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