Episode 34: How Digital and Lean Combined Can Help Manufacturers Respond Fast to Changes in Demand

By the time digital technology ushered in Industry 4.0 at the start of the century, lean thinking was a highly mature and proven approach. But history has taught us over and over that when something new and game-changing meets the tried-and-true, there will be conflict.

For proponents of lean methodologies, the arrival of digital technology was oftentimes dismissed as perhaps trendy, a flash-in-the-pan, a shortcut that wouldn’t work in the long run. And for the proponents of digital, lean was looked at as old-fashioned and way beyond its sell-by date. It was time to shuffle off to the old folks’ home.

In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, two highly experienced people, each a master of his own discipline, argue if and how digital technology and lean methodology can work together and what the combination could produce.

By the time digital technology ushered in Industry 4.0 at the start of the century, lean thinking was a highly mature and proven approach. But history has taught us over and over that when something new and game-changing meets the tried-and-true, there will be conflict.

For proponents of lean methodologies, the arrival of digital technology was oftentimes dismissed as perhaps trendy, a flash-in-the-pan, a shortcut that wouldn’t work in the long run. And for the proponents of digital, lean was looked at as old-fashioned and way beyond its sell-by date. It was time to shuffle off to the old folks’ home.

In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, two highly experienced people, each a master of his own discipline, argue if and how digital technology and lean methodology can work together and what the combination could produce.

This episode unpacks:

02:38 – Question: can digital and lean can work together or not? Answer: They have to

04:23 – Digital meets customer needs today. Can lean practices do the same?

05:19 – How the benefits of lean translate into strengths for the digitalized sales team

16:39 – Why don’t more companies build digital investment into their business planning?

21:38 – Digital and lean together can help companies respond quickly to changes in demand

Episode Guests:

David Morley

Manufacturing Practice Lead, Gerent

David Morley is a 30-year manufacturing veteran and early Salesforce adopter. Over the course of his career, he has achieved international success in sales, marketing, operations, turnarounds, business development, startups, and strategic planning.

Michael Bremer

Bremer is a sought-after speaker and consultant and a best-selling author of four books on continuous improvement. He has worked at such companies as Boeing, Beatrice Foods and Motorola and is an active volunteer with the Association of Manufacturing Excellence.