[A]fter the Porsche management brought in Japanese lean production techniques, overhauling the German company’s inefficient production system and network of suppliers, they discovered that there was demand from suppliers for their expertise.
The secret to the consultancies’ success lies in a rather unusual approach. Unlike most consultancies, Fischer Prozessberatung and the German sports car maker do not proffer legions of immaculate suits fresh from business school but rather experts from their shop floors.
“Some of our consultants go to the assembly plants of engineering companies and, after three days, start moving around machinery with a crane to improve production efficiency. Which consultancy would do something similar?” asks Eberhard Weiblen, Porsche Consulting’s chief executive.As we consider the possible value of Lean in the hospital world, is it too much to imagine the same thing occurring in health care? Imagine a hospital getting so good at reducing waste that it would be asked by its medical device suppliers or other vendors to assist in making those companies more efficient.
Well, maybe we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. First, let's get good at this in the clinical setting. As Jim Womack says,