1st Edition

Easier, Simpler, Faster Systems Strategy for Lean IT

By Jean Cunningham, Duane Jones Copyright 2007
    176 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    To enhance and sustain its Lean journey, a company must implement information systems that fully support and enhance the Lean initiative. In Easier, Simpler, Faster: Systems Strategy for Lean IT, Jean Cunningham and Duane Jones introduce the case study of an actual Lean implementation involving the IT system of a mid-size manufacturer, highlighting the IT challenges that the manufacturer faced during the Lean transformation. Winner of a Shingo Prize, this book will provide you with a broader vision as well as a path to what a Lean system environment will look like for your company.

    Introduction: When IS Becomes a Partner in your Lean Journey
    Chapter 1: Lean Basics to Define your Customer Value, Eliminate Wastes, and Align IS
    Chapter 2: Applying Standardized to Information Systems
    Chapter 3: Integrate Your Order Entry into the Information Highway
    Chapter 4: Selecting, Enabling, and Customizing your ERP System
    Chapter 5: Kanban: A Necessity for Reducing Inventory and Managing Pull with Suppliers
    Chapter 6: Reshuffling MRP to Align with Kanban and Lean
    Chapter 7: Mission to Go Live - Building Teams and Overcoming Barriers
    Chapter 8: Capturing, Managing, and Sharing Information
    Chapter 9: Lean Accounting System
    Appendix I: Seven Steps to Eliminate Standard Cost in Information Systems
    Appendix II: The Thirteen Guiding Information System Principles


    Duane Jones has worn several hats at Lantech, and has served the companyas material handler, engineering change coordinator, and productionscheduler. When Lantech decided to go lean, he became amember of the kaizen team for the lean effort. After implementingLantech’s ERP system in 1995, he learned to program (without any previousexperience) and subsequently trained others in the customizationof the new ERP system. Duane then became Lantech’s IS TeamLeader, a position he holds to this day. In this capacity, he is responsiblefor hardware, software, and application integration in our company.He has served as consultant to Lantech’s European affiliateduring its ERP implementation in 2003 and continues to apply leanprinciples directly within IS as well as in any IS customer projects.While at Lantech, Jean Cunningham was the company CFO andresponsible for corporate services, HR, accounting, information systems,telecom, facilities, and many of the com pany’s continuousimprovement activities until 1999. Fluid in project responsibilities,she was appointed project sponsor for implementation of the ERPsystem in 1995 and was also involved with Lantech’s very first m anufacturingkaizen events in 1992, geared to im plem ent lean on thefactory shop floor. After leaving Lantech, Jean assumed a similar leanleader position while serving as CFO for a door manufacturing companythat adopted lean as a business strategy. Jean frequently providesconsulting services to companies interested in lean manufacturing, ISimplementation in a lean environment, and lean accounting.

    This book deserves a detailed read and discussion within any organization planning a lean transformation. Jean and Duane have accurately and sensitively captured their struggles, frustrations, and victories around the previously submerged and invisible IT portion of the lean iceberg.
    — Pat Lancaster, Chairman, Lantech, Inc., December 2006

    Jones and Cunningham's first-hand experience with lean IS Transformation is distilled into a pragmatic set of guidelines that will fortify your roadmap for remarkable change.
    — Jamie Flinchbaugh,, co-author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean, December 2006

    For too long, IT systems have indirectly functioned as a barrier to lean initiatives. ... This book breaks new ground because the authors fully illustrate just how IT can significantly hasten waste reduction.
    — Anand Sharma, President & CEO, TBM Consulting Group, Inc., January 2007