The deep truths that are so accepted today will [ultimately] be exposed for the [fallacies] they truly are. These include the focus on cost, [the belief that] customer service [is] directly related to inventory levels, and the belief that if only [forecasting] was more accurate, then planning problems would be solved. Just because these ideas are [commonly accepted today] does not make these ideas valid today…. They are common nonsense.
While most companies around the world have focused their management attention on cost-cutting and trying to balance the demands of the finance silo (“keep inventory to a minimum”) and the sales silo (“keep our customers happy”), a relatively small number of companies have discovered the secret of FLOW. (By the way, Carol Ptak’s handle on Twitter is @ItsAllAboutFlow.)
Toyota Motor Corporation is one such company. While the rest of the worldwide auto industry has gone through huge and dramatic ups and downs over the last 50 years, only Toyota has shown a consistent pattern of improvement as expressed in the most crucial of KPIs: return on investment. FLOW is at the very core of what has become known to the world as “Lean.” The elimination of waste is to promote FLOW, not for cost-cutting.