Press Releases

Press Releases

Thinking About Transitioning to “Lean Manufacturing”?
Beware These Top Management “Gotchas”!

New booklet helps management avoid the pitfalls, while maximizing the benefits

Lean principles can do wonders for any manufacturing concern. Reports abound of huge reductions of inventory, dramatic productivity and quality gains, and quantum improvement in service.

“It’s during the rapid transition period that the “gotchas” occur.” According to Jack Harrison, Senior Partner of The Hands-On Group, a consulting group specializing in helping companies make the rapid transition to “Lean Manufacturing”.

Mr. Harrison’s sessions on this subject were the top drawing workshops at this year’s recent AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence) international conference. So strong was the interest level, that a brief booklet has been written on the subject, and made available, free, for interested executives.

What kind of “Gotchas” are we talking about?

“Accounting anomalies can cause significant profit swings, often in the wrong direction. Many of the classical measures used by management will no longer work. Some will actually inhibit the transition process. Short-term sales may actually go down! And a whole assortment of “sacred cows” will have to be turned into burgers.” And that is just to name a few.

“Some individual operations may actually run LESS ‘efficiently’ (“Lean” optimizes the ‘whole’, not the pieces). Organizational structure will likely need to be changed. Some expensive computer software may be made completely unnecessary. Workforce crew schedules, shifts, and hours may need adjustment.”

“In addition to all the ‘gotchas’, the organization is forced to embrace a significant culture change. A thing that is seldom easy!”

“The good news is that during this same tumultuous period, large amounts of tax-free cash are typically generated. And manufacturing time is freed up to do some of the critical tasks that had been too long deferred, such as training and cross training, gaining access to critical pieces of equipment for preventative maintenance, and focusing people on process improvement. People’s attention is refocused on eliminating waste” says Harrison.

“Transitioning to ‘Lean Manufacturing’ is never easy. But, by knowing the pitfalls and solutions in advance, the change process can be accomplished far faster and more effectively.”

Should you consider taking your organization Lean? “Absolutely! The ROI’s realized from the transition effort have been huge.” Says Harrison.

You can request a free copy of “Transitioning to Lean” via their web site at

Running Steel “Lean” Produces Huge Results… Fast

Free Booklet Describes Two Unique Implementation Methods That Work

Orlando, Florida – January 24, 2000 – Lean Manufacturing generates millions through inventory reduction, shortens product cycle times by 30-40%, dramatically improves on-time deliveries, and cuts production costs by additional millions… In the first year!

Lean Manufacturing has been producing quantum improvements in the more traditional “widget making” industries for years. However, until recently, few steel mills were able to apply these concepts.

The common implementation approach has always been to pickup and move production equipment into manufacturing cells; An approach not terribly practical in the typical steel mill! However, the Hands-On Group, a consulting firm that specializes in the metals producing industry, has perfected a transition methodology that works.

“We reduced inventory by $95 million dollars in 11 months at a large integrated stainless steel operation.” Said Jack Harrison, Senior Partner. “but it took another few months to get their on-time deliveries from a historical 62% to our 90% target.”

“That was a few years ago. Since then we’ve improved the process significantly. At a recent carbon plate mill client, it took only four months to cut late deliveries by 75%, reduce product cycle times by 35%, generate $8 million in tax-free cash through inventory reduction, and implement productivity improvements worth $3.6 million/year.”

Going from traditional operating practices to “Lean” is not an easy process. It truly requires the butchering of some of steels’ most sacred of cows. However, the results are well worth the necessary change in outlook.

“Only a few insightful executives in the metal producing industries have the intestinal fortitude to make the necessary culture changes.” Said Ed Pirino, Partner at The Hands-On Group. “For the rest of you… Just hope its not one of your competitors”.

To get a free copy of the booklet, “Running Steel Lean” you can call The Hands-On Group at 407-299-5245, or request via their web site at

Jack B. Harrison
Senior Partner
The Hands-On Group

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