THE PLEXUS BLOG

Rob's latest thoughts and wonderings.

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Lean Thinking

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What is a Smart SME?

January 18, 2022
Two things are going to dominate my conversation during 2022.  For me they come hand in hand.   The first and main theme is Smart SMEs (small & medium businesses). Personally I don’t like the term 'enterprises' but hey the acronym sticks!!   In New...
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Visual Management in the workplace. This is a term used many, many times during a Lean journey.  It is used so much that it can also become white noise, a cliche term.  So if it is used a lot, what does it actually mean? What does it look like? The answer, like man...
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Strategy and Tactics

November 23, 2021
Strategy and tactics - two critical elements of executing your plan and being a successful business. The great news is that one feeds into the other, they do and should relate to each other. The strategy is your true north - the vision you, your leadership team and possibly ...
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For a long time now I have spouted the benefits of a Business Improvement approach to a small and medium business (SME). Using Lean as a central element driving the improvement activity, there are multiple benefits to a business. Better work culture and a more profitable bus...
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Control What You Can

September 29, 2021
The last two years have shown us all that the world, let alone the business environment is not a predictable place.  This has always been the case but now it seems magnified to the extremes. Owning and operating a business is hard enough, let alone in such an environmen...
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Improving the Productivity in Small and Medium Businesses (SME’s) is what gets me out of bed every day.  In New Zealand, SMEs have some of the world's worst productivity statistics in the OECD. There are many factors that impact productivity, therefore there is no sil...
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I get asked all the time if Lean is just for manufacturing or can it be applied to any type of business.  Of course the answer is yes! Less often a question arises - Lean might be all very well for a decent size business, but what about the solopreneur? Or even the Mum ...
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Hold on for a bit as this post is a combination of a few recent posts.   Why am I doing this? Mainly because the message needs to be constantly reinforced about how crazy, short sighted this statement “I am too Busy” is in relation to continuous improvement in ...
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Yep, let’s state the obvious - the role of a leader is crucial when starting a Lean journey.  The trick is, asking ourselves, do we truly understand the role of leadership when it comes to Lean? In true form, I am going to try and keep this as simple as possible and b...
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When I was first introduced to Lean many years ago I was handed a small document that summarised Lean.  On the cover it was the 5S cycle, in the few pages after that is described briefly the 8 wastes and a bit about stand up meetings.  That was it. There was no men...
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