Posted by: Knightbird | October 30, 2010

Lean Manufacturing at Hewlett Packard

One of Sealaska Corporation’s subsidiaries, Managed Business Systems, is a preferred supplier for Hewlett Packard (HP). HP is one of the giant companies in the US who are embracing the culture of Lean Manufacturing. As companies like HP understand and adopt the culture of Lean, an interesting change occurs. Lean companies begin to choose partners to work with, and start to winnow their number of suppliers down to a more manageable number. They understand that their goal is not to find the low cost supplier. Instead, their goal is to find a partner who is also involved in Lean Management, then work together to continuously improve their products, eliminate waste and improve customer value. Managing thousands of supplier relationships solely for the perceived benefits of playing them off against each other cost wise is not a Lean strategy. Suppliers are sometimes slow to learn this lesson.

Why do Lean companies choose this strategy? It’s because the benefits are so substantial. A long term relationship brings stability to the supplier. With consistent orders coming their way, they can plan their space, staffing and financial requirements. As the companies progress on their lean journey together, the supplier starts to reduce its cost of production. It’s a given. Apply the culture of Lean, your costs go down. And your quality improves. Empowered employees are motivated and want to deliver a high quality product.

Sealaska adopted Lean Management as a strategy in 2009. The initial Kaizen were very productive. As employees are becoming excited, they find their work less stressful and talk about Lean to co-workers. The culture starts to deploy through tools, then hopefully through cultural change. If done well, perhaps a very long term relationship will develop.


  1. […] nasce solo quando si risolvono i problemi di oggi con le soluzioni di domani (traduzione automatica)Lean Manufacturing at Hewlett Packard dal Lean in Alaska Blog di Patrick Anderson: Il lean tratta i fornitori come dei partner e non come […]

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