As Lean Manufacturing consultant it’s very important for me; provide services and results to my customers; tangibles to P&L and Balance Sheet (Cash Flow).
I have found that in many organizations, there is a misunderstanding about Kaizen approach; due Kaizen events that are not aligned with results on P&L and Balance Sheet, Taiichi Ohno have named those type Kaizen; Kaizen by inspirations or pop up Kaizen – I call it Fake Lean - and he was very concern about those Kaizen because all the efforts done on Kaizen events, will be under estimated or will have very low impact on the short term and the companies or sponsors of the Lean implementation will be demotivated or will say that Lean Manufacturing doesn’t help to them or doesn’t works because there is not a impact on the business numbers and they are right.
We have to consider that many profitable companies have gone out of business because of bad Cash Flow . Not one single company has ever gone out of business because they had too much cash!!!
The VSM well done; will discover or shows the areas of opportunities where the organization needs Kaizen in order to improve Cash Flow month after month.
The Lean Managers then must create a Kaizen Plan to attack those areas or process and understand how take control of theirs processes and procedures to maximize Cash Flow, to ensure the Lean Implementation being a success story, rather than failure ones.
The Lean manager must ensure the organization’s future by making the transitions to cash flow oriented manufacturing; this is something that applies in all areas, whether you are in production, engineering, sales, or accounting there’s Kaizen to do.
If you are a Manager or Business owner, those types kaizen are a must.
Therefore the Kaizen prioritization is very important and maybe the 5’s won't be the first kaizen to do, in order to move from the current to future, VSMs transformation; the P&L and the Balance Sheet needs to guide the Kaizen Plan.
I hope this help you in your next project.