Connected Lean Transformation

Is your ERP system in direct conflict with your Lean Journey?
Trust Merit Solutions to enable your lean digital transformation.

Lean mindset companies define their work as driving value to customers. They implement cultures and thinking that embrace continuous improvement and the pursuit of perfection while stimulating problem solving and asking people to use their minds, not just their hands, to improve value to customers. Work in Lean environments is pulled through using visual cues based on customer demand, with a driving principle to smooth out throughput volumes and reduce lead times.

Yet many ERP implementations push work to people with the software dictating what to do and when to do it – restricting problem solving to the system instead of the people. Traditional ERP is designed to start and stop work repeatedly while reducing inventory within a longer time to produce. When it is put onto lean businesses, continuous improvement slows, ownership and accountability flattens, sustained improvements regress to prior states, and value stream increases end.


Connected Lean from Merit Solutions combines lean principles adopted by the Lean Enterprise Institute with the Microsoft Azure Business Platform to drive purpose, process, and people improvements across an entire global organization. Connected Lean includes software, implementation methodology, perspectives and guidance to enable your lean transformation to happen more successfully using digital information and technologies – while protecting you from the damaging effects of traditional push planning that resides in the design of parts of these systems.


Lean Mindset

It’s one thing to be a software developer with custom code supporting some lean principles. It is another to be a consulting partner practicing lean at all levels. We relentlessly pursue perfection in everything we do for our clients. Our Senior Executives are regular attendees of the LEI Lean Transformation Summit. Our teams hold daily stand ups, perform A3s, go to the Gemba, and commit to Kaizen. And our project delivery methodology reduces non-value added activities.

Key Lean Capabilities:

  • Data-Driven Adherence to True North
  • Talent and Capability Development
  • Process Improvement and Sustainability
  • Digital Suggestion Card Management
  • Visual Management and Controls



Microsoft Dynamics 365

Take a whole system perspective with a seamlessly integrated business platform that streamlines flow between all functions – from quoting to shipping. Massively reduce non-value creating activities and transactions by capturing data once and leveraging it across value streams. Standardize processes and enable Kaizen improvements with version control – and more easily sustain improvements globally.

Key Lean Capabilities:

  • Lean KPI Dashboards
  • Lean Accounting
  • Mixed Mode Planning
  • Plan for Every Part
  • Sensor Driven Kanbans and Automated ASN
  • Vendor Performance Management



Azure IoT and Mobile Apps

Enable process improvement by using connected devices that automatically capture valuable process and transaction data without adding manual activities. Reduce Kanban motion, manual transactions, and lead times using IoT or mobile sensors. Continuously monitor flow with visual controls and alerts that provide real-time performance transparency. Eliminate waste with mobile data collection and consumption rather than writing information down and re-entering it at a desk.

Key Lean Capabilities:

  • Automated Data Capture for Machines, Devices, and Products
  • Real-time Value Stream Performance and Optimization
  • Predictive Tools Identify Problems Before they Occur
  • Post-Manufacturing Product Usage Data Increase Value
  • Transparent Vendor Communication Enhances Supply Chain Flow



Power BI & Azure Data Lakes

Reduce the amount of time spent looking for business data with a centralized location for all data across the enterprise. Provide intuitive search-like self-service capabilities that require little training and simplify reporting activities. Use visual boards to display important value and quality metrics, identified and in process improvements, and reporting on sustained improvements. And turn increasing amounts and complexity of data into actionable insights that improve decisions.

Key Lean Capabilities:

  • Interactive Data Visualization
  • Seamless Integration to Hundreds of Data Sources
  • Intuitive User Interface
  • Web and Mobile Capabilities
  • Standardize Reporting Governance and Compliance


Benefits of Connected Lean Include:

Develop a Robust, Data-Driven Current State

Bring together teams, customers, or stakeholders to develop “current state” process maps that document how work actually gets done – including areas of problems, delays, or rework. Utilize historical data (such as lead times and complaints) to analyze how those processes are working.

“Creativity Before Capital” Future State Development

Create “future state” process maps and design technology solutions that address the root causes of waste and minimize non-value adding activities. Taking a “mind before money” approach to continuous improvement, work to identify easy and cheap gains before investing significant resources.

Encourage and Facilitate Continuous Improvement (CI)

Capture suggestion cards and digitally track continuous improvements through stages of accepted/rejected and reasoning – then through the completion and implementation life cycle. Use dashboards to depict the status of current CIs, and monitor adoption of already implemented CIs.

Implement and Sustain Kaizen Improvements

Once improvements are identified, they can be updated with revision control in the business process modeler. Processes can then be standardized across an organization globally and implemented across the business platform in a manner that ensures the improvements are sustained.


Single Platform Reduces Transactions and Processes

Utilize a common data service and work from a trusted system of record and leverage that data across work processes. Bringing together sales, procurement, accounting, production, quality, distribution, and HR – people will never waste time re-entering the same data in different systems.

Automate Data Capture to Reduce Waste and Errors

Use connected devices to automatically capture valuable process and transaction data without adding manual activities. Replace paper forms with electronic versions that prepopulate data and error check. Provide mobile data collection rather than writing information down and re-entering it at the office.

Graphical Dashboards Monitor Quality and Performance Data

Centralized, automated, real-time dashboards are used to visually depict business performance goals and metrics that are critical to client value delivery. These dashboards enable an at-a-glance understanding of current activity status and trends for better decisions daily.

Attract, Train, and Retain Lean People

Utilize improved and integrated people development tools in order to streamline and speed talent recruitment. Better train employees and monitor certifications. Encourage transparent communication and information sharing using portals, mobile and social capabilities, and other tools.


Why Trust Merit Solutions as Your Lean Partner:

Organizations that partner with Merit Solutions for their Lean Digital Transformation typically see benefits in a number of areas, including:

Client Satisfaction First
At Merit Solutions, everything revolves around you, our client. It likely took months or years to earn your trust and we know it only takes seconds to lose it. Therefore, we are transparent, consistent with our communication, and empower each practitioner to make decisions that impact value. We also have regular feedback loops, debriefs, and quarterly satisfaction surveys that drive continuous improvement.

We Strive for Perfection
Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” As an organization, we are relentless in our pursuit of unattainable perfection. We strive to be a learning organization, constantly redefining our standard and then performing continuous improvement. We commit to measuring and visually showing progress towards operating excellence.

Lean at All Levels
It’s one thing to be a software developer with custom code supporting some lean principles. It is another to be a consulting partner practicing lean at all levels. Our Senior Executives are regular attendees of the LEI Lean Summit. Our teams hold daily stand ups, perform A3s, go to the Gemba, and commit to Kaizen. And our project delivery methodologies apply lean and focus on reducing non-value added activities.

Lean Project Management and Implementation
Given the complexity of the business issues we address – and the criticality of the solutions we provide – we rely on a lean-thinking, integrated project delivery methodology that eliminates waste and mitigates traditional technology and lean adoption barriers. We utilize a hybrid mix of waterfall with agile models to deliver incremental value and leverage PM tools that provide full project transparency.

Taking Lean Throughout the Enterprise
We understand the differences between lean manufacturing and lean enterprises – organizations who take lean concepts like Gemba Walks, Kaizen, PDCA, Poka-Yoke, A3 and more and apply them to areas outside of the shop floor. We facilitate lean adoption in other areas of the business, including accounting, HR, sales and marketing, to find areas to reduce waste and increase customer value.

Global Delivery with Consistent Performance and Results
Merit Solutions has been operating as a global company since we opened our Europe headquarters in 2005. With successful client deployments across the globe – from North and South America to Europe and Asia – our team is able to deliver consistent performance and expected results while operating across geographies and cultures.


[White Paper] The Journey to Becoming a Lean Enterprise

When people first learn about lean, they become excited by its simplicity and the exceptional benefits it brings. They mistakenly believe that because the concepts of lean are so simple that implementing it in a company should be equally simple, but that is rarely the case.

Becoming a lean organization is not a single step or even a finite undertaking such as a typical project. Lean is a process in and of itself. The assumption is that no process will ever reach an ideal state, so it must always undergo improvement, and this principle holds true for organizations as well as all the manufacturing and business processes within it.

Adopting lean is as much a culture change as it is a process change, and as such, it must be carefully rolled out to ensure adoption. Lean can’t be implemented from the bottom of the organization up because of the profound shifts in metrics and cost structures, nor can it be implemented top down because of the need for process knowledge and change. Adopting lean must be a journey that the entire organization takes as a unit.

Click here to download our white paper: Beyond Manufacturing: The Journey to Becoming a Lean Enterprise.


Are you ready for Connected Lean?

If you would like to discuss your own Lean Transformation initiative, please fill out the form below.