It does look like Brexit will come at some time this year. Whatever your previous views on the rights / wrongs or outcome of the referendum. We cannot afford to delay the decision making processes that are coming towards us.
These are not just the political decisions that are critical to the “exit” negotiation processes, but the practical decisions beyond that. Assuming that the “exit” has an impact on trade, inflation and economic factors there is a strong chance that some lost manufacturing comes back to the UK, which will be good for jobs, the economy and infrastructure. To accommodate this influx, we need to build road, rail, logistics infrastructure quickly. This means we need to start thinking about setting aside monies now, looking at skills, resourcing and construction service capacity. We need to remove some of the unnecessary “Red Tape” to enable this. As a Lean Practitioner the key word is unnecessary, as we should not circumvent some critical and valid planning processes. We should be looking at enterprise zones, tax rebates where appropriate and strategic plans. The investment will reap a return in the medium to long term because as we know that every job created in manufacturing and related, creates a further 6 jobs in the supporting sectors and demographic . This is the opportunity to up-skill, and invest in new technology and processes. Money spent on infrastructure is only wasted if the scope is wrong or it is over/under designed. This is the time for “Right Sizing”. Value Stream Mapping is a powerful tool for leaning out manufacturing processes, but it can, and should also be used for the strategic thinking process.