“Companies that run successful lean programs not only save money in warehouse operations but enjoy more flexibility,” declared a 2010 McKinsey presentation for the pharmaceutical industry. It promised savings of up to 50 percent on warehousing if clients embraced its “lean and mean” approach to supply chains.
Such claims have panned out. Still, one of the authors of that presentation, Knut Alicke, a McKinsey partner based in Germany, now says the corporate world exceeded prudence.
“We went way too far,” Mr. Alicke said in an interview. “The way that inventory is evaluated will change after the crisis.”
Because if you’re talking about some management theory that has gone horribly awry and resulted in chaos and/or tragedy, you know it’s not going to be long before the name “McKinsey” crops up.