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Productivity Press

Quality Insider

The Controller as Lean Leader

A novel on changing behavior with a lean cost-management system

Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 11:31

(Productivity Press: Boca Raton, FL) -- Traditional accounting systems have become inadequate for today’s global manufacturing environment. They are too complex and too focused on past performance. As manufacturing techniques change and become less labor intensive, accounting methods must also evolve. Regardless of what you call it, lean accounting is a management accounting system that should be part of every worker’s daily activities.

The Controller as Lean Leader: A Novel on Changing Behavior with a Lean Cost Management System by Sue Elizabeth Sondergelt (Productivity Press, 2012) delineates the differences between cost accounting and cost management. It uses a story format to present a compilation of experiences; some good, some bad, and some humorous. The story follows a fictional manufacturing entity embarking on a lean change management journey for the second time—having failed at its first attempt at lean implementation a few years earlier. As the story progresses, readers gain an understanding of what the company will do differently this time around to ensure it doesn’t slip backward again as the transformation unfolds.

Book features include:
• Illustrating the various approaches to lean implementation
• Explaining Target Costing and how to use it to get your budget right the first time around
• Examining the concept of systems and the importance of defining values in your business
• Describing what the purpose of a lean human resources system should be
• Introducing, with visuals, the little-known importance of timing the implementation and integration of the four integral parts of the lean cost-management system with the five lean principles
• Covering the topic of target cost
• Exploring the concept of systems value
• Providing a compilation of experiences that illustrate various approaches
• Presenting visuals as a theme throughout the text

The main character, the lean controller, presents her ideas with visuals throughout the book. Discussions between the lean controller and employees at various levels of the organization illustrate valuable lessons. The many faces of the lean controller as expressed through the examples and stories provide readers with the vision and tools to make a difference in workers across the organization. Sondergelt guides readers through the first three principles of lean, which are crucial to the successful implementation of a lean cost management system. Then she helps readers understand how a lean direct-cost management system will drive the correct “behavior” to sustain a lean change management initiative.

Contents

Unbridled, Unproductive Chaos!
Systems of Merit
Steering Team Offsite Meeting
The CEO’s Office after Hours
Henry Ford, the Father of Lean
Let’s Get Started! Surfing Atop the Breakers of Change
Accounting’s Glass Slipper Does Not Fit
Mother Comes to Visit
The CFO and CEO Push Back on Lean Cost Management
How Will the Lean P&L Work?
Which Comes First: The Chicken or the Egg?
Mary, Our Intern, Speaks Up
Lack of Metrics Is a Recipe for Failure
A Behavioral Revolt! Bring in the Sales Guys!
Target Costing for Profit Management
Town Hall Meeting—One Year Later
The Role of Controller as Lean Leader

About Sue Elizabeth Sondergelt

Having begun her professional career as a high school mathematics teacher, Sue Elizabeth Sondergelt gained insight into something other than numbers, namely, soft skills and people skills. After going back to school to earn an M.S. in Accountancy and a CMA, she went to work for The Wiremold Co., a world-class organization and textbook case in lean and lean accounting. Since 2007, Sondergelt has created the Lean Beans program on lean accounting, and is the owner of Lean Beans LLC, an education and consulting group. She has delivered her seminar, Lean Thinking for Accountants Sustaining Corporate Growth, in 30 major U.S. cities to assist CPAs in fulfilling continuing education requirements in cost management.

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Productivity Press

For more than 25 years, Productivity Press has developed the largest catalog available anywhere of publications and learning tools about lean methodology, continuous improvement, and operational excellence. It is currently the premier source of authoritative information on organizational transformation. Productivity Press is an imprint of CRC Press, a premier global publisher of science, technology, and medical resources. Its aim is to broaden thinking and advance understanding in the sciences, providing researchers, academics, professionals, and students with the tools they need to share ideas and realize their potential. CRC Press is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.