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Creating The Foundation For Lean

Lean manufacturing focuses on the complete elimination or at least the reduction of waste. Waste occurs in many manufacturing plants but it is something that can be found anywhere, which is why lean has become one of the most popular programs used in many industries as a way to reduce waste and improve your organization. However for lean to become successful you will need to start it out with the right type of foundation. If you aren't creating the right type of foundation to start with, the chances of lean become successful are slim. The companies that are successful with lean are those that truly believe in the program but also those that really get everyone involved in the program.

Many times organizations will believe in the concepts of lean but they fail to actually "live" them so to speak. You need to actually embrace all of the elements of lean that make it into a successful program in order to see it change your company. The biggest obstacle you will face won't come with the program; it comes with the people involved. Your staff needs to be willing to accept the program and really believe in it for you to use it properly within the company.

How can you create a foundation for lean? You need to start with the way that you are accepting the program. It is important that you focus on creating a foundation for lean in the way that you believe in the program. Management commitment will be the first thing and then you will be able to see employee involvement and commitment as they follow your example.

Management is so involved with lean not just because of your control over implementation of the program but really in the way that you are involved with other aspects of the company like your marketing, sales, finances, HR, and other areas. Since you have so much control here, people will seek out your opinion often and they are going to look to you for advice and help. You need to have lean become a part of everything that you do. This is the best way to show others of your involvement and commitment to lean. If management believes it and shows the example of it to their staff, the employees will also be able to believe in it and they will see that it can be a success if they will do their part.

Use lean in just about everything that you communicate to your staff. When you send out letters and emails, have a tagline about lean. Use examples of where you have implemented lean within your company to show that it has been able to work. This is a great way to show the employees directly of their involvement in lean and how it is making an impact to the company overall.

Sometimes companies just briefly discuss what lean is and they don't really get into it with their staff. You have to really explain it to your staff and make them understand it so they know what it is and what their role is in it. When you actually communicate the message correctly, it can save a lot of confusion and will be able to make a big difference in the way that your organization is able to implement lean manufacturing. The right "sales pitch" to your staff can help as can training programs that show your employees how lean works and to keep up with new developments pertaining to lean manufacturing. You also need to get the staff involved in the way that lean works by having them give you suggestions about lean. When you can get people to suggest some ideas for lean, it too can have a large impact on the overall outcome for lean implementation.

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