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Increasing multi-tasking = increased lean production


Very simply put, lean production is production that takes place with as little waste as possible.Waste can be in the form of materials, resources, time, effort, etc.As you know, multi-tasking is a management technique where several things can be done at once for the sake of increased efficiency.When multi-tasking is used, naturally there are improvements and increases in the leanness of the production process.

Some individuals are naturally gifted with the ability to multi-task, while others struggle to do two things at the same time.Luckily, you do not have to have your employees struggling with the same kind of juggling act.Multi-tasking involves more strategies than doing two things at once.Below are a few examples of how you can increase your multi-tasking and increase lean production in an orderly, sensible, and efficient manner.

Multi-task job assignments along process flow

There are some manufacturing processes that are large and require separate groups of individuals to handle different specific portions of the production.One such method is the assembly line method.In the assembly lime process, each employee is highly skilled at one part of the overall process of production and that one individual does the exact same thing over and over every day.This technique works for a large corporation whose assembly line processes yield millions of more complex products regularly, but for smaller manufacturing plants, you may not need to have as many employees along your line of production.You can multi-task job assignments along the process flow.Have each individual in the production line do more than just one job or have them perform other non-production line assignments when they do not need to focus all of their attention on the product.Every employee should have something that they know they can do at every moment that they are on the clock.

Assign one machine to do multiple jobs

Machinery and other manufacturing tools can be very costly, especially when they must be custom built to suit the specific needs of the manufacturing plant.Many times these machines have the capabilities of performing multiple functions especially if they are controlled by computer.While contemplating the purchase of a new machine, consider the capabilities of the ones that you already have.Can any of your current tools be used or can some less expensive update be purchased so that the same machine can do multiple jobs in your plant?If so, it makes a great deal of sense in both lean production and from a financial standpoint to assign one machine to do multiple jobs.

Material handling

Every time a material is handled it takes time.Think about the process flow of your production.Do your products pass by the same hands unnecessarily?It may not seem like a few seconds per product is that much time, but if you think of those few extra handling seconds in terms of how many hundreds of thousands of products that can be made daily, the seconds can add up fast.Review your process flow and make sure that if one person can multi-task to get multiple procedures done at the same time, it would be better than to have to reverse the flow to bring that product back to be worked on later.

Management multi-tasking

Management teams should be the first group of individuals to really take the concept of increasing multi-tasking = increased lean production to heart.The management teams should have the greatest ability to multi-task because they should possess the skills to be able to train their staff in all areas of production.Managers also need to have the mentality that for the sake of efficiency they need to be willing to roll up their sleeves and take on tasks in addition to their suit and tie managerial duties.There are numerous reason why this is important to a business.Not only does managerial involvement on the plant flow speed up and ensure greater production quality, but it can also boost employee morale to have your manger be willing to come down to the employees level to practice what he preaches in his training.

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