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Lean manufacturing principles to improve your business

There are hundreds of lean manufacturing consultants that work on reducing or eliminating waste from manufacturing plants and other companies altogether. Lean manufacturing will be able to improve your company in a number of different ways starting with employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. For lean manufacturing to successfully work you need to bring in an instructor that has had success and also failure, this gives them real-world experience and this can really help in the ability to influence change in the company.

What differs with lean manufacturing and Six Sigma is the fact that there are several methods; it is not just one set method that you have to use. There are a number of tools available, making it easier on you to find the right type of tools and methods that can easily move your company forward and strengthen your organization.

Lean manufacturing implementation can help to eliminate or to reduce wastes and overhead expenses. You just need to understand which tools you want to use and start implementing them into your organization. It is best to work with one tool at a time and then to start bringing in more as your company continues to grow and progress.The various methods help you to identify wastes and come up with a plan to eliminate them from the system which also focusing on better systems overall. This helps you to have an organized company and people will be able to perform their job duties much easier.

Start the implementation process by first taking a look at your business needs. What are the things that you need to focus on and what are some of the opportunities you need to work with as well? What about the various challenges your company faces whether they are in the organization or in your industry? After you spend time identifying all of these things you will then be able to focus on the different tools and methods that you can use to eliminate them.

What are the tools you can turn to with lean manufacturing? Here are some of them:

  • The 5 S method

  • Kanban

  • Takt time

  • Value stream mapping

  • Cellular manufacturing

  • Continuous flow

  • TPM

  • SMED

  • OEE

  • 7 wastes

  • Kaizen

There are many other methods you can use but these tend to stand out the most. A lot of companies will turn to the 5 S method as they feel it is the most productive for their organization. The nice thing about the 5 S method is that it can be used in an office or in a manufacturing plant. This makes the 5 S method one of the easiest to work with and it doesn't even take extensive training to implement it. The 5 S method is so versatile because it will allow you to organize the company while you also identify wastes. As long as you properly implement the 5 S method you will be able to have long-term success with it and you should be able to see a complete mindset change by your employees.

Be careful of the person you hire to consult with your company pertaining to lean manufacturing. You do not want to hire a person that has limited experience only to worry about wastes that have been masked. Sometimes having the company organized doesn't always mean the wastes will be reduced or eliminated. Sending your managers to lean training conferences is a great way to ensure you are able to make the right type of improvements in your company to actually strengthen the organization for many years.

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