Prepare For The Cultural Change Lean Brings
When you make the decision to go lean, many of your employees may be resistant. It is common for people to get set in their ways and to worry about changes to their jobs and the company in general. It is important that management stick to the new program and to set the tone for the rest of the company. As long as management is properly involved, employees will have an easier time adapting to the changes and will make the necessary improvements.
Lean will bring about a cultural change to the company. As it spreads and the employees are able to adapt, employees will be happier in their jobs. They will also be able to see the importance of the program and how it does help to increase productivity. Employees that are happier in their job duties are much more productive. They are also able to see how lean can improve their relationships with the customers. Happier customers are much easier to work with and will make their jobs much easier. It is important to have your company look into different ways in which they can implement the various tools of lean manufacturing that will work well. Some companies prefer to start with the lean tools that are a little easier to understand like the 5S method where others will opt for Kanban and Kaizen. You need to be able to search through the various tools and determine which ones are going to boost productivity for your company.
Let's look at the various lean tools and determine which ones will work effectively for your organization:
- 5S - this method allows you to organize the company and remove the unnecessary things from the company. When the company is cleaned and organized you will be able to see that the error rates lower but there is a decrease in employee accidents. Employees will be happier and you will see a boost in the overall productivity for the organization.
- Error Proofing - this is a method that allows for error-free production. You will focus on the defects that occur and fix them so they do not continue to be passed along to the next phase in the manufacturing process. It is important to have the equipment serviced often to improve the company and prevent errors.
- Just In Time - JIT is a method that helps with the right type of planning for the company. You will be able to see continuous improvement in the plant and to see that you will not have product defects occurring thanks to changes in the way people do their jobs. You also do not have excessive inventory as you make the products to order.
- Kaizen - with this method you will focus on improvement. Kaizen is popular as everyone at the company has to work together to identify and eliminate wastes within the company. When everyone works together, it improves morale and builds a company of unity and teamwork.
- Kanban - this method will help you to find the simple issues that need to be changed. It allows you to organize the company using signals and boxes for organization. You will end up having boxes and containers that help you to see the product as it moves along the production line. With Kanban you can easily prevent excessive inventory.
Lean manufacturing relies heavily on the input of your staff. People need to believe in the method for the changes to be made and for them to work. You need to be able to look at way your employees respond to change and to slowly implement changes so they do not become upset.