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The Long Term Use Of Lean Tools

Using lean is a great way to improve your organizations processes and to generate better products for your customers. What makes lean work and what makes it fail? The biggest reason for success or failure is the people. If you do not train your employees effectively, they will not have the right tools to use to become successful and they can make serious mistakes with lean. They also will not be able to understand or really believe in lean, which can be frustrating for you as a manager. If you do not choose the right method with lean, it won't work and it will lead to frustration for your entire department.

Lean has so many different tools and methods that you can use. Choosing the wrong one can be costly to the company in regards to not only money but time. It is important that you understand the tools and how they can be applied to different industries in order to select the tools that are going to work correctly for your industry. The amount of training that you invest into lean training will be able to assist you and your staff in proper implementation but also to ensure that you are choosing tools that are manageable for your company.

When you are using lean you need to have a long-term approach to it. You need to be able to have patience with the program as it's not something that will turn results overnight. There are some short-term results that you can see with the program but not all of the results are going to give you immediate results which can frustrate your employees. This is where management needs to have the right type of mindset and mentality with the program in order to be able to teach employees how it works and to show them how to be disciplined with it.

One of the things you will notice with lean tools is that they will need to work together. This means that all of the various employees and departments need to be able to work together to implement the tools and to ensure that it can easily solve the issues that you have at hand. What this means is that you need to take the time to research the tools that you know will work for your industry and which ones your employees will be able to grab onto. People are naturally resistant to change so you need to introduce the new changes to then delicately.

Sometimes the Kaizen method is the best way to go as it will assist in identifying areas of problem. This is where employees see results as they can pinpoint the areas that are bottlenecking in your production line and it will allow them to understand what changes need to be made in this area or in other places to prevent the bottlenecking. Workflow charts can easily help in this regard as they are able to provide you with a clear picture of your production line so your staff members know the time frames of each process as well as being able to move along their products before the next batch comes in.

Getting people to change their mindsets is the hardest challenge you face. Instead of conducting the training on your own, hire a lean consultant. A lean consultant can assist in giving tools and tips that help in changing their mindsets but also showing employees how the program works and finding ways to really motivate your employees to believe in lean. As long as you have the right training and goals, lean can be a long-term solution to your organization.

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