The Ways Lean Helps To Solve Problems
There are a lot of ways in which you can focus on improving your manufacturing firm and one of the ways is by introducing lean manufacturing to your organization. Lean manufacturing will give you the ability to understand how the company moves forward and you are able to identify defects and other things. You will be able to find out how to problem solve in the right way and to understand proper ways to empower your employees to find success and to identify problems within the company and within their jobs.
With lean you need to be able to really work on problem solving as this is the best way in which you can find success with the program. Each company that uses lean will end up adapting it in a different way for their company needs. Using lean you will find that you are asking "why" a lot. You have to ask why so you can figure out where the problems are and to know what you need to change and focus on improving within the company but also to understand where the root causes of many issues are at.
As you focus on lean you want to use a method that is called The Five Whys. With the Five Whys you will go through a series of questions that need to be asked so you can find the root cause of your company's problems and major issues.
Question # 1 - Why are our customers returning products or not purchasing them?
You have to look at the number of returned products you are dealing with in order to find out what is going on. Customers usually return products due to a defect. This defect is commonly found in your manufacturing line. If you are maintaining your equipment properly you will be able to understand what needs to be changed with the design or process so you can prevent these huge defects that are increasing your production costs and costing you too much money. Every company has to ask this question of why if you want to have any chance of improving the company and getting the sales you need.
Question # 2 - Why are there issues in the manufacturing line?
Now that you know your customers have defective products you want to take a good look at your production line and find out what is happening here. Why are you having product defects? Are you dealing with issues that are related to product design or are you dealing with equipment that has not been maintained and serviced properly?
Question # 3 - Why are there product design issues?
How often do you look over the product design and make changes to it? You need to look at the way your products are designed as they can easily cost you too much money due to the fact that they take too long to create or they simply require too many products and other things to be manufactured. Product design is something that you have to re-evaluate and you want to make sure that it is saving your organization money and time.
Question # 4 - Why do we have shipping problems?
As you are looking at the issues one of them that you need to consider is your cost of shipping or the problems related to shipping. If you have damaged products and other things it can easily lead to problems with your customers liking your company. When damages happen too often, it starts to wear down on the patience of your staff and it won't be long before they move elsewhere.
Question # 5 - Why are costs so high?
When you go through the other questions you should have a pretty good answer to this why. Check on the costs and really understand what is happening so you can find a way to reduce the issues that are related to overhead and other things.