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What Does Lean Training Involve?

If you are ready to start thinking lean, it helps to know what you are getting yourself into. Lean is a completely different type of program from what you see with other improvement methods and quality control systems. With lean you need to prepare your staff for the change and you need to do so in a way that will be positive and will motivate them. If you just come in with all these changes, they are likely to resist them and this can lead to a real headache for your company. Lean training involves a lot of different things. You want to work on helping with the mindset change and getting lean trainers to come to your facility to help out.

Lean has been around for 20 plus years but it still continues to have adjustments and improvements made to it. You must be able to know what will aid in giving your organization success with lean and to make sure that you are not wasting money on the program. The thing with lean is that it does work, but it takes a commitment from everyone along with patience. Lean can take upwards of a year to implement and that is after you have actually taken time for the planning process. Some companies find that lean is a 5 year investment to see the necessary improvement that they were hoping for.

One of the things that can really assist you in having proper results with lean is taking the time to find the right trainers. These individuals will really help out as they provide you with proper guidelines to follow and they can help employees to overcome their fears and resistance to the program. You want to be able to see what type of issues will face your company and to look for different ways in which you can reduce wasted money and time on your part.

Lean has a series of different tools that you will use. Some of the tools will work and others may not work for your company. With so many tools to use, you can easily find that it's easy to have success with lean. You can use some of the tools when you need to have immediate results and others for a long-term approach to success. Most of the lean tools will end up complimenting each other. Some are easier to implement than others and easier for your employees to adjust to. You have to be able to look at the tools and your company and to know which ones can have successful implementation right away. Some of the common lean tools that work great for any industry include the following:
- SMED - single minute exchange of die
- Value stream mapping
- 5 S Method
- Takt Time

There are quite a few to choose from. Appoint teams to be over the lean training and to give you assistance as you are hoping to reduce the resistance to change and to properly train your staff. Teams are nice as people sometimes feel better about listening to their peers and learning from each other than they do with trainers or with management. Look at the cost of trainers and then consider the costs of teams and how you will need to choose them. The right teams need to be made up of people that are motivated and people that really do want to have success with the company and all of the various principles that help to make lean manufacturing into a program that works for many years and improves everyone's jobs!

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