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Why LEAN Isn't For Everyone

Lean manufacturing is a process that many companies will find useable but there are a lot of organizations that do not see the strong impact it can have in order to provide you with a positive outcome. You need to consider how lean works and if this is a program that will work for your organization or not. Some companies find success with it and they are able to apply it quickly where others are not quite as fortunate.

For a company to be able to properly implement lean you must be able to understand if your organization has the right mentality for it or not. Some companies will adjust to change without resistance where others are not able to figure out how to implement lean and to make it work successfully. Lean is not only for manufacturing plants as it can be applied and used anywhere.

Lean is used to help you organize your industry. You will be able to use this system to figure out how you can create the best value for your customers by implementing a system that lines up all of your activities in a manner that leads to the best sequence. Interruptions in your manufacturing line or in your business setting can lead to huge delays. These delays cost the company a lot of money and makes it difficult for your employees to be able to do their jobs. Using lean you will be able to reduce or completely eliminate waste from your organization. Wastes can be defined as wasted products but they can easily be wastes in other areas as well like waiting time and wasted time trying to find tools and supplies that you need to do your job.

How will lean be able to benefit your customers and not just your organization. For lean to work you must be able to understand if you can get behind it. Management must be completely committed and involved with lean for it to work effectively. Lean thinking is not something that all companies actually can deal with. Your employees will look to you and the management team in order to decide what they can follow and believe in. If you are not completely committed to lean, how can you expect them to be committed to it?

Does lean work? Let the numbers speak for themselves. Companies that implement lean typically see an average error rate of 50% or more! This is a huge way to save money on your raw goods but it is also a great way for you to be able to have more money to invest back into your cash reserves.

What is considered waste? It varies with each company but the main goal of lean is to find all of the non-value adding activities and will define them as waste for the company. These activities can vary but you likely have some wastes that come with things like overproduction or having things like excess inventory or product defects.

How involved do you want your company to get with lean manufacturing? Lean manufacturing can become quite detailed and complicated based on what type of programs you choose to use with lean. Some companies choose to go further with lean manufacturing and use Lean Six Sigma. This will make it more complicated for you to implement the program and it does require additional training and other things for it to be able to work effectively. Do you have the time and patience that is required to help you to continue making lean into a success? Usually lean requires a lot of on-going training and other things and if you do not have the budget for it and the time, you will struggle.

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