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Why manufacturing companies should have a lean office

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When manufacturing companies look for ways to make their company lean they often focus on the production process. However, there are other areas of any manufacturing company that should be considered for implementation of lean principles. One of these is the office side of the manufacturing company. It is important to understand that just like implementing lean principles on the production process when you put these same principles into the office it can take time, effort, and resources. However, if you are successful you can turn your office into a lean part of your organization. Lean principles in the office will help reduce the amount of time that employees will spend waiting which reduces the cost of both time and the supplies that are used. Here are some of the direct benefits of why manufacturing companies should have a lean office-

• Efficiency will be improved-One of the first benefits that become evident is the increased level of efficiency within the office. Some manufacturing companies that are using lean principles in the office side of their organization, report that they see increased efficiency levels of up to 90%. Keep in mind however, that this will depend heavily on they type of lean principles that are implemented and the management structure of the manufacturing company.
• Reduction in costs-When an office is run with the lean methodology there is a reduction in costs. Manufacturing companies are finding that they are not only saving on the costs of making their products but also on the costs of what is coming into the office. This benefit alone can often justify the use of lean principles within the office of a manufacturing company.
• Help in finding waste-When lean principles are implemented into the office they can help identify wastes that are occurring. Many times these items of waste would not be found without the use of lean principles. It is important to keep in mind that when waste is identified and taken care of this can save the manufacturing company considerable amounts of money.
• Simplification of office procedures-No one benefits when the procedures that are used are complicated and complex. Implementing lean principles into the office can help to simplify all of the processes that take place. Lean principles can help you set up a system that works better for all of your employees. When the office has been redesigned in a simpler manner this allows for everyone to work at a much more productive level. This can help to reduce and eliminate both clutter and confusion.
• Better record keeping-If the manufacturing company has an office where it is difficult to locate things this can slow down the entire production process and cause ill will with customers. When lean principles are put into place in the office it helps to provide for better documentation. This documentation is also done with automation which makes the entire process much easier to manage.
• Improvement in customer relations-When the office of a manufacturing company is run on lean principles there is often a direct correlation in the improvement the manufacturing company has with its customers. When customers are able to get an immediate response or have their orders processed faster they are happier and more satisfied. This means that your customers will be much more likely to return to purchase from you again and best of all will refer you to others. This word of mouth advertising is truly priceless.
• Rules are set-Everyone wants to know what their job is and how to do it. When lean principles are put into place in the office employees will quickly understand exactly what their job description is and how to do it to the best of their abilities.

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