Implementing Lean Manufacturing Systems
Lean manufacturing is a very good and effective concept of managing a company. The philosophy of reducing wastes found in a manufacturing business or any type corporation is a sound idea. The most common wastes that needs attention are:
- Waiting time
When these wastes are minimised, the quality of the products or services is improved, the production time and the cost of manufacturing the goods is reduced. With this in mind, many companies go through lean manufacturing training to get the most out of their systems.
The goal of lean manufacturing for any business is to have the production and demand be linked directly. The result is a more efficient way in delivering your goods to the customer because you produce the product at the time the customer wants it. But this is only achieved if there is a proper implementing lean manufacturing guideline.
However, despite the training and guidelines, some companies have trouble in implementing lean manufacturing systems. There are different reasons in the failure of implementing lean manufacturing principles in projects. One of them is the difficulty in grasping the true nature lean manufacturing.
The most accepted form of implementing lean manufacturing is the kaizen. Kaizen in Japanese means, “improvement.” In implementing lean manufacturing, kaizen can be done in large scale or small-scale projects. The most commonly used kaizen are the blitz events. These are short-term programs launched to instantly improve the production process.
Though kaizen is highly prized as a valuable tool in implementing lean manufacturing in a company, it is not enough. If an endless cycle of kaizen events is the only form of lean manufacturing tool used, the company may suffer. Why? Because blitz events can be expensive and may cost the organisation more money in implementing it.
There are other implementing lean manufacturing tools that an organization can use to get the improvements they want. There is the Value Streaming and Process Mapping. These two can effectively eliminate waste and in implementing lean manufacturing, they can streamline work processes.
Although lean manufacturing may sound simple enough, there are companies that do not view it that way. They find implementing lean manufacturing obscure and cloudy. This means that they do not fully grasp the principles of lean manufacturing. The best solution is to hire a lean manufacturing consultant.
Once the consultant has made an assessment of the organization’s problem areas, he can then suggest the most appropriate projects that will achieve the goals of the company. While the implementing lean manufacturing systems are explained to the managers and lean masters, the process of enforcing these systems and plans fall on the latter’s shoulders.
For the company to fully appreciate the benefits of implementing lean manufacturing systems, they must be willing to wait. Change does not happen overnight and some resistance should be expected from the people directly affected by the implementing lean manufacturing systems.
Why is there resistance when lean manufacturing aims to improve the production quality of the organisation? Simply put, some people hate change. They have been doing the same thing and have been used to going through the routine for years that it has almost become something familiar to them.
In light of this, companies should make it a point to clearly explain the changes in implementing lean manufacturing systems. If all things go smoothly for the first run, the implementing lean manufacturing system must be adopted as soon as possible to make sure that the workers do not forget the new process.
When implementing lean manufacturing systems involving the executive management, it is important to note that this group is the one that must have a full understanding of lean manufacturing principles. Their training must cover all disciplines of lean manufacturing including the planning and implementation tools.
Although lean manufacturing is one of the best choices for improving a company or organisation, you must be certain if your business fits this philosophy. Not all the implementing lean manufacturing systems may be good for your business, like excessive use of the kaizen events.
In implementing lean manufacturing systems, most often the best way to employ its principles is by only taking the elements that fit your company. This way you also save money without losing valuable resources.