LEAN Manufacturing is a systematic approach in which manufacturers define, identify, and eliminate any unnecessary waste (non-value-added activities) in their business processes. According to MANTEC's LEAN Manufacturing process, there are 8 categories of waste that you should be monitoring:
- Non-utilized People Skills
- Extra Processing
There are a number of both tangible and intangible benefits of using LEAN tools to improve your business. Tangible benefits include: reduced lead time for orders, reduced costs, improved quality, inventory reductions, increased productivity, and work space utilization. Some of the intangible benefits include: improved employee morale, better teamwork, improved customer perception, and increased brand awareness.
LEAN Manufacturing Stages
The LEAN Manufacturing process consists of 3 key stages that businesses should focus on:
- Identify your waste – Wasteful processes exist across all businesses and all industries. No matter how good you think your processes are right now, they can always be better. Take a close look at how materials and processes flow through your organization to bring products / services to your customer. Identify non-value adding activities and move to stage 2.
- Analyze the waste and find the root cause – Figure out what is causing your identified wasteful activates and begin stage 3. Don’t just put a Band-Aid on the problem; find the problem’s root cause by brainstorming and cause & effect techniques.
- Solve the root cause and repeat the cycle – Decide what actions you must take to fix the issue and create a more efficient process. Commit to continuous improvement and repeat the cycle to fix issues and add value.
To obtain more information about LEAN Manufacturing and how it can greatly benefit your organization, contact C.H. Reed and we can point you in the right direction. C.H. Reed partners with MANTEC, a Pennsylvania based non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of small to mid-sized manufacturing enterprises who are willing to commit to improvement. To learn more about MANTEC, click on the following link: http://mantec.org/.