What is Lean Manufacturing and its Six Core Principles?
Lean has proven itself as a successful model for leading teams in some of the most demanding industries, including manufacturing, construction, software development and many more.
Lean manufacturing refers to the general idea of waste removal and value stream mapping, in which anything that has no customer centric value should be removed from the operation. This blog will cover lean manufacturing and the core fundamentals of applying it to your operation.
What is lean manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing is a production technique that helps decrease both the production time and response times to clients and suppliers. The method strives to boost productivity by reducing waste, streamlining procedures, and lowering expenses.
The practice helps decrease waste and inventory costs by producing only what's in demand and not overfilling. The strategy enhances productivity and helps raise profitability by reducing production time.
Six Core Principles to Implement Lean
The following are the six core principles of lean implementation.
Set Clear Goals
One of the most crucial components of lean manufacturing is setting a goal. Understanding your ultimate objective and communicating it with everyone on your team is crucial. Knowing what you expect to achieve by implementing the lean process within your organisation is also critical.
Are you aiming to accelerate the workflow so that you can deliver products more quickly? Are you aiming to boost overall profitability? Whatever the objective is, it must be specified. This will enable you to outline a strategy for getting there and motivate your staff to take the journey with you.
You must first determine the work value of the team to create the foundation for a lean process. You must distinguish the value-adding from waste activities. The team needs to be on the same page, so this should be a collective process.
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To understand the value, consider your efforts' end product and what your customer gets from it.
Seek continuous Improvement
This Lean principle and the idea of continuous improvement, a key component of Lean management, are closely related. Your team process will be constantly improved by concentrating on upgrading the tasks that add the greatest value for your customers and eliminating as many wasteful activities as you can.
Every team member must take responsibility for their tasks for continuous development to flourish. This can prove challenging when they cannot resolve minor problems independently. Place more faith in their expertise and enhance their independence in time according to their performance.
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After a workflow has been established, a pull system must be implemented. The general concept is straightforward: only begin new work when there is a demand for it, and your team has available capacity. The aim should minimise overproduction and create something your customer genuinely needs. Tasks must be processed and stored in a queue in a pull system.
Flow is a vital feature in the lean world. When creating a flow of value, your purpose should be to guarantee smooth delivery from when you receive an order to when you give it to the client because any form of waiting is a waste.
The bottlenecks in your procedures are a big barrier to creating a smooth flow. As an organisation, you should watch how processes progress through your workflow. Keep a close eye on any areas where tasks become stuck so you can identify the cause. Bottlenecks may be caused by lacking capacity at a certain phase, waiting on external stakeholders, etc.
Value Stream Mapping
After identifying a team's value, it is crucial to visualise the path to the client. You should think about mapping your process more specifically by including the processes that make up each stage after visualising the workflow. Pay attention to steps that offer value, and be sure to fix any process flaws.
What Are the Benefits of Lean Manufacturing?
Before diving into implementing Lean manufacturing in your company, analysing the benefits of the production methodology is essential to align your expectations with reality. Along its evolution path, the system has proven its ability to bring:
- Increased performance quality
- Streamlined methods
- Improve efficiency
- Increased employee satisfaction and morale
- Higher revenues
What Are the Drawbacks of Lean Manufacturing?
Once the benefits are cleared out, evaluating the disadvantages of Lean manufacturing will clarify things whether the method would meet your needs or not. The following are some of the most frequent problems of lean:
- Equipment breakdown
- Supplier issues
- Lack of acceptance by staff
- High cost of implementation
Using consistent lean concepts throughout the supply chain can give a business a competitive edge and help it get through a challenging economic period. Lean manufacturing can enhance material management, inventory, and quality, providing a superior product to the client. A manufacturing company that applies lean concepts will have an advantage over competitors.