If you’re a business owner or project manager, you’ll likely have heard of lean manufacturing. The concept can seem pretty complex when trying to research online, which is why we’re going to dive into three principles for lean manufacturing that you should know.
The core of lean manufacturing is eliminating the amount of waste produced. As such, any manufacturing process should be refined in order to make a little waste as possible. With less waste, the more money, resource, and time your business saves.
Waste can include space being wasted by old inventory or having workstations that are spread too far apart. Time can be wasted by not utilizing the right production processes or assigning too many workers to a task rather than using automation. Finally, resource can be wasted by creating by-products that can’t be used elsewhere in production or supply chain.
By documenting workflows in massive detail, you should be able to see where waste is being generated. Then it will be much easier to start the elimination process. Workflows are very much an ‘expectation vs. Reality’ subject. As a business manager, you might know what you’ve taught staff in the past about how things should be done, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s happening in the same way. You need to take a look at the full, present-day picture to understand what’s actually happening on the ground level so that you can identify the processes (or people) that are creating waste.
The fight against waste is ever continuing. Once you’ve assessed areas of inefficiency and solved these, there is always the chance that new issues will arise. Using a lean consulting firm will help keep things in check so that you can continually improve your business and its processes without creating new waste.
Respect for staff
As with any new idea and process, you need the workforce to be on board in order to make real change. And staff buy-in will be much easier when providing a positive, engaged, and comfortable working environment. Without respect, it is difficult to encourage staff to perform at their highest capability – with your business losing out as a result.
As such, business managers and leaders should ensure staff don’t get overworked and have transparency with the purpose of the work. Employers should take time to get to the root of problems and focus on communicating effectively with each employee to align their goals with your vision. There’s always an appetite to be challenged in the workplace, but this shouldn’t come across as demanding. Finally, staff appreciate consistency and stability – giving this will allow them to stay focused, improve productivity and boost your business.
When it comes to lean manufacturing, efficiency and reliability are key. It’s important that everything you do creates value to the end goal and reduces waste and by-products. There are so many more principles for lean manufacturing that take on unique and interesting processes to be used in your workplace. And there’s no better time to start implementing these ideas to create a better tomorrow for your business.