LEAN Manufacturing Leads to Efficiency Improvements and a Boost in Profits
Effective manufacturing is about taking a variety of different moving parts and sticking them together in a way that makes sense and produces the products you need. It’s vital that all the processes lead to a good final product, but two different facilities can reach the same result in very different ways. Many manufacturing facilities generate more waste than necessary while creating products for their customers, and with the right changes could become much more efficient. This is what LEAN manufacturing is all about, and why it is valuable to every single manufacturing facility today.
What is Lean Manufacturing?
LEAN manufacturing is essentially changing the way that processes at a warehouse or factory are completed to increase efficiency and reduce waste. When a business decides to go through a LEAN transformation they are deciding to look for areas of waste or inefficiency in the company and removing them.
By relying on LEAN tactics when running your manufacturing facility you can cut down on storage costs, increase production rates, reduce transportation costs and become adaptable enough to shift with along with customers who change what they are looking for. Ultimately the business becomes faster, less wasteful and more effective at meeting customer demands along the way.
Sources of Waste
There are several different sources of waste in a manufacturing environment, but we’ll outline a few of them specifically.
- Surplus Production
- Excessive Movement
- Defects in Production
- Workers being used inefficiently
Walk around your facility and ask yourself a couple questions as you do it. Are there more supplies being produced than what you need to supply over the next week? How far do resources and products have to move between the different stages of production? How much time is spent on defective products? And are all the workers being used as efficiently as they could be, or are some of them standing around waiting for someone else?
If you didn’t like any of your answers to these questions then you could probably benefit from LEAN manufacturing protocols. By figuring out what your main sources of waste are, and then working actively to remove them from the process you will dramatically improve your company, and a LEAN consultant can teach you just how to do that.
Consultants from the LEI Group Australia can help identify key bottlenecks in your company that are holding you back. They will show you how to use tools like a Value Stream Maps to identify the most valuable parts of your company, the vital steps that you work through and all of the non-vital actions that are being taken each day. After you understand how LEAN manufacturing works, and you take the time to spot any weaknesses in your company you can begin working with the expert to solve these major issues. It is a time consuming and demanding process transforming a company, but all of the work that is performed throughout the process will have a dramatic effect on your profit levels, the satisfaction of workers and the satisfaction of your customers.
LEAN training and consulting services aren’t cheap and they shouldn’t be. They offer a high amount of value to your company and can reduce inefficiencies by as much as 50 percent in some cases. You’ll be amazed by all the unnoticed areas that your company can improve in over time, and even an optimized company can stand to make some changes to the way they run things. Paying to have your staff educated and to get educated yourself can help improve your company dramatically and as long as you keep the idea of making constant improvements to the company in the back of your head you should see substantial benefits from what you learn in the courses and the changes that you make.