Lean manufacturing or “lean” is a culture / mindset that many organizations strive to achieve. The simplicity of lean and the exceptional benefits it brings sometimes leads people to believe that implementing this mindset is equally simple. But this is not the case – as becoming a lean organization is not a single step process. Lean requires an organization’s entire culture to change to ensure adoption.
But the question in today’s digital age is: How does technology hinder or support your lean journey?
The key concept underlying lean principles is a systematic method for waste minimization within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity. The lean process involves evaluating every step to determine if it provides value to the client. If a process provides no value then steps must be taken to eliminate or minimize this step.
Here are some of the numerous tools used to identify non-value-added steps and waste:
- Seven wastes: The seven wastes are transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over-processing and defects. Many people remember this list using the mnemonic “Tim Wood.”
- Five S: The Five Ss include methods for organizing a workspace for maximum efficiency, and include sort, straighten, system, standardize and sustain.
- Five ‘whys’: Asking “why” at least five times helps to identify the root cause of problems or waste so that it can be effectively addressed.
- Continuous improvement (kaizen): Detailed examination of all aspects of a process to identify areas for improvement
- Fool proofing (Poka-yoke): Constructing a process in a way that prevents careless errors, often by using design techniques or tools or jigs that prevent incorrect machining or assembly to eliminate defects.
Are you currently on a lean journey or interested in becoming a lean organization?
Get into the details by reading our whitepaper “The Journey to becoming a Lean Enterprise” and learn the steps to adopt to ensure that the lean journey is taken by the organization as an entire unit. The whitepaper discusses the history of lean, how lean impacts quality, the just in time inventory management principle, how it enhances competitiveness and discusses whether ERP is in direct conflict with your lean journey.
Visit Connected Lean℠ and enable your lean digital transformation journey today.