Lean manufacturing, also known as lean, is the process of eliminating waste from the manufacturing process without affecting productivity. It requires the leaders of an organization to coach employees and make conscious decisions to cut down waste in the manufacturing process. Waste is defined as anything that does not benefit the customer, directly or indirectly.
Lean as a principle defines seven types of waste. These seven types should be monitored and eventually eliminated. They are:
Some say waste of talent and creativity should also be included. Each waste has specific solutions that can save the business time and money.
History Of Lean Manufacturing
The idea that work, time and space are all equally valuable in Benjamin Franklin’s literary work such as Poor Richard’s Almanack. Henry Ford applied this idea to his mass production of cars. Taiichi Ohno also lived by this thought process and utilized efficient work into his company. Toyota only produced what the customer needed, rather than producing and to reach a target number. This method proved to be successful for the company.
Lean was originally designed for industrial work flow but the same principles can be applied to different fields such as administrative or retail. But really, every industry could stand to be more efficient with time, resources and products.
How To Utilize Lean Manufacturing
To utilize the lean manufacturing model successfully, the main issues of the company should be identified. From there, a specific goal plan needs to be designed.
Some companies could benefit from a major business plan remodel. While others could just make small adjustments to their current processes. Four levels of lean manufacturing have been broken down as the following:
Lean Manufacturing Tools
It’s always helpful to have tools to help your business become more lean. If you are interested in learning more about lean manufacturing or general operations management, Brithe Publishing has published two books on the subject. Agile Manufacturing: Lean Processes That Improve Business Transactions and How The Aviation Industry Shaped American Manufacturing are both written by Carter Mathews. Buy them here!