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How Lean Manufacturing Works

Warehouse Welcome to Lean Manufacturing
Lean Manufacturing helps you make money by cutting waste and meeting demand

LEAN MANUFACTURING CUTS WASTE

Waste means exactly what it implies… something wasted. In the case of Lean manufacturing, this amounts to resources purchased and paid for, but not used. Its’ money you didn’t need to spend, and it represents a loss of profit.

Money wasted costs you, well, money. And it costs your customers more money for the products they purchase from you. Lean manufacturing helps you control this issue that makes you less competitive in the marketplace. Why give your customers a reason to go elsewhere to buy the same products cheaper that you are producing?

Being competitive requires flexibility as well as competitive pricing. The demands of customers change continuously, and you too must be able to adapt quickly, and without waste or loss to a constantly changing business environment.

LEAN MANUFACTURING: 2 STEPS

Lean Manufacturing is a two-part system that focuses on:

  • Refining your systems and practices in a never-ending assessment protocol that includes meeting consumer’s specific demands.
  • Eliminating wasteful practices that cost you money.

For instance: If your customers want some changes to a product, or a big order requires a special modification, can you change your manufacturing processes quickly and without waste to meet their needs?

In the book “The Machine That Changed the World,” author James Womac talks about Lean Manufacturing as a way to simplify and organize your enterprise to reduce waste, and keep your resources readily responsive to what’s needed right now. That means more customers, amd more profit.

To find the best way to operate, Lean manufacturing focuses on customer-value. What is your customer willing to pay for? Your clients want value, i.e., they want to get what they pay for. They will only buy if you have the best product that meets their needs at the best price.

They shouldn’t pay for your waste: things such as large, expensive inventories, warehouse costs, too many employees, wasted time, or time fixing defects. Anything that isn’t adding value to the end product, shouldn’t be part of what the customer pays for… the cost to them is quality. By using lean manufacturing, these types of waste are eliminated and efficiencies as well as profits accrue.

LEAN MANUFACTURING CORRECTION

Once you have identified waste, (and we’ll be happy to show you how), there are specific tools to help you eliminate it. By learning to apply these tools, your business becomes “leaner” and more able to respond to the customer. You may have heard of some of them:

  • Kanban “Push Pull”
  • Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)
  • The 5S System

THE LEAN BOTTOM LINE
Lean manufacturing optimizes your manufacturing process while eliminating waste. It’s designed to help you cut costs, and deliver products your customer wants to pay for.

You learn that instead of making irregular changes that disrupt your business and production, you are able to make productive changes that employees who do the work know how to profitably manage.

GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL
To get to the Next Level using Lean Principles, call your MEP representative today.

You can prepare your organization to achieve your financial goals for the year ahead using MEP training as part of your 5P Strategy.