The fourth industrial revolution brought to light admirable manufacturing practices that have largely been ignored by most industries over the years. One such practice is Lean Manufacturing.
In lean manufacturing, manufacturers look to achieve more with less (time and resource wastages.) Lean thinking leads manufacturers to a path where they optimize all their processes and eliminate costly wastages.
Lean doesn’t happen all at ones. It involves simple, persistent efforts to get rid of all activities identified as wasteful that consume valuable resources.
The Japanese have a word for this waste. They call it ‘muda.’ This waste can spread across each phase of the manufacturing process- design, production, distribution and customer service. Efforts to reduce waste target these functions as well as others as the need is identified.
Lean benefits manufacturing businesses by allowing them to greatly reduce the cost of production while delivering high-quality products that customers are willing and interested in purchasing.
With industry 4.0 taking shape and with digital transformation gathering momentum across continents, lean manufacturing- one of the pillars of industry 4.0, is allowing manufacturers to realize benefits that were previously theoretical.
We can only call a company successful if its customers are satisfied. Companies that supply top-quality services and products on time can be guaranteed their customers’ return for more of the products and services. Such businesses will always thrive.
Lean manufacturing offers companies the capability of delivering high-quality products to their customers at the right time and at a cost they are willing and able to buy. If the company can track customer fulfillment from different locations, then they can imagine a brighter future.
Lean manufacturing ensures companies’ workflows are more fluid. Tracking and reassignment of activities by managers are now more possible than before, thanks to the fact that managers don’t have to be on the premises or connected to a VPN to ensure employees are kept in check.
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Process automation is equally effortless. Once the production machine kicks into operation, the rest of the associated process sets in place automatically.
One game-changing element of lean manufacturing is the fact that it’s primarily about improving quality and lowering costs. The more you reduce waste, the more you increase quality and product value.
Forward-thinking organizations have noticed what they can achieve by going lean. Most of them have also invested in manufacturing ERP software to address quality issues. Anytime a quality issue is raised, they can trace where the product went, retrieve it, and check the components that were used. They can determine what processes are invalid and assess or predict the possibility of other quality issues being raised in the next production schedule. Lean offers this kind of visibility and quality management.
Lean is a turning-point in manufacturing. Lean encourages users to conduct an audit of their systems to find out what they have right and what is resulting in more waste and thus needs to be removed.
To achieve quality products at competitive costs that consumers are willing and able to buy, manufacturers will be forced to rethink their processes and adopt models that use simple and more efficient steps.
The philosophy behind lean is to consistently create improvements through small and sustainable changes. It is safer to introduce lean changes rather than blow out your production with rapid, abrupt, and irregular changes.
If your organization is considering adopting lean, talk to us for assistance setting up and we will move forward with you.