Get to Know Your Wastes

Understanding exactly what lean manufacturing is does not take rocket science, nor does it take a conference of 10 experts to bear down to the standard principles. Merely put, lean production is the accomplishment of the best efficiency and success for a company by removing the wasteful techniques and activities that are commonly present in business routines.

At an initial glance, it almost seems like some companies are in love with the idea of embracing lean manufacturing because the wording just sounds so appealing. Ask any girl what she thinks about getting “lean” and we all know the honest truth about it. However, in actual reality, it’s really simpler than seems. Exactly what you just need to have is the dedication and the discipline to see certain things in your production line or supply chain and then make the necessary modifications happen. Pretty much a combination of awareness and willpower.

First off, let’s mention what the leading seven wastes business identified as the reasons for things such as production delays, unwanted costs, and eventually, bankruptcy filings and hostile takeovers. We don’t want none of that. So you got to know your wastes

  1. Overproduction – you made too many widgets. Whoops. Now you have to store them… and you also paid the manufacturing cost of those extra widgets that no one needs. And you are thinking about having a firesale to recoup your losses. Bad idea to overproduce.
  2. Transportation – or better yet logistics. Shipping costs are one thing, but when your items have to travel too far from one warehouse to the next, that there friend is what we refer to as waste.
  3. Movement (procedures that do not need to be conducted) – think of it as doing things out of order. You have an assembly station on one side of your facility and then inspections and packaging are clear on the other side. Someone has to use a forklift to move that pile of uninspected boxes of widgets to the opposite side of your site. Maybe you should move that part of your process closer to eliminate that waste of going station to station.
  4. Inventory- zero inventory is sort of the holy grail of lean, but you want to move production directly to the market as quickly as possible. Having inventory that sits on a shelf doesn’t help with this one bit.
  5. Processing – what if not every process were required? You need to look at your whole operation and reduce process as much as possible to get the most streamlined version. Eliminate as much as you can so that you can get products out quickly.
  6. Waiting time – movement is critical to lean. Your process has to be efficient in a sense of station to station. If one part of your process is a weak link that slows down everything else, then you need to identify that process and get it up to speed so other aspects of production don’t sit around stuck because of one person or piece of equipment can’t keep up.
  7. Flaws – defective products mean you have to deal with the headaches of returns and replacements. Allocating resources to handle dissatisfied customers takes away from production while replacing their orders means producing the same unit twice and only capitalizing on one unit. That’s a quick way to go under.

These are the essential reasons why most firms typically fail. For instance, with defects, rather of concentrating on attaining the finest quality output at the shortest time frame, some companies waste effort and energy into taking a look at and fixing equipment and technique problems and issues. If the kinks had been addressed in the first area and the trouble nipped at the bud, such an unnecessary activity would be removed.

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