In an increasingly global and technical marketplace, it’s more important than ever for businesses to utilize the best process to thrive and grow. Manufacturers must examine how to make their work process leaner. Lean is about driving a customer-focused culture across businesses, operations and people, to deliver products that meet customer requirements on time, on budget, and with high quality.
Lean Manufacturing is a series of applied practices that eliminate wasteful activities from the production process to improve efficiency and profitability. By examining the following five lean manufacturing principles, businesses can learn how to begin promoting lean manufacturing.
1) Value: What do customers value about my product?
This first principle introduces how to think with customer-focused philosophy. You need to think of anything the customer pays for as “waste”. If you deliver what customers value, you will keep them satisfied, and they will become return customers.
2) Value Stream: What work processes add value? Which are wasteful?
This next principle focuses on creating a value stream map. Using this practice, you can limit the processes to only those that add value and eliminate those that don’t.
3) Flow: What is the most efficient process to promote smooth flow?
After the value stream map has been created, the next step is to examine the process. Minimize waste and find solutions to create an efficient, streamlined flow from your supply chain through manufacturing to the finished product. The goal is to create a one-piece flow where inventory, stoppages, and defects are eliminated.
4) Value Pull: How easily can customers get my product?
The focus here is to create “pull.” This value pull means designing your processes to have all activities synchronized from the time the customer places the order through your supply chain and manufacturing process to delivery. With pull, customers can come to you to get the product they need, while as the manufacturer, you do not have expensive changes to a bulk product. The aim is to create products at the demand of the customer.
5) Perfection: How well do employees incorporate lean manufacturing?
The final principle stresses the importance of how lean thinking, continuous improvement, and a focus on customer needs to become part of your business culture.
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