What is lean manufacturing? Lean manufacturing is said to be a form of continuous improvement and when a company adopts it, a full-time continuous improvement person must be identified within the company as well as a continuous improvement team must be formed.The company will then bring in a recognized expert or a consultant to be able to map out the company's operation and help it identify specific areas for improvement. Some Definition Of Terms There are some terms that needs to be properly defined if a company wishes to learn what is a lean manufacturing process. The following are some of the terms that are used in lean manufacturing systems: 1. Value is anything that a prospective customer will be willing to buy or pay for. Therefore, what is a lean manufacturing process to a company if it does not provide teh customer what he specifically needs. 2. Cellular manufacturing is the linking of machine and manual operations into the most effective combinations possible to be able to maximize certain value-added activities while at the same time minimizing wastes. This is clearly what is lean manufacturing systems intends to do for the company. A cell lay-out is typically U-shaped and uses only a one-piece flow. 3. The Kanban System is a pull system that utilizes color-coded cards that are attached to parts or some part containers to be able to regulate the upstream production and also the delivery flow of the process. This is also what is lean manufacturing adopting for the company manufacturing processes. 4. The lean manufacturing is the process of analysis of the flow of information and materials in a manufacturing environment as well as continuously improving the system process to be able to achieve an enhanced value to the customer. What is lean manufacturing is trying to accomplish is the streamlining of existing manufacturing process in companies so as to improve its revenue gain. 5. When a lean manufacturing process identifies a non-value added, it will easily translate to a waste. A non-value added is any activity or process that do not add market form or runction or is simply not necessary. These activities are targetted by lean manufacturing processes to be able to be eliminated, terminated or simply reduced. This is exactly what is lean manufacturing is trying to do, reduce if not eliminate unwanted processes or activities that translate to waste. 6. Pull system is the method of controlling and managing the flow of resources by replacing only the goods that has been depleted. They are therefore replenished. What is lean manufacturng process is trying to do is to make a systemized process of replenishment and depletion in inventories. 7. Push system is the method by which resources of the company is made available to the customer by using surveys and forecasting or much better by schedules. What is lean manufacturing pushing for, however, is that the push system be disregarded. 8. Takt time is the demand rate of a customer. Takt time aims to set the pace or rhythm of production of goods to be able to match the demand rate of customers. The takt time is the heartbeat of any lean manufacturing system. What is lean manufacturing observing is the calculation of this takt time. The calculation of takt time is made by dividing the work time that is available by the total number of units that are sold. 9. The value added is any activity that hopes to increase the form of the market or the function of the product and service. This value added is basically the value that was discussed in number one. What lean manufacturing is trying to do is to guide manufacturing companies into putting all their focus and energies towards a good of particular value to the customer. In the end, what lean manufacturing is aiming to complete is the over all improvement of the company manufacturing process. The company manufacturing process has always been part of an important industry that deserves to be continuously improved upon. Therefore, the last theme of a lean manufacturing system is continuous improvement. The lean manufacturing system has been an inspiration to other parts of company processes as well. What Is Lean Manufacturing Process? Lean manufacturing process is the process of empowering companies to be able to implement manufacturing methodologies that attempts to maximize the valued goods and minimize the waste that comes with it. Every company has been asking what is lean manufacturing process. What is lean manufacturing process as compared to the present manufacturing methods and why should it be considered. Lean manufacturing process hopes to satisfy not only the customers of a company but its employees and shareholders as well. What Is lean Manufacturing Process To The Beneficiaries 1. What is lean manufacturing process to the customers? Customers only pays for what they need. This is called value in the perspective of a company. Value is termed as something that the customer is willing to buy or pay for. So basically, lean manufacturing process gives the customer what it wants. What is lean manufacturing process as an effect to customers is that it decides to make the manufacturing companies more customer centric and therefore more satisfaction to the customers. Companies usually do surveys or just plainly asks a particular customers of his needs or wants and then focuses all its available resources and energies to that particular need. 2. What is lean manufacturing process to the employees? Employees have long been part of the manufacturing line. They are considered to be a major part of the manufacturing line. If a company implements a lean manufacturing process, the employees will benefit from the ease of work and less redundant or loops in the manufacturing line. Though, underutilized employees are also part of the program of lean manufacturing process, employees will surely benefit from less stress. What is lean manufacturing process' effect to the employees is that the lean manufacturing process will eliminate the processes or things that are considered as waste in the manufacturing process. At some point, an employee can be considered underutilized and an action will be required as is taught by the lean manufacturing process. 3. What is lean manufacturing process to the company? The lean manufacturing process will bring great benefit to the company since its programs are focused on how the company can improve its manufacturing lines. What is lean manufacturing process for the company is that its ability to eliminate wastes and diminish redundant and looping processes. What is lean manufacturing process to the customers, employees and shareholders is that it aims to develop a centralized and more effective manufacturing process beneficial to all. Below are some of the focal points that are aimed to be resolved by the lean manufacturing systems: a. Inventory b. Overproduction c. Defects d. Waiting Time e. Extra Processing f. Underutilized People g. Motion h. Transportation These focal points of the lean manufacturing process will be methodologically acted upon. Each of these focal points have been a problem by one manufacturing company or another. Therefore, a solution for a problem that includes the abovementioned focal points are readily available. Any future problem will be studied for a ready solution. A problem may be solved mechanically or methodologically, in whatever way, the solution will always be available for the manufacturing process. What is lean manufacturing process as implemented on these focal points? the lean manufacturing process is drafted to increase the value of the goods and decrease the presence of wastes. It is after years of experience in the manufacturing lines that effective methodologies are made in place to improve the manufacturing lines of manufacturing companies. What is lean manufacturing process compared to the old methodologies in manufacturing if these methodologies do not contribute to the overall gain of the company or the satisfaction of the esteemed customers. The lean manufacturing processes in placed today in most companies were constructed in reference to the lean manufacturing systems that started in Japan. The lean manufacturing systems or processes started in Toyota Production System (TPS) in Japan. That is why most of the terms used in lean manufacturing processes are Japanese words such as kaizen, kanban and andon. The Toyota Production System has a wide experience when it comes to manufacturing and it has been rightly so that they have developed their own lean manufacturing process. The Five Principles of Lean Manufacturing All companies seek ways to improve their businesses. One of the most common goals of trumping the competition is cutting expenses, which can be best achieved through lean manufacturing strategies. But before anything, let us first define what lean manufacturing is. Lean manufacturing is a management concept that supports the 'no waste' policy. These 'wastes' refer to the seven most common reasons for underproductivity and delay identified by companies all over the world. They are inventory, over production, waiting time, transportation, processing, scrap and defects and motion. According to studies, most firms waste between 70% and 90% of the resources available to them. These happen when there are huge stockpiles of overruns, or when it takes ten activity levels to achieve something that can be done equally as good as when completed in three steps. The list can go on, but you get the picture. The tricky part about implementing lean manufacturing principles is that most of the wastes identified are invisible, making their reduction and eventual eradication challenging. But with careful planning, lean manufacturing should be a walk in the park for your company There are five core disciplines in lean manufacturing. Not all firms require their implementation, but at least one of which is necessary for the betterment, or 'leaning', of an organization. 1) team development 2) cellular manufacturing 3) six sigma and total quality management 4) rapid setup 5) pull scheduling To complement the above, the following five lean manufacturing principles are what serve as guidelines for firms that want to maximize value out of their organization. Out With Waste Lean manufacturing principles focus on eliminating waste from the company. This means taking out unnecessary departments or redundant positions, or eradicating processes that just cause delay. If it means terminating jobs, then do so. Lean manufacturing espouses that all resources, land, persons and capital, are used in the best and most efficient way they can be used. Do It Right The First Time Trial and error methods are simply a waste of resources and time. If enough effort is placed in carefully planning a certain manufacturing process, then there wouldn't be the need to start all over again, or settle with mediocre situations. Always Seek The Best Every company should always reach for the highest value that can be achieved. All the effort will be futile and major waste if this isn't done so. Be Flexible Lean manufacturing principles do not support stiff and linear thinking. If something needs to be improved and changed along the way, then do so at once, instead of contending with the original plan that has been eventually found to be resource and time-wasteful along the way. Don't Push, Pull Consumers should be given the freedom to decide what they want. As a manufacturer, you should impose trends or products to your clients. Rather, you should always be on the lookout for what will make your consumers happy. Of course, adopting lean manufacturing principles does not always mean that your company is saved. It still takes careful planning, method-mapping and a lot of discipline to succeed. If your company is not wary of the consequences of strategies that are haphazardly implemented, then these lean manufacturing principles will be in vain -- and total waste. Lean Manufacturing The Philosophy of Lean Manufacturing In the field of management, there are various approaches that principally aim to accelerate and boost corporate firms' revenues and operational efficiencies. Progressive companies from around the world have been coming up every now and then different strategies for corporate improvement. Some of these schemes have been so effective that other firms have recognized and even adopted them. One of these efficiency-focused philosophies is what is termed 'lean manufacturing.' What is lean manufacturing? Lean manufacturing is a holistic and strategic approach that aims to enable businesses and companies to improve and boost competitiveness and profitability. Lean manufacturing aims to introduce and set in desired improvements through identifying, and gradually, eliminating wasteful or unproductive behavior and practices among employees and management. The scheme called lean manufacturing is a program or methodology that could prove to be fitting and appropriate for all types of businesses or organizations. Lean manufacturing would be effective whether adopted by companies in the manufacturing, service, trading or other sectors. Lean manufacturing is focused at helping companies get the right things, to the right and appropriate places, at the perfect or right time and in the right amount or quantity while at the same time, reducing waste and promoting productivity and flexibility among workers. Lean manufacturing and wastes It does not take a successful manager to assert that businesses and companies carry unnecessary and unlikely burden of wastes. Lean manufacturing as a philosophy focuses on reducing the seven wastes commonly identified among global firms. Lean manufacturing attempts to help companies eliminate these unnecessary wastes to improve output quality, to maximize production and the time needed for it and mostly, to significantly save on costs. The seven wastes lean manufacturing aims to slash and eliminate in the workplace are the following: 1. Over production 2. Over processing 3. Transportation 4. Motion 5. Inventory 6. Waiting 7. Scrap and defects Over production, over processing and inventory While some companies view over production in the positive way, most, especially those in the service and manufacturing sectors, take it as a manufacturing liability. Over production will create a piling of inventory that would eventually create a problem in distribution because most warehouses have capacity limits. What is worse is that over production and piling of inventories are the usual causes of price drops, which are deemed bad for the business by most firms. The fundamental law of supply and demand will attest that if supplies are exceeding or too much, the demand tries to settle down or decline. Demands going down will mean prices rolling back or dropping as well. Over processing is unnecessary because it takes so much productive time from employees and managers. There are many disadvantage of over processing and most of them seem pretty obvious to you. Over processing makes costs blow up. Transportation, motion and waiting Because time is an important element of productivity, lean manufacturing values it the most. Thus, lean manufacturing philosophy aims to boost efficiency. Transportation is an essential element of manufacturing because through it commodities and merchandise are distributed to retailers, down to the consumers. However, lean manufacturing mandates firms to maximize the use of transportation especially nowadays when oil prices are soaring. Because energy prices are rising, and energy is what makes companies rolling, motion should be controlled. Lean manufacturing will have companies slash procrastination and unproductive hours among employees so as to increase and meet sufficient production targets. If motion is made efficient, then waiting could be reduced if not eliminated. In lean manufacturing, waiting makes idle of people and it kills time that should have been used instead in productive measures and activities. Scrap and defects Lean manufacturing have it that if employees are efficient and if they are motivated, the quality of production would be greatly boosted. That means, the company will not have to spend costs on wages, energies and other capital just to produce defective items that would eventually rejected upon distribution. While scraps and defects in production items are inevitable, companies adhering to lean manufacturing could always do something about it. Basic management principles have it that motivation is the most effective incentive to get workers doing the right and proper procedures in the work place. All the seven wastes that are combated by lean manufacturing strategies are somehow interconnected with each other that eliminating one could lead to the elimination of the others. Lean Manufacturing This might approach you as a big surprise, but the principles of lean manufacturing actually dates a whole lot back, specifically the era of Benjamin Franklin. This does not assume that lean manufacturing principles are ancient, but the time of Benjamin Frankling cannot be called recent can it? It is stated that in lean manufacturing, you must not waste time. Why? Well, have you ever heard of the saying "Time is gold"? You probably never imagined that this saying could apply to real life; well it does, especially in lean manufacturing. If you lose five shillings worth of time, you lose five shillings worth of money. So you might as well be throwing five shillings out over a cliff. It is only eventual that if you lose the sum of five shillings, you also lose the advantages and opportunities that come along with it. So, hopefully, you learn a lesson which is, if you waste time, thus wasting money, then you can say bye bye to the other good things, or blessings, that come along with it. It is also a must in lean manufacturing that you avoid involving yourself with unnecessary costs because doing so is believed, in terms of lean manufacturing, as a more profitable way, rather than increasing your sales. Increasing your sales do not conclude that the consumers will buy what it is thay you are selling. But not purchasing or spending money on things that are not really necessary will definitely save you a big comfortable bag of money. Just take this saying for example, "A penny saved is two pence clear. A pin a day is a groat a year. Save and have." Having unnecessary inventory can give you quite a number of disadvantages. It not only adds up to the space of your sales, and it also adds to your responsibilities, but it also gets you busy over things that you do not really need to be responsible of. You might refer to those unnecessary items as goods. However, you have to give these so-called goods some care if you do not want them to give you some evils. They will probably be sold with a cheap price, which is very unfair because they cost a lot more than they price with which they are sold. If your sales are cheap, then they are only apparent and not real, as you expected and have been hoping for. If you do engage yourself and your sales in certain bargains, you have to be careful and you also have to be choosy of the said bargains. Why? Some bargains, which at first deem to be straightening your business, may actually cause you more harm than good. Harm in the case that when it straightens your circumstances, it reduces a big amount of the cast that is available. The concept of having trash built into certain jobs and then taken for granted afterwards was taken to notice byb some motion efficiency experts. One motion efficiency expert is Frank Gilbreth. Frank Gilbreth used the masons to serve as an example about the practice of lean manufacturing. He saw how the masons help each other. A certain mason will bend over to pick up bricks from the floor and then another mason, the brick layer, lowers and then raises the whole of his upper body to obtain a five pound brick. They are not wasting time because time is money. However, this came as quite an inefficiency as it as built into the job after long practice. So when the masons were introduced to a non-stooping scaffold, which does the job of delivering the bricks at waist level, permitted the masons to go on with their work, only for an approximation of three times as quickly, and also with lesser effort. In lean manufacturing, you can make us of standardization and also of best practice development. When you involve improvement in your proposal, the policy of the management is the only one that can make a thorough and careful analysis of the new method. If necessary, it will conduct a series of procedures to find out, accurately, if there is a relative merit of the newly suggested statement, and also of the old standard. hat Is Lean Manufacturing What Is Lean Manufacturing? Today, in a highly consumerist society where people strive to acquire more possessions, it is ironic that in manufacturing consumer products, lean is in. The concept of zero-waste does not only circulate among ecological zones, it seems. Lean manufacturing is a new buzzword in the industrial world which is rapidly gaining ubiquitous following. Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach to eliminate waste in the production process with the end goal of satisfying customers. Waste is anything that a consumer refuses to pay for. The types of wastes in a manufacturing system include the following: (a) overproduction or producing more, earlier or faster than required (b) waiting for machines to process (c) inventory or work in process because of large lot production or processes with long cycle time (d) unnecessary processing (e) transportation which hardly adds values to products (f) excessive motion of workers, machines and transport due to inappropriate location of tools and parts (g) making defective products and (h) underutilizing people. The focus of lean manufacturing is to minimize the consumption of resources that adds no value to a product. As such, it is a process-focused production system which minimizes costs, maximizes customer options and ensures high quality and fast delivery of products and services. The concept of lean manufacturing originated in Japan where, after WWII, it was necessary for manufacturers to develop a new, low cost manufacturing process. Unlike their western counterparts, Japanese manufacturers needed torebuild after the war and faced declining human, material and financial resources. The first leaders to create lean manufacturing systems were Eiji Toyoda, Taiichi Ohno and Shingeo Shingo of Toyota Motor Company. In the 1990's, the concept of lean manufacturing was popularized in the U.S. by a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the movement of mass production toward the more streamlined Japanese production style as described in the book entitled The Machine That Changed the World (Womack, Jones & Ross). This depicted essential elements which are used in lean manufacturing systems. The term lean was adopted because these methods used less human effort, capital investment, production space, materials and time in all operation stages. All U.S. manufacturing businesses eventually applied lean manufacturing because of competition among U.S. and Japanese automakers over the last two decades. Lean manufacturing systems recognize the fact that the value of a product is defined solely by the customer. Customers' needs must be met at a specific time and price. The nitty-gritty of product operations is of no importance to customers. This realization forces companies to comprehensively analyze business processes. To apply lean manufacturing is to understand basic activities required to produce a particular product and to optimize the entire process from the point of view of the customer. This is important as it helps identify activities that clearly add value, those have no value-added and cannot be avoided and those that have no value-added and can be scrapped altogether. Transition to a lean manufacturing system does not happen overnight. Lean manufacturing requires every level of organization to have a complete understanding of its basic principles and execution processes. Widespread orientations must be set to prepare and motivate people and to make them understand the need to switch to lean manufacturing. After that, a mentality for continuous improvement is necessary to reach company goals. This means that the company aims for incremental improvement of products, and processes over time. For this, employee involvement and an atmosphere of experimentation are essential. Decision-making and system development must be delegated. Willingness to take risks must be encouraged. Improvements must be measured according to results vis-à-vis macro level targets not on number of activities undertaken. Because of the complicated nature of lean manufacturing systems, there is a need to execute pilot projects before spreading the culture across the organization. The number of manufacturers attempting to become lean is increasing fast. Companies that have fully implemented lean manufacturing systems are rare. Although perfection is impossible, it is a goal that lean manufacturers strive for because it helps them be more vigilant of wasteful practices. The Lean Manufacturing Process Lean manufacuring process is a general term for a wide variety of manufacturing methodologies that are bent on maximizing the value and minimizing the waste in a manufacturing process. The lean manufacturing process had its origin from the Toyota Production System in Japan. Most of the pharses and terms used in the lean manufacturing process such as kanban, kaizen and andon are Japanese terms that became standards in teh lean manufacturing process. The Focus Of Lean Manufacturing Basically, lean manufacturing is focused on value. What is value? Value is defined in the lean manufacturing process as something that the customer is willing to pay for. Aside from this, all aspects of the manufacturing process is now deemed a waste. So all processes that is included in the lean manufacturing process is focused on gaining value and reducing waste. The lean manufacturing process is seen as a tool that focuses all the resources and energies to the features with value and less on the features with no value. Lean Manufacturing Process Is Customer Centric Lean manufacturing process is customer centric. The term value that is defined in the lean manufacturing process is based on the definition of value from a customer's point of view. Companies who have identified their customers and how they define the term value will focus all their resources on that particular value. So basically, companies who observe lean manufacturing processes are manufacturing based on customer needs. Through the use of lean manufacturing process, companies hopes to satisfy their customers and gain more revenue. Lean Manufacturing Process Eliminates Waste The lean manufacturing process eliminates waste. Waste is defined in the lean manufacturing process as anything that the customer is not willing to pay for. So companies hoped for eliminating waste by conserving the process in manufacturing. Companies focuses on correcting the levels of quality and features of the manufacturing process. The companies hopes to make the manufacturing process "leaner" by eliminating unnecessary processes or loops. In a lean manufacturing process, an inventory that is depleted is simply replenished, when a customer demands, the company delivers the product, all processes are monitored and checked. Upon monitoring, the company will be able to have standard targets and will have an idea whenever the manufacturing process has reached its qouta or is higher or below what is expectant of it. These figures will also tell the company of any loopholes that it needs to correct. By correcting these loopholes and avoiding any unnecessary items in the process, the process will be faster and more effective. Basically, the equation for the actual cost of a product has changed since the advent of the lean manufacturing process. Previously, the equation is price of the product is equal to the cost of manufacturing and the expectant profit. After implementing the lean manufacturing process, the equation is still the same but was seen in a different view. The profit is now equal to the sales price of the product minus the cost of manufacturing. Lean Manufacturing Process Is Continuous Improvement The lean manufacturing process also commits to the continuous improvement of the manufacturing line. Doing so will eliminate whatever process that can be eliminated as time passes by. Old processes will always be replaced by newer and better ones. The lean manufacturing process is always open for changes and adjustments. As time passes by, more and more automation of processes will make the manufacturing process shorter and more robust. Lean Manufacturing Process Is Effective All in all, the objective of the lean manufacturing process is to satisfy the customers, increase the morale of the employees, and increase the gain of the shareholders. The lean manufacturing process satisfies the customers because it provide their needs and deliver them on time. The lean manufacturing process satisfies the employees of the companies because it eliminates unnecessary and tiring process along the manufacturing line. Also, more and more automation of the processes will surely eliminate any human error along the process. The lean manufacturing process satisfies the shareholders because it hopes to implement continuous improvements along the manufacturing line. The manufacturing process will be more effective and the company will have more revenue gain from this. More and more products will be able to be manufactured and yet the quality of the product is not tainted. What Adopting Lean Manufacturing Can Do For You Lean manufacturing espouses the philosophy that the seven major wastes in every production process and company should be significantly reduced or even eliminated in order to be able to compete more effectively and dramatically boost profitability. Times are changing fast and the demands of the market for faster delivery periods, higher quality and lower costs are placing huge tolls on every firm. This is where lean manufacturing comes in. What it does is help your firm rise up to the competition by being 'lean', that is, by taking out all the unnecessary activities and methods that cause problems and delay. Lean manufacturing has identified seven major 'wastes', as named by companies surveyed all over the world: overprocessing, transportation, waiting time, over production, motion, scrap and defects and inventory. For example, a certain production level becomes a huge waste of time, effort and resources if it's being done in ten levels, while it can be completed in just three. Citing another case, productivity could have been raised if defects of a particular equipment or system had been addressed before processing began. A lot more could have been done you had not waited for it to bog down in the middle of everything and cause annoying delays. Another one is where your company has overproduced and have no more space to stock the overruns. Where do you put the excesses? How do you manage to sell them? More likely than not, you will be forced to offload them at a price much lower than intended just so you could make room for new goods. And, this, as lean manufacturing says (and any businessperson would say) is major waste. Studies show that firms adopting the lean manufacturing principles have seen that their productivity has gone up 75% to 125%. This is because the energy and time usually spent on regular processes have been significantly lowered to allow for greater focus on quality and on what the customers truly need. With lean manufacturing, there is no "this will have to do" attitude. Everything is done at the right quality, at the right quantity, at the right time, all the time. As with the workplace setting, lean manufacturing's focus on eliminating unproductive activities and tasks will also help the firm and its employees give more attention to what their clients need. No job will be haphazardly done because enough time is afforded to each level to make sure things are running smoothly. When customer satisfaction is achieved, it follows that revenue will rise. Your client is happy, your company is happy, everybody is happy. Lean manufacturing also aids the organization by weeding out redundant positions, thereby cutting labor costs and eventually raking in savings. It helps firms focus just on what needs to be done and do away with unwanted stress, especially those that arise from having too many people on board. With lean manufacturing, less is definitely more. One major change that your company will see once you have adopted lean manufacturing concepts is the raised discipline among your employees. Because the culture becomes standardized, annoying kinks and practices are done away with. While several people criticize lean manufacturing, saying it's a costly endeavor, you must be aware that the costs related to its preliminary stages will far be trumped by the advantages it will deliver for the company in the long run. The Toyota Lean Manufacturing System The standard lean manufacturing system has been referenced from the Toyota lean manufacturing system in Japan. Even the lean manufacturing system developed in North America has evolved from its beginnings in the Toyota Production System (TPS) in Japan. In fact, many of the recognized phrases being used in the lean manufacturing systems in North America and all over the world are Japanese terms such as kanban, kaizen or andon. These Japanese terms originated from the Toyota lean manufacturing systems and have become standard and normal terms in every lean manufacturing systems available in every country. The Heart Of The Toyota Lean Manufacturing System Value has been the heart of the Toyota lean manufacturing system. When we say value, it means something that a particular customer desires to pay for or even buy. As such, if there is value, then there is also non-value in the Toyota lean manufacturing system. Non value are everything that is not of value, meaning all aspects of the Toyota lean manufacturing processes are considered a waste or of no value. Basically, the Toyota lean manufacturing system has an objective to be used as a tool in focusing all resources or energies in producing certain value-added characteristics while also identifying, acknowledging and eliminating the activities that are of no value. The Toyota Lean Manufacturing System The Toyota lean manufacturing is a sort of codification of several ideas into a set of workable harmonies. First, a company who adopted the Toyota lean manufacturing system must be able to identify a particular customer and how or what is value to them. Afterwards, the Toyota lean manufacturing system will be able to guide the companies and employees to focus their energies into adding value to the goods. By delineating the existing manufacturing process to the demands of the customer, the Toyota lean manufacturing system will be able to add value to the products or goods. in the end, the customers, the employees and the shareholders of the companies will all be satisfied. The Waste In The Toyota Lean Manufacturing System The Toyota lean manufacturing system faces a hindrance in its aims to improve manufacturing processes. The waste has become the focus of the Toyota lean manufacturing system although it is taught that focus and energies must be directed towards the valued goods as wanted by the customers. Previous manufacturing processes has defined and categorized wastes as objects. The teachings of the Toyota lean manufacturing system, however, expands this view into meaning that wastes are not only objects but can be processes of the manufacturing system. The Toyota lean manufacturing system rather defines waste in terms of the relationship between the resource and the end customers. Anything therefore that is not of interest to teh customer but incurs expense to the company is a waste for the Toyota lean manufacturing system. Continuous Improvement In The Toyota Lean Manufacturing System The Toyota lean manufacturing system is bent on pursuing continuous improvement for all its processes. Any redundant or looping process will have to be terminated or replaced to improve the manufacturing process. The Toyota lean manufacturing system allows itself to be open and adaptive to any changes. By identifying what wastes are existing in the value stream, immediate and instant gains are acquired and achieved. The Plan Of Toyota Lean Manufacturing System The Toyota lean manufacturing system lays out a plan to increase the profitability of companies by reducing the costs that can be incurred. This is done by knowing and tagging what the customers identify as value. therefore, any processes or objects that do not align with this value or do not add value to the object is reduced or eliminated. When a company adopts the Toyota lean manufacturing system, it knows that it can direct cost savings by eliminating wastes in the system. Using the Toyota lean manufacturing process, companies can readily see the following improvements in their company: 1. An increased morale and productivity of the employee. 2. Satisfaction for the customer because of reduced defects on the goods and an improved delivery. 3. The goods will also be faster to market. As was said previously, the Toyota lean manufacturing system is very much customer focused. The Theory Of Constraints And Lean Manufacturing The theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are two of the most famous business beliefs that have made an impact to the business industry for years. Though both popular in the business field, the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are both similar in some aspects as they are in complete conflict in other views. Listed below are some of the strengths of the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing: 1. The theory of constraints provides focus to the student in a world of information overload. 2. The theory of constraints provides its practitioners an opportunity to improve their organization by limiting their focus on very few issues which are the seen constraints to ongoing profitability. 3. The lean manufacturing on the other hand became famous after being derived from the system of the successful Japanese automobile maker Toyota. The lean manufacturing approach teaches that to improve the organization, a practitioner must focus on the elimination of any or all waste. Listed below are some of the similarities of both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing: 1. As is evident, the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing both focus on the improvement and advocate techniques to control the process flow of a material on the manufacturing shop floor. 2. The theory of constraints and lean manufacturing have both demonstrated impact results of implementations. That is, profitability skyrockets, as well as inventories and lead times are slashed and the operations are drastically simplified in both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing. 3. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing recognize that the perspective of the change agent must not be limited to the manufacturing part of the business but must echo throughout the rest of the company. This is in order to gain and maintain the improvement trends that both theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are focused on. 4. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are able to expand their scope in order to cover principles and practices of the entire business system. This will enable a continuous system-wide improvement for both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing. 5. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing embrace the concept of value. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are two philosophies that agree that value is defined by the end customer. 6. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing have an acknowledgement that the customer value is created by a chain of interdependencies that pushes far beyond the walls of manufacturing. 7. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing also acknowledges that the work goal of every person in the business organization is to turn the inventory into throughput. 8. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing observe defining the system and understanding the actual process flow as an early step. 9. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing advocate the concept of the importance of flow. 10. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing embraces the Pull principle while also offering methods of control to the flow of product that are based from the Pull principle from the market. 11. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing agree that the business organization is focused on pursuing ongoing improvement. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing agree that it is an endless pursuit of perfection. 12. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are also recognizing the importance of the workforce in participating in improving systems. It is noted by both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing that it is the ownership of ideas together with the demonstrated results that ignites the flame of continuous improvement. Listed below are the main difference between the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing: 1. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing differ in how they focus their energies. The theory of constraints focuses on the notion to improve the system beginning with the current state of the system. The lean manufacturing, however, is bent on eliminating or reducing waste. 2. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing differ in how the boundaries are defined in the value stream itself. The theory of constraints focuses on resources that are shared across value streams while lean manufacturing organizes itself around specific products. When Is A Change In Management Required In Lean Manufacturing? The Wikipedia Website defines lean manufacturing as a management issue or philosophy that focuses on the elimination, if not reduction, of the seven wastes. The so-called seven wastes are identified by labor experts as the factors, both huge and little, that effect or influence the profitability of the given company. You know that companies spend most of their capital on investments, equipment and work force. The investments are expected to generate revenues, which in turn decide on whether the company will keep afloat. The seven wastes that companies find as burdens to their production and existence are defeats, motion, inventory, over processing, transportation, waiting time and over production. The seven wastes As mentioned, the seven wastes are the usual factors that are blamed for the losses and demise of modern-day companies. The seven wastes, as you might have noticed, are somehow directly linked to the companies' working culture and environment. Over production make up for filing of inventories, which is not necessary and negatively related to production because as supplies increase, prices do fall or decrease, as stated in the law of supply and demand. Over processing and slow motion result in longer wasting time, which makes companies unproductive. Motion of personnel is disturbed and made slower when there lots of equipments not used in the workplace that obviously make free movement hard. You know that when people can move freely, they can get to do more activities and accomplish more tasks. Defects and scraps in outputs can be prevented along with all the wastes. The seven wastes also involve and cover behavioral patterns of employees, which can negatively affect the overall being of the company. Lean manufacturing advantages There are numerous advantages and benefits enumerated from the implementation of lean manufacturing principles. For one, savings are consequently generated, and revenues and incomes are rapidly and effectively improved. Savings will mean a lot to a company because capital is so hard to raise nowadays and operation factors and inputs are becoming more and more expensive. Competition nowadays has also gone so intense that all companies, whether from different industries or not, are practically up against each others' sleeves. Competitiveness is another aspect of the companies that lean manufacturing aims to cover. To help cope up with the intense rivalry and competition among companies, lean manufacturing aims to boost production and quality credibility. These two factors are very essential when it comes to improving sales through active and good relations with customers and consumers. The management and lean manufacturing So one important question involving the adoption of lean manufacturing techniques is, " when is management revamped or changed resulting from the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques? The answer to the question can somehow get hard and complex. To seek answers for the above mentioned interrogative statement would also be equally complicated and will require too thorough probing and searching. Lean manufacturing principally aims to rationalize and streamline operations of companies. Experts argue that the process does not necessarily require a change in management. But it can be noted that the distinct features of almost all companies under lean manufacturing initiatives are the change and revamp in management. The subject is the main cause of stress nowadays among executives and directors. It can be safe and logical to assert, however, that because lean manufacturing entails the elimination of wasteful practices and behaviors in the workplace that some executives are axed. It can be ironic that several board seats and top posts are onlygreat wastes of capital and compensation packages. Lean manufacturing advisor recommend a change in management to most effectively make the adoption of lean manufacturing principles really work. Getting The Lowdown On The Principles Of Lean Manufacturing Principles of lean manufacturing heavily focus on the reduction or elimination of waste during the operation of a manufacturing business. It is so important to reduce waste that it even has its own term in principles of lean manufacturing, "Muda" which also means waste in Japanese. There are seven types of waste these principles of lean manufacturing are dedicated to eliminate, namely: 1. Defects -- Having to repair or refurbish the defected product and the time and effort it takes. 2. Processing -- Having different add-ons that the customer does not need. 3. Motion -- The movement of people during production. 4. Inventory -- Having to store the product. 5. Over Production -- Producing more than what is demanded in the market. 6. Transportation -- Unnecessary transportation of products or materials from one location to another 7. Waiting -- Idle time of people because of bottlenecks in the manufacturing system. In minimizing these wastes, the principles of lean manufacturing employ strategies that focus on improving the production process. These are: 1. Value -- The price of the product is solely based on the customer's expectation. This means that as one of the principles of lean manufacturing, it must be value for money and must meet his or her requirements at a designated time. What manufacturers do to change the raw materials to the finished product is not of relative importance to the customer. These principles of lean manufacturing are one of the hardest to achieve because of competition that the company has to optimize its operations and identifies the different tasks that add value and those that don't add value. 2. Continues Improvement -- As one of the principles of lean manufacturing, this involve mapping out the whole business process. From analyzing the business process to reviewing the most efficient points, as one of the principles of lean manufacturing, this changes how the business is handled from the very foundations. As part of the principles of lean manufacturing, it is crucial to gain optimized levels of performance from time, delivery, to resource management and of course, profit. 3. Customer Focus -- Every manufacturing firm always has the customer first before profit. As part of the principles of lean manufacturing, customer focus makes sure that customer satisfaction is reached, feedbacks are heard and the necessary changes implemented to satisfy the customer base as a whole 4. Perfection -- One of the principles of lean manufacturing takes into mind that there are lots of ways of using company assets efficiently. This principle focuses on the reduction of operating costs while meeting customer's expectation. To be able to carry out all the principles of lean manufacturing in a business, the consultant has to be able to: 1. Motivate People -- Motivate people for the new changes that the principles of lean manufacturing has done to the company. This can be done through training of the personnel and recruitment of people with the needed skills for the job. 2. Employee Involvement -- Giving the normal workers the right to decision making will give them a sense of involvement and value to the company is essential to follow the principles of lean manufacturing. Having different activities that will bring out the best in each person. 3. Sharing of Information and Experience -- Having experienced co-workers give information to the newer ones on how to get the desired results while carrying out the specific task serves the principles of lean manufacturing. 4. Empowering Key Employees -- Identifying the workers that have leadership and giving them different tasks or responsibilities through training or other company activities like team building seminars. 5. Conducive Environment -- To carry out the principles of lean manufacturing , having the right environment that is strict and lenient at the same time is important. People must understand that if they make mistakes, the steps to correct them is clearly stated. 6. Compensation and Benefits -- Having the right evaluation for each person with no biases is important in principles of lean manufacturing. Focusing on the results instead of the number of activities or tasks done is important in the principles of lean manufacturing. 7. Execute different projects all over the business -- After successfully having one project that carries out the principles of lean manufacturing succeed in one sector of the business, it should be extended throughout the whole company one step at a time. When is Organizational Change Required by Lean Manufacturing? Lean manufacturing has become a very popular and widely adopted economic and corporate management philosophy. Companies around the world are starting to turn to it amid political and economic crises even in the most progressive all nations. Yes, the hard times have extended from the third world countries to the fully developed or first world countries. It is because economies are now led and influenced by volatilities involving oil producers and companies. Because all industries are practically run and powered by energy, companies seem to not get away from the problems hounding the energy sector. For almost more than a year now, firms around the world have been suffering from crunches brought about by the increasing and soaring prices of oil in the world market. A lot of companies have fallen and have weakened due to the rising oil prices. There are more and more companies now filing for bankruptcy protection not because their management messed up or some executives defrauded them, but because of the external environment posed by volatile oil prices. That is why, lean manufacturing is getting more and more attention, and more and more companies are deciding to finally implement the principles of the strategy. Lean manufacturing What exactly is lean manufacturing? The popular Web site Wikipedia defines lean manufacturing as a philosophy in management that concentrates and looks closely at the reduction and elimination of the seven wastes. The seven wastes are the usual tasks, equipment and practices found in the modern day work place. The seven wastes are identified as factors that hinder productivity or significantly weakens it. The seven ways lean manufacturing tries to scrap are the following: * Over production -- experts believe that over production is a total waste of energy, efforts and capital. That is because overproduction makes up for over supply and piling up of inventories, which in turn will lower or bring down prices for the manufactured goods. * Over production also drains capital from firms, with most of the excess products either put into the trash can or reaching expiration dates. * Over processing--- Over processing is basically similar to over production, only that over processing commands additional and unnecessary processes. * Transportation and motion--- Lean manufacturing aims to reduce unnecessary costs for transportation. Motion is the pace of action within the work places. * If the work stations are too compressed and small, workers will not be able to move freely, affecting their productivity. * Inventory and waiting--- As mentioned earlier, lean manufacturing eliminates piled up inventories. Waiting time in all aspects is abolished because of the streamlined structure and because productivity is accelerated. * Scrap and defects -- Mostly, lean manufacturing aims to combat the manufacturing of commodities and merchandise with scrap and defects. Goods and outputs with scraps and defects are undervalued in the market. What is worse is that the credibility and image of the companies producing them are tainted, resulting to poor sales, poor revenue, then eventually to loss, and further, to bankruptcy and business closure. Organizational change Not because lean manufacturing is a strategy that initially and principally targets the structure of companies is lean manufacturing always commanding and demanding for organizational change. Yes, lean manufacturing aims to rationalize, streamline and accelerate corporate operations. But its does not mean organizational changes follow. The organization is basically not altered or changed upon implementation of lean manufacturing principles. Lean manufacturing never targets organizational change, but instead hits changes in the organizations' environment design and work practices. Organizational changes, however, are recommended and implemented along with lean manufacturing only when the desired results and outcome from lean manufacturing practices are not attained. Failure of lean manufacturing is always found to be related to the effectiveness and adherence to the real principles in the implementation of lean manufacturing principles and strategies. That is the only time when organizational change along with lean manufacturing is implemented. The effects and gains from the implementation will offset all the troubles and costs incurred, so why hesitate anyway? Identifying The Wastes Named By Lean Manufacturing Before we move on, let us first answer the issue raised by this article by identifying what the top seven wastes companies identified as the reasons for the production delays, gargantuan costs and, eventually, bankruptcy filings and hostile takeovers are. 1) overproduction 2) transportation 3) motion (processes that don't need to be conducted) 4) inventory 5) processing 6) waiting time 7) scrap and defects Understanding what lean manufacturing is does not take rocket science to bear down to the basic concepts. Simply put, lean manufacturing is the achievement of the greatest efficiency and profitability for a company by eliminating the wasteful methods and activities that are commonly present in corporate regimes. At first glance, some firms are intimated with the thought of adopting lean manufacturing because of its fancy sounding name. But, if truth be told, it's actually easier than seems. What you just need to have is the dedication and the discipline to see things through and make change happen. These are the primary reasons why most firms often fail. For instance, with defects, instead of focusing on achieving the best quality output at the shortest period of time, some firms waste effort and energy into looking at and fixing equipment and method defects and problems. If the kinks had been addressed in the first place and the problem nipped at the bud, such an unnecessary activity would be eliminated. To further sate your palate for a better understanding of lean manufacturing terms: If a company wants to fully understand what lean manufacturing is, it should first familiarize itself with some of the prominent technical terms linked to it. Don't let these words scare you off. Kanban System This is a pull method that makes use of color-coded cards attached to parts to be able to ensure the smooth flow of the production process. A 'pull method' simply means the customer's interest is foremost, instead of you as the manufacturer dictating what the consumer should have. Cellular manufacturing This involves the linking manual and machine operation to achieve the most efficient and cost-effective combination that would extract maximum value from a certain activity and method, while reducing wastes at the same time. Cellular manufacturing is usually U-shaped and flows in a single pattern. Value This is what the customers is willing to pay for. It is the responsibility of the lean manufacturing strategy to deliver what the customer wants exactly. Takt time This is identified by the customers' rate of demand. The takt time is what sets the production pace and matches it with how badly consumers need the product delivered to them. It is often referred to as the heartbeat of lean manufacturing systems. Pull system This involves the replacement only of goods that have been used up or depleted. Lean Manufacturing In the UK Introduction Lean manufacturing systems or processes is the process or system methodology of analyzing the method of flow of information or materials in a manufacturing environment. Using the lean manufacturing processes or systems also requires a continuous effort to improve the process itself to be able to achieve the enhanced value required by the company. The Origination Of Lean Manufacturing Process The lean manufacturing in UK does not differ so much from other lean manufacturing in other countries. The lean manufacturing system or process that have evolved in North America was possible due to its origination from the lean manufacturing system or process of Toyota Production System in Japan. This is a known fact and it is not far fetched that the lean manufacturing of Uk have similar terms as the lean manufacturing of Japan or North America. A number of Japanese terms are incorporated on the lean manufacturing systems or processes in every country across the globe. Lean manufacturing terms such as kanban, andon and kaizen are definitely and arguably Japanese. The Lean Manufacturing In UK The lean manufacturing in UK similar to other lean manufacturing philosophies embraces a belief of excellence that includes the add-on of value and the elimination of waste or sometimes referred to as non-value added activities on teh manufacturing system or process. The lean manufacturing in UK also aims to monitor and adjust the existing production flow of the goods in accordance with the demand of the customer. The lean manufacturing in UK uses the following as sort of building blocks to be able to operate its system and processes: 1. Standardized work is a method of the lean manufacturing in UK to make the work more synchronized and predictable which in turn delivers predictable and measurable results. 2. The lean manufacturing in UK also uses workplace organizations to be able to manage the flow and processes of work inside the company. Every looping or redundant process is seen as a hindrance to the improvement of the company's systems and processes. 3. The lean manufacturing in UK also uses visual controls to assure that the workplace and all its inherent processes are properly organized. Process flows and maintenance are very well adapted to visual controls so that employees can easily follow the proper work actions. 4. The lean manufacturing in UK also implements an effective plant layout which is a picture image of the manufacturing plant. The effective plant layout is used to be able to find ways to further ease teh process flow or manage a new configuration of the manufacturing equipment. 5. The lean manuifacturing in UK also uses and observes quality at the beginning or source. This is possible by preemptive checking of resources and superior raw materials will definitely result to a superior goods. 6. The lean manufacturing in UK uses batch reduction with the objective of reducing if not possibly eliminating the waste that are present for each manufacturing batches. 7. The lean manufacturing in UK also forms teams or task forces to be able to meet deadlines or resolve matters by brainstorming and planning. 8. The lean manufacturing in UK is focused on customer demand-based manufacturing since the primary objective of lean manufacturing systems is to focus the energy and resources of the company towards the customers needs and wants that are termed value. 9. The lean manufacturing in UK similarly uses a one-piece flow process. The one-piece flow process is essential to the easy monitoring and adjustments of existing manufacturing processes in a company. The one-piece flow process relies on the continuity of the manufacturing process and further automation and reduction of redundant processes will make the manufacturing system conveniently simple. 10. The lean manufacturing in UK also makes use of the takt time. The takt time is the demand rate of a customer. The takt time sets the pace of the manufacturing production so as to match the rate of every customer demand and subsequently becomes the heartbeat of any manufacturing system. The takt time can be calculated by the division of the available work time by the total number of units that were sold. Move Ahead The Corporate Ladder With Lean Manufacturing Training In a business setting that operates under lean manufacturing principles, it is important that the staff and employees of the company must have lean manufacturing training. Lean manufacturing is a management principle that almost every business wants to emulate. Lean manufacturing is all about reducing waste to make the business more effective and efficient. Lean manufacturing training begins with the classroom setting with managers, consultant, implementers and employees are gathered to learn the concepts, formulate programs and create worthwhile solutions to the company's inefficiencies. The lean manufacturing training consultants may ask the staff to divide into teams. Forming teams within the corporate system is very important in lean manufacturing training. Lean manufacturing philosophy depends on the correlation of the units is a large organization and the cause and effect of each person in the unit. When lean manufacturing training begins, the value of having team pride is expressed. Teams undergoing lean manufacturing training cover a lot of areas from statistical Process Control, Team Building, Job Skills and Root Cause Analysis. Often during their training, many are shy and are reserved with their ideas. They lack the confidence in their work and don't really feel a part of something greater. When they finish with their lean manufacturing training, all their inhibitions are set aside. Their lean manufacturing training makes them more competent in their jobs as a team and individuals. Giving these people a vision or attainable goal helps give them pride in them and their work. During the lean manufacturing training, destructive and emotional conflict during work is turned into constructive brainstorming and problem solving. The lean manufacturing training sharpens the managers' decision-making abilities through case studies. Employees and managers see eye to eye on internal issues and their lean manufacturing training encourages them to think outside the box as a whole team when problems arise. One of the major benefits of undergoing lean manufacturing training is the satisfaction of getting the job done. It gives pride to the team who solves it and helps make the company more efficient. By involving the entry-level staff to the managers in attaining realistic goals set within a timeframe, they are encouraged to give their best. Another benefit is that the company stands to gain more from the lean manufacturing training. With the company's production processes becoming efficient without sacrificing the quality and quantity of the goods and services, more profits are expected to come in. The lean manufacturing training also teaches the managers how to spot wastes within the system. Since zero waste is the a must in the implementation of lean manufacturing, learning to identify what works and what doesn't in a department is a valuable trait for anyone wishing to climb the corporate ladder. It's all about being smart and effective as an individual. Eventually, the door of opportunity will open once you've taken the lean manufacturing training to heart. Lean manufacturing training for the different groups in a company There are six groups that may be involved in the implementation of the lean manufacturing philosophy in a company. Because of the different level in the role of each group, lean manufacturing training for each of them also differs. 1. Executive Management -- this group is responsible for establishing the culture of zero waste in all the departments. They are the ones everyone expects to set the bar for exemplary lean manufacturing training. Because of this, their training covers a lot of the philosophy of lean manufacturing and how to integrate its principles in the company's way of business. 2. Lean masters -- this is a selected group of highly qualified company experts on lean management that are trained to become leaders in advancing the lean management plans. They are usually selected within the company and their lean manufacturing training is all about getting results. 3. Middle Management -- this group is tasked with the responsibility of identifying opportunities within the company. They also must be able to prioritize which projects need more attention and how to achieve the results expected from the projects. Their lean manufacturing training is more focused on the production process of the company. 4. Lean Implementation Teams -- this group is directly responsible for implementing the lean manufacturing tools throughout the organization. Their lean manufacturing training is requires them to have a good understanding of the lean tools to fulfill their directives. 5. Office Support -- this group only undergoes lean manufacturing training when their actions can directly help in the success of the lean project. Often, they do not have to take the lean manufacturing training. With lean manufacturing training, everyone in the company can become a valuable resource. And by helping create a leaner more efficient workplace, the company can be expected to last for a very long time, which means more jobs and opportunities for promotion to its employees. Free Training on Lean Manufacturing Lean manufacturing is a holistic and effective set of approaches, principles and business strategies that aims to maximize productivity by minimizing unnecessary, unproductive and wasteful practices, tasks, activities and behaviors in the work place. The modern work place is bugged by many issues, with labor relations and labor concerns affecting both employee and employer relations and of course, the production of companies. Because the times are ever so trying and challenging with all kinds of crises affecting the society, the political landscape and the working industry as a whole, firms around the world complain and suffer from declining profitability and narrowing margins. The issue of labor relations are becoming so common worldwide, with all sorts of companies in all sectors and industries launching and introducing job cuts, streamlining efforts and restructuring efforts left and right and every now and then. Thus, productivity, both in the company and the employees' ends should be significantly boosted and improved to ensure the survival of businesses and of course, laborers. Lean manufacturing All companies from around the world are recognizing the value of implementing and adopting various and effective techniques to improve and help their businesses survive amid all crises. The Japanese are the pioneers in introducing innovative and practical techniques, strategies and methodologies in business improvement. From the industrialization era in the 1980s to the modern and dotcom era of the 1990s up to the present, they never falter. Experts could not really pin point the origin of lean manufacturing principles and concept as a whole, but analysts see lean manufacturing as somehow related and interconnected to the Japanese 5S working guide. Basically 5S eliminates unnecessary and interrupting situations by ensuring that cleanliness, orderliness and systematic processes are in place in the workplace. Lean manufacturing is somehow similar to that. Learning more about lean manufacturing There are various platforms and means on how people, especially managers, employers and work personnel, can significantly and efficiently learn and absorb lean manufacturing techniques. There are various consultancy and training firms that offer long courses and mostly, short or crash courses about lean manufacturing. It is important to note, however, that most training offerings for lean manufacturing are also costly, with the justification that savings and cost reductions to be generated from its implementation will surely make up for the training costs. Lean manufacturing trainings are somehow viewed by modern companies as one of the business aspects and areas where investments should really be poured in. Online, there are also a number of online sites that offer online trainings, but rarely can you find free training for lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing training has surely become a profitable and money-generating business itself. Free trainings It is not only rare, but to say, impossible, for you to find online sites offering free training on lean manufacturing. Indeed, some companies and experts on lean manufacturing have realized that their expertise and knowledge about the principles are becoming so in demand. Thus, it opens opportunities for earning and generating additional income. Because it is important to know lean manufacturing strategies and techniques so companies can improve efficiency and production, free training and courses on lean manufacturing has become a dream that can totally be unachievable. However, because free training for lean manufacturing will not be available online and in personal consulting and training venues, companies resort to invest on it by sending key personnel to costly and paid lean manufacturing training. After that, these key personnel are expected to relay the message and the whole lean manufacturing training, of course, to the whole staff. That is basically a practice adopted by companies trying to save on costs and operational investments. Through that, lean manufacturing training is somehow being made free. Lean manufacturing free training, an impossible dream? Because most companies around the planet are struggling and striving to survive in these trying times, free training on lean manufacturing has hope. Because most experts and lean manufacturing proponents are capitalizing on their knowledge, making free training on lean manufacturing an impossible dream, governments are expected to get in. Because governments around the world aim to protect their constituents by ensuring people have jobs, they would strive to help local companies especially nowadays when businesses are on the brink of collapsing. That is why some governments are expected to subsidize training on lean manufacturing and make them free for all companies to learn and implement. For sure, that would not be far from happening. Getting The Most From The Tools of Lean Manufacturing Lean manufacturing espouses the 'no waste' philosophy in managing the workplace and production processes. It does not know any company size. Whether it's a major corporation or a small group of five housewives with a cookie business, successful lean manufacturing techniques lies in its implementation and the discipline of those participating in it. Experts say that lean manufacturing tools first gained popularity in Japan -- a country best known for its highly unique and innovative approaches to a variety of things and methods, even with problem-solving strategies. The success of lean manufacturing is determined by how implementing companies deal with and initiate ways to achieve maximum benefits from the resources available to them without having to spend too much. Success is also driven by the reduction and eventual elimination of the so-called wastes of corporate environments. These wastes have been identified as: transportation (the movement of goods more than what is minimally needed), motion (employees working more than what is minimally required), defects (the efforts linked with inspecting and fixing problems), processing (conducting more work than what is actually needed), overproduction (leading to wasteful stockpiles) and inventory. It is a fact that all firms need to reduce costs, what with rising energy prices and intensifying competition. Reading business journals, you can see that firms are filing for bankruptcy left and right, citing mismanagement as the most common cause of the Chapter 11 filings. Even the most stable companies have fallen prey to these. This is why lean manufacturing is starting to become the overhaul method of choice for firms wanting to get back on track. The tricky part about implementing lean manufacturing tools is that most of the wastes identified are invisible, making their reduction and eventual eradication challenging. But with careful planning, lean manufacturing tools should be a walk in the park for your company The following five lean manufacturing tools are what serve as guidelines for firms that want to maximize value out of their organization. The Right Way, The First Time Trial and error methods are simply a waste of resources and time. If enough effort is placed in carefully planning a certain manufacturing process, then there wouldn't be the need to start all over again, or settle with mediocre situations. Go Away, Waste Lean manufacturing principles focus on eliminating waste from the company. This means taking out unnecessary departments or redundant positions, or eradicating processes that just cause delay. If it means terminating jobs, then do so. Lean manufacturing espouses that all resources, land, persons and capital, are used in the best and most efficient way they can be used. In Constant Search for the Best Quality Every company should always reach for the highest value that can be achieved. All the effort will be futile and major waste if this isn't done so. No Pushing Consumers should be given the freedom to decide what they want. As a manufacturer, you should impose trends or products to your clients. Rather, you should always be on the lookout for what will make your consumers happy. Exercise Flexibility Lean manufacturing tools do not support stiff and linear thinking. If something needs to be improved and changed along the way, then do so at once, instead of contending with the original plan that has been eventually found to be resource and time-wasteful along the way. Getting In Shape With Lean Manufacturing Techniques Everyone wants to have a good physique and a healthy condition. When the entire body is working efficiently, the individual said to be strong and resistant to diseases. Training the body and toning the muscles can achieve this. This analogy works in the business organization system. All departments work like the different parts of the body. When one is efficient and the others are lagging, the entire unit is not working at the optimum level. Lean manufacturing techniques can firm up the company by reducing wastes and making the organization better Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy that concentrates on eliminating wastes and dividing the resources of the company into departments and business projects that requires the most immediate attention. The lean manufacturing techniques gives the company the opportunity to harness the best possible mix of all the best their organization can offer. The first step in lean manufacturing techniques is to hire a lean manufacturing techniques consultant. Just like in a gym, a person hires a trainer to teach them the proper way to exercise, tone and sculpt their bodies. In the same way, companies must hire a lean manufacturing techniques consultant to guide them on how to achieve zero waste in the workplace. Depending on the lean manufacturing techniques consultant and services that they offer, the standard process of training involves teaching the staff, employees and managers in a classroom setting. The concepts of lean manufacturing must be clear to these people in order for them to fully appreciate the benefits of streamlining their systems. Lean manufacturing techniques involves analyzing the problematic parts of the organization, including the production department, making an assessment of the most inexpensive yet effective solution an implementing it to the organization. Lean manufacturing techniques programs There are different types of lean manufacturing techniques programs available to businesses. Some of these are: 1. 5S -- This is a simple and highly effective set of lean manufacturing techniques techniques that removes waste from the work environment through a better workplace organization, general cleanliness and effective visual communication. The 5S means: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. The 5S lean manufacturing techniques program clearly positions the methods within the framework of the principles of lean manufacturing and the improvement of values in the organization. The core of this 5S lean manufacturing techniques program is that to achieve an easy flow of products or services in the company in small groups, cleanliness and a followed set of procedures is needed. 2. Hoshin Kanri -- This type of lean manufacturing techniques makes an aligned team. It makes employees feel part of the development of the system. Because of this, the smaller units of the corporation help higher management achieve goals more effectively as new kaizens are identified and implemented, all consistent with the vision and strategy. 3. Kaizen -- This type of lean manufacturing techniques is applied as a part of the system level approach to improvement. Kaizen events, also known as Kaizen Blitz, is a focused, more intense short-term projects that are made to improve the process of a certain department. Kaizen events takes companies away from the traditional lengthy projects where valuable time and money is spent more on planning rather than making actual changes in the company. 4. Kanban -- This is a type of lean manufacturing techniques focuses on the pull system of an organization. Kanban represents the visual aspect of the physical storage locations in the retail business. Kanban and Supermarkets work hand in hand to establish and maintain the interactive relationship of the products from the customer back to the producer and to the supplier/s. Lean manufacturing techniques explain the kanban scheduling systems that makes a more efficient way of stocking the goods from the warehouse to the point of purchase. 5. Set-Up Reduction (also known as Single Minute Exchange of Die or SMED) -- This is a lean manufacturing techniques system that is often ignored. When the company doesn't have standard or set of procedures to follow on the start of any working activity, time is wasted. Lean manufacturing techniques flexes this attribute by effectively allowing employees to get used to a system and then do it frequently for more efficiency. There are only a few of the lean manufacturing techniques program available to any business. Six Sigma training, value stream mapping, lean assessment, lean accounting and standardization of work are among others. Get a leaner and more effective company by undergoing lean manufacturing techniques. You will have no regrets with the number of benefits this training system can do for your organization. Lean Manufacturing Systems The lean manufacturing systems is a general term applied to the latest methods of manufacturing that maximizes value and minimizes the waste. Lean manufacturing systems are varied systems designed to improve the manufacturing line of any company. Definitions Of Terms In Lean Manufacturing Systems 1. Value in terms of the lean manufacturing systems is basically what the customer is ready to pay for. A company will have to find out or survey what the customer really needs and then focus all its energies and resources towards that valueed goods. 2. Waste in terms of the lean manufacturing systems is the opposite of the value. Everything that is outside the value that was assigned to a particular goods is deemed a waste. Anything that the customer is not willing to pay for is also deemed a waste. The elimination of this waste can easily manifest itself in at most eight different categories: a. Overproduction Overproduction in lean manufacturing systems is the production of a particular good in higher levels and number than what is needed. When a customer orders a particular good, a company will have to manufacture it and deliver it on time. The problem transpires when the company overproduces the goods and upon delivery, the customer will only buy what he needs. What is left of the products is then deemed as wastes since its quality has diminished and teh customer is not willing to pay for it. If a company has lean manufacturing systems, then it will be able to monitor how much it should produce adn avoid overproduction. b. Inventory Problems in inventory arises when the stock is less than the demand by the customers. If a customer will not be able to get what he wants then it will be a bad image for the company. Lean manufacturing systems can be administered to be able to avoid the untimely depletion of stocks by proper inventory. Once the stock is near depletion it must be replenished. c. Defects Correcting defects have always been a part of lean manufacturing systems. Lean manufacturing systems desire to decrease defects in the manufacturing line by improving processes and applying automation in specific points along the manufacturing line. Defects are sometimes seen as caused by human errors but these defects can also be caused by improper machineries. d. Extra processing Extra processing based from lean manufacturing systems are processes that are seem to be redundant in the system. Extra processing can be solved by lean manufacturing systems simply by monitoring and identifying what specific processes are not needed anymore by the manufacturing line. What the lean manufacturing systems are doing is to cut down unnecessary processes and improve the manufacturing line. e. Waiting time Waiting time per lean manufacturing systems is the unnecessary time that is spent and wasted along the manufacturing line. Again whatever process or loops that can be avoided by the lean manufacturing systems is implemented. f. Underutilized people Underutilized people are also part of the concern of lean manufacturing systems. Lean manufacturing systems finds proper solutions to be able to solve the problem of underutilized people. Automation processes implemented along the manufacturing lines have induced the decreased need for people. g. Motion The motion of the manufacturing line is also a concern for the lean manufacturing systems. The processes of the manufacturing line must be streamlined and improved and lean manufacturing systems have drafted solutions to cut down unnecessary processes. h. Transportation The lean manufacturing systems also have a concern over the transportation wastes that a manufacturing company will incur. The lean manufacturing systems have eliminated a few of the problems by centralizing manufacturing operations per plant so that each plant can act and manufacture on their own. 3. Benefits of the lean manufacturing systems are many that includes a better lead-time, more flexibility and more increased sales. The internal influence of the lean manufacturing systems is the reduced space of operation and a progress in the work. Aside from improvements of quality and an almost minimal expenditures. Aside from this, lean manufacturing systems can benefit the company with a scrap reduction of about 90%, reduced set-up and lead times by about 90% and 50%. Using lean manufacturing systems, companies can achieve about 20 inventiry turns per year. The Benefits Of A Lean Manufacturing System A lean manufacturing system is a system and philosophy that was first developed by Toyota for its production system. Lots of manufacturing business has adopted this system for them to enjoy the benefits that it has to offer. The name "lean manufacturing system" is a generic term that refers to the principles and theories to rid your business of waste. Waste in a lean manufacturing system is referred to processes that do not add to the value for money for the customer that buys from you. The lean manufacturing system principles are: 1. Value -- Customer's willingness to pay for your product. 2. Value Stream -- Add-ons to a product or process. 3. Flow -- The movement of your product being biased to single piece flow or work cells rather than production lines. 4. Pull -- Having the right amount of materials to manufacture the product at the same time having a small or no inventory. 5. Continuous Improvement -- Getting rid of waste on a constant basis. For example, if you order a computer over the Internet it may take a week for your computer to be delivered to you. It will only take a few hours for the technician to assemble and have your computer ready for use. The reason why it may take a week is because of the different shipping practices used by the company. It may also be bottlenecks within their current manufacturing system like having the company wait for the required materials to arrive that make you wait those extra days. Having a lean manufacturing system for your business and the application of its various principles can make your order for a new computer shorter. Instead of waiting for a week for your computer to be delivered to you, it may just take 24 to 48 hours. The lean manufacturing system is designed to give the customer value for money at the lowest price at the least given time. Another good example of a lean manufacturing system is the eyeglasses in an hour. Usually it would take at least 24 hours for glasses to be made and delivered to the customer, maybe even longer. A lot of lean principles have been applied to this lean manufacturing system. Now you see a lot of eyeglasses in an hour stores from malls to stores near your street. Judging from the examples above you may think that the quickness in delivery is the only benefit that a lean manufacturing system can give a business. Actually this is just one in the many benefits that having a lean manufacturing system can offer. A lean manufacturing system also gets rid of waste while maintaining low cost and at the same time satisfying customer needs. Getting rid of waste and all the useless processes is so crucial to the lean manufacturing system that it even has it's own term "muda." "Muda" in lean manufacturing system is also a Japanese word for waste. There are seven types of considered waste in the lean manufacturing system: 1. Over Production -- Producing a product that is made faster than is sold is wasteful. 2. Inventory -- A product that has to be stored is wasteful because it ties up money as inventory. 3. Conveyance -- Moving a part unnecessarily during production is wasteful. Can also damage the part. 4. Correction -- Having to inspect, correct your products because of production errors is a huge waste of time and money. This can be overcome with error proofing. This means that the product can be made through that way only. 5. Motion -- Awkward movements of the operator can put different aches on different parts of their body. Making this area better will reduce injury and workman injury claims. 6. Processing -- Customer requirements that are not clear to the manufacturer cause the manufacturer to produce different add-ons that is wasteful since it will increase the cost of the product. 7. Waiting -- The operator doing nothing is a waste. It's ok that the machine waits for the operator not the other way around. Eliminating waste through lean manufacturing system streamlines your company thus by getting more done with less equipment, capital, space, effort, labor, inventory and time. Having a lean manufacturing system established in a company's organization could do wonders. This is because while saving time, money and precious resource, the company's production system is improved and becomes more efficient. Other companies admire this attribute that to have a lean manufacturing system can only mean a good management. Sustaining the Gains from Lean Manufacturing Lean manufacturing is becoming a popular and widely used set of techniques and approaches aimed at boosting profitability and increasing competitiveness among major companies worldwide. Because the world economy has somehow been subjected to various crises and turmoil from political and other economic hurdles, companies around the world are currently on the receding trend. That is why companies do acknowledge the importance of integrating within them and adopting the helpful and effective strategies and principles of lean manufacturing. Since lean manufacturing is basically involved in obtaining the right things, putting them to their proper and right places, during the right time, at the same time in ample and sufficient quantities, companies adopting them should really be careful in implementing them. Lean manufacturing fundamentally aims to reduce waste and make companies more competitive by helping them turn into flexible firms which are open and subject to positive developments, innovations and changes. Hence, the real challenges faced by all firms adopting the lean manufacturing principles are those that revolve around how to sustain gains from lean manufacturing. Gains from lean manufacturing There are several identified benefits that can surely arise from successful and effective implementation of lean manufacturing principles. It is apparent and logical to state that lean manufacturing can have positive, direct and immediate influence and impact on companies. Implementation of lean manufacturing measures and techniques will surely and undoubtedly bring about numerous and significant gains and benefits to companies. Lean manufacturing is sure to get companies reduce or slash manufacturing time without sacrificing output number and quantities. Experts believe that by implementing lean manufacturing principles within operations, companies can have a 50% to 90% reduction in overall manufacturing time. That gain from lean manufacturing can be sustained only by continuing to implement effectively the helpful and effective principles of lean manufacturing. Space gains Another gain sure to be brought about by effective implementation of lean manufacturing is the reduction or lessening of floor space requirements. Because lean manufacturing also involves the effective and strategic elimination of wastes and unproductive equipment in the work place, companies are expected to maximize space, making worker freer and faster to move around the work stations. That could be sustained by preventing to buy unnecessary equipment. Redundancies and duplication of machines' purposes and intent should also be avoided. Increased benefits If lean manufacturing reduces manufacturing time and floor space requirements, it can, on the other hand, increase a number of gainful aspects. For one, productivity of companies increase by using and adopting the lean manufacturing principles and techniques. As mentioned earlier, because disruptions and unnecessary wasteful machines are taken out of the work place, personnel are more free to move around. The comfort given to employees make them more efficient and thus make them more produce more outputs. In turn, that could be to the advantage of the company. That lean manufacturing gain can be sustained by maintaining the smooth and effective implementation of lean manufacturing strategies and techniques. Other gains of lean manufacturing Companies adopting and integrating lean manufacturing techniques in their operations are also expected to improve their overall customer and client focus, boost the leadership potentials of their key personnel and make up for a leaner structure of the business. What benefits would it be if companies achieve these gains? Of course, the overall profitability, competency and image of the company will be significantly boosted. That would really count amid an intense competition, hard economic environment and overall rising of operational costs among companies. To sustain such gains, it would be really imperative for companies to really maintain their focus on their goals and priorities upon implementing lean manufacturing techniques and principles. Companies should remember that reaping benefits from such strategies upon initial successful implementation should not be a guarantee that the gains would keep on pouring. Strong will power and determination would really keep companies afloat and surviving. Sustaining gains would be as hard an activity as seeking profit improvements and boosting competitiveness, but it is one concept and aspect, companies should really strive to get into. Lean Manufacturing Towards Success To put it simply, lean manufacturing espouses the 'no waste' philosophy in managing the workplace and production processes. It does not know any company size. Whether it's a major corporation or a small group of five housewives with a cookie business, successful lean manufacturing techniques lies in its implementation and the discipline of those participating in it. Experts say that lean manufacturing first gained popularity in Japan -- a country best known for its highly unique and innovative approaches to a variety of things and methods, even with problem-solving strategies. Lean manufacturing principles border on the practical and the simple. But, again, while they can be easily understood and implemented, maintaining the right attitude all throughout is a different story. Because of the success lean manufacturing has brought to the companies that adopt it, for instance, Toyota, firms are now seeking to apply the strategy to their own corporations. It is a fact that all firms need to reduce costs, what with rising energy prices and intensifying competition. Reading business journals, you can see that firms are filing for bankruptcy left and right, citing mismanagement as the most common cause of the Chapter 11 filings. Even the most stable companies have fallen prey to these. This is why lean manufacturing is starting to become the overhaul method of choice for firms wanting to get back on track. The success of lean manufacturing is determined by how implementing companies deal with and initiate ways to achieve maximum benefits from the resources available to them without having to spend too much. Success is also driven by the reduction and eventual elimination of the so-called wastes of corporate environments. These wastes have been identified as: transportation (the movement of goods more than what is minimally needed), motion (employees working more than what is minimally required), defects (the efforts linked with inspecting and fixing problems), processing (conducting more work than what is actually needed), overproduction (leading to wasteful stockpiles) and inventory. When a company overproduces a certain product, chances are that this product will end up being sold at a price that is a lot lower than intended. The manufacturer will be pressured to sell everything and, thus, be forced to offload at rock bottom rates to make this happen. A successful lean manufacturing program will make sure this does not happen to your company. Instead, it will push for a production level that is just adequate and delivered at the right time it is needed, without time and product excesses. For the part of the consumer, this is good. They exactly what they are paying for. For the part of the manufacturer, this is also positive, because nothing is wasted. Not resources, not energy, not time. However, as said earlier, to achieve lean manufacturing success still relies on how it is adopted. In short, it is all up to you. Lean manufacturing requires careful planning at the onset. If you get into it haphazardly and not mind the possible consequences, then you might as well have not undergone it all. Lean Manufacturing in Steel Companies Steel companies have caught up with the fever and are trying to implement lean manufacturing in their operations. Lean manufacturing of steel is a production process that seeks to eliminate waste in all steel production phases with the end purpose of satisfying the customer. Results of a successful implementation of lean manufacturing of steel are monumental: huge reductions in production cost and inventory and cycle times, large gains in quality, and evident improvements in delivery reliability. Traditional approaches to implement basic lean manufacturing in companies involve : (a) a top-down rolling out of concepts (b) installing and following goal-curves across management levels, meaning departmental goals must be in sync with each other and people are held accountable to meeting their targets (c) doing the easy tasks first and gaining momentum from small successful results (d) interactive education and creating at atmosphere that welcomes taking risks and (e) initiating a pilot project before wide scale implementation. Although very worthwhile, lean manufacturing is a very complicated process by itself. Lean manufacturing of steel even creates unique problems. Steel parts that carry loads like automotive trains, jet engines, industrial bearings and metal-forming machinery are produced in a time-consuming multi-step process that involves a lot of grinding and polishing. Steel parts are first molded out of metal that is relatively soft and then hardened by being subjected to high heat and quickly cooled in a liquid, or "quenched." After this, steel parts still require precision finishing processes to produce ultra-smooth surfaces that reduce friction and wear In steel production, equipments are often physically huge that rearrangement of these to reduce unnecessary human and machine movements may be unrealistic. Some processes in manufacturing of steel must be performed in large batches. Because of the size of the products made, cycle time is often longer than in other manufacturing businesses. Metallurgical constraints limit the aggressive acceleration of heat-up and cool-down cycles. Difficult equipment set-up increase production time, effort, yield loss and equipment deterioration. Protective inventories are necessary to avoid costly "out of metal" conditions during bottleneck operations and cannot be avoided.Traditional "kanban" or "signal controls are not suitable because some mills have a variety of routings and passes on the same equipment. Also, unions and uncooperative labor relations make empowerment of employees and team building difficult to establish. Despite these drawbacks, there have been success stories of lean manufacturing of steel. In order to slash manufacturing costs by up to 30 percent and as to add $6 billion to the U.S. economy every year, Edison Materials Technology Center developed and refine, from 2000 to 2005, an innovative technique for making a wide array of hardened steel parts through lean manufacturing of steel. "Hard turning", a method to forge hot metal into nearly perfect parts and hardening and machining these after, was discovered to eliminate waste and possibly the need for polluting oils which are used in cutting and grinding. If hard turning will be applied to manufacture gears and turbine blades, this would meet EMTC's goals. EMTC has developed hard-turning technologies and a complete prototype system. Other members of the team are Delphi Automotive Systems, Torrington Co., Kennametal, Third Wave, Hardinge, Inc., Masco Tech, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Ohio State University. Applying lean manufacturing of steel, Cairns Steel Fabricators also doubled its capacity and improved productivity. Established in 1979, CSF is a company focusing on steel fabrication and erection which employs around 60 personnel and handles 150 tonnes of steel per week. QMI solutions offered a holistic approach to lean manufacturing of steel through its ProEdge Manufacturing Excellence program. To ensure lean manufacturing of steel, CSF decided to address its internal processes first before expanding. CSF altered factory layout, house keeping and machinery setup. Efficient use of space and equipment resulted to increased productivity. CSF positioned individual work areas in specific spots and color-coded tools to ensure they are returned to their proper places. In CSF's case, it was important to look at the "little everyday things" in order to make the system leaner. Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Both lean manufacturing and six sigma are management philosophies or tools that help a company eliminate wastefulness in manufacturing and other types of industry. Because the times are changing, processes advancing and needs intensifying, more and more companies face challenges as regards their efficiency and profitability. And both lean manufacturing and six sigma introduce solutions to these dilemmas, without putting much strain on a firm's energy and resources. Lean manufacturing Lean manufacturing has been proven to significantly aid in the streamlining of operations and reduction of waste. It welcomes the concept of continuously raising the value added to a certain business activity or method via the reduction of the so-called seven wastes: namely, transportation, motion, overproduction, inventory, over processing, scrap and defects and waiting time. What lean manufacturing does is provide implementing firms with adequate tools to make it in the increasingly competitive global market, which is everyday faster turnaround times, higher quality and lower prices. Here are some advantages of lean manufacturing: - lean manufacturing strengthens production processes - lean manufacuring significantly lower the chain of wasteful activities and resources - lean manufacturing increases flexibility by improving layouts - lean manufacturing reduces floor space needs and inventory dramatically, and - lean manufacturing introduces and implements more appropriate and up-to-date delivery systems Six Sigma The six sigma management philosophy, like lean manufacturing, is also tailored to reduce waste, but it is more focused on eliminating waste linked with production method or equipment defects. The tools under six sigma are used by firms to further improve and develop a company's products and systems, via the consolidation of engineering, business and statistical data. As with lean manufacturing, six sigma can also be applied to any form of corporation or organization, whether engaged in the services, marketing, design, sales or production industries. Some advantages delivered by the six sigma management tool: - six sigma improves and boost a firm's systems and products - six sigma reduces the chain of wastes - six sigma lessens costs by around 50% via self-financed methods - six sigma easily adapts to changer customer tastes - six sigma drives growth using the internal resources available to it What both philosophies do is help firms dramatically increase their productivity by around 75% to 125% because they ensure that no time, energy or resource is wasted in any of the processing levels. To put it in simple terms, both lean manufacturing and six sigma are bent on nipping problems at the bud, or, even nipping problems before they occur. A vigilant approach to business is what companies need nowadays to be able to cope with the fast changing times. Sure, while some systems have worked for us for decades now, it wouldn't hurt to try something that is relatively new and proven to be so much better at delivering positive results. Understanding Lean Manufacturing Processes Empowering and inspiring firms to implement strategies that would seek the maximum value of their goods and services and, at the same time, reduce wasteful elements and activities significantly is the primary goal of lean manufacturing processes. Since its introduction, most observers say it was pioneered by business tycoon Henry Ford and further developed into popularity by Toyota, every company has been intrigued by what lean manufacturing processes can do for their bottomlines. For those firms that have already been impementing lean manufacturing programs, the method has been proven to be a huge benefit and success not just for the companies, but also for their respective workforces. Lean manufacturing processes for the workforce Employees, no doubt, are considered to be major elements of the the manufacturing line. Workers benefit from the implementation of lean manufacturing processes because the work load is somehow eased and made less redundant. The key principle of lean manufacturing processes is reducing and or eliminating waste in the corporate setting. One of the seven wastes the program identifies is waiting time. If employees see a reduced waiting time, they become more productive and more in-tune with their work environment. And a positive environment is what leads to the most positive results. Lean manufacturing processes for the customers Consumers will only willingly pay for something that will give them value for their money. What lean manufacturing processes do is help give customers exactly what they want. The system helps manufacturers keep their customers best interests in mind and focus on their needs. The more customer-centric a company is, the happier its clients are. To make this happen, firms conduct studies and surveys to find out what clients are looking for. It is through these that companies will be able to focus on the resources and energies available to achieve that need. Lean manufacturing processes for the company itself Companies will benefit greatly from this philosophy because it primarily seeks to reduce costs and achieve the best output without overdoing it. The term 'lean' says just that. Delivering the right goods, at the time right time, at the right place and in adequate quantities. Thus, no excesses. No overproduction. No annoying stockpiles. If firms adopt lean manufacturing processes, they can be assured that nothing is wasted at any level of production. Lean manufacturing has identified the seven wastes firms should eliminate if they want to achieve their fullest potentials: - transportation - inventory - waiting time - motion - defects - underutilized workforce - overproduction These seven have been identified by companies all over the world as they key reason for unaccounted costs and weak production levels. These are what lean manufacturing processes aim to eradicate. Critics say that lean manufacturing is costly at first, because major changes will need to be made to systems that have been in operation for decades. However, when you really think about it, what lean manufacturing expends at the preliminary stage is more than compensated for in the longer term. Adopting lean manufacturing processes takes risks. But this doesn't mean that we are compelled to stick to age-old and obsolete methods just to be on the safe side, especially when we already know what this strategy can bring to the fore. Understanding the Lean Manufacturing Process Lean manufacturing has been called a miracle. Why is that? It is because of the dramatic changes that the lean manufacturing process gives to the company. When improvements and results are immediate like that, managers fawn over the concepts and try to emulate their example in their respective organizations. But not all who apply the lean manufacturing process become a success. Often this is because of the lack of understanding of the entire lean manufacturing process. Aside from that, organizations need to be trained and educated about the philosophy of lean manufacturing. The lean manufacturing process A successful lean manufacturing process begins with the proper training by lean manufacturing consultants. These consultants not only aids management achieve their goals but they educate with lean manufacturing tools that they can use to further improve the quality of their service to the company. Step two of the lean manufacturing process is the creation of a diagnostic report. This an overall evaluation of exactly what's needed by pointing out the problem areas and making an assessment of what goals can be achieve, using what resources and when. Step three of the lean manufacturing process is the selection of the lean manufacturing team. These individuals play the important role of taking charge in the lean manufacturing implementation. The key person in the success of a lean manufacturing process is the team leader. Tasked with the direct responsibility of implementing, evaluating and reporting of the improvements made to the department, he or she stands to be rewarded or reprimanded. The people chosen to lead a lean manufacturing process don't have to come from just the middle management. There are others who might be more capable and effective as team leaders. The company must open the opportunity to help change the organization. Selection of the core team members through profiling and expertise is a great way to send the message of equality across. Step four of the lean manufacturing process is the training of the core team members. Although they may have a grasp of the fundamentals of lean manufacturing, the training for the team members must be undergone for them to understand where they are going. At this stage, project planning taught and practiced. Once all the data and information necessary for identifying and analyzing the problem areas of a department is gathered, the next step is the simulation of the proposed project plan. The lean manufacturing process is heavily dependent on the success of this test run because this is a major consideration in the approval of the new system in the company. It may be tempting to use a computer simulation model but there are certain factors that machine do not take into account like emotions, relationships and unforeseen circumstances like environmental and political factors. Actual test runs must address issues like what happens when the demand increases by 25% percent, can the proposed system cope and when does it breakdown? How is process affecting the inventory? Is there any waste produced along the way? After answering these, the system has to iron out of kinks. If not, then it's back to the drawing board. Once the new system is perfected, the results are properly documented and improvements are evident, the next step in the lean manufacturing process is the development of procedures and governing guidelines to prepare for the implementation of the new system. This stage of the lean manufacturing process requires another set of training. This time it is for the cell teams who directly work in the assessed department. Once the simulation is realized into the actual project, the effects can still vary. This is especially true for a large department; say the entire can production line. The last step in the lean manufacturing process is the performance auditing of the new system. This can be done after a few months since the implementation of the new system. When the lean manufacturing process is accomplished and the goals are achieved, the results are as clear and the reality of the company gaining additional profits. Now that you understand the lean manufacturing process a little better, it's time to put your knowledge to the test by finding out which areas of your organization badly needs a make over. The success of the lean manufacturing process depends entirely on how the system is currently operating and how much management wants to turn it around.
Lean Manufacturing and the Printing Industry The printing industry, just like all other global industries, is also affected by the crunches and economic hardships affecting global corporate firms nowadays. The printing industry is mostly affected now by the rising popularity of the internet. The broadcast industry, for the past few decades have dominated the whole media universe. That is why when revenues of broadcast companies started falling in the past couple of years, people and companies around the world were taken in awe and disbelief. Why? because the present people, probably including you, have grown up sitting in front of the television. People in these times have grown and become TV addicts. For decades, TV has dominated and taken most of the advertising revenues. The radio industry has taken the second pie of the chart and the printing industry the least market and advertising share. Hard times for the printing industry: Obviously, the printing industry is the hardest hit by the emergence of the internet. The least ad revenue share once enjoyed by the printing industry is now made even smaller. All the companies around the world are living out the hardest of all times today. The printing industry is sure the hardest hit by the popularity of the online media. Revenues and profits of printing industry firms are significantly falling and declining. That is why every month, you probably are hearing or reading news about job cuts, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and selling off of many companies that belong to the printing industry. It is basically the hardest time for the printing industry. It is most of all made worse by the current economic events and problems that are not unique to the printing industry. Lean Manufacturing: Companies from around the world, from all industries, are now adopting the techniques and principles of lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing refers to the set of strategies and techniques implemented in the work place that aim to reduce, significantly cut down, operating costs and expenses of companies. There are seven identified wastes that lean manufacturing intends to eliminate in the work place. These seven are identified as: over processing, over production, motion, transportation, waiting, inventory and scrap and defects. Each waste contributes to the losses the companies incur with much quantity. Quality of outputs of companies are also lessened and sacrificed. What is worse is that competitiveness is much affected also. Indeed, the prevailing time is characterized by the cliche "survival of the fittest." Lean Manufacturing and the print industry Lean manufacturing may be the last hope for the printing industry. Because of the promises, the forecast and expected savings companies can reap from implementing lean manufacturing principles: the printing industry is believed to be the most and primarily boosted and lifted up by the lean manufacturing approaches. The printing industry has somehow turned into a damsel in distress. With the lean manufacturing, figuratively, its knight in shining armor. The manufacturing industry is benefiting from the gains and advantages of the adoption of lean manufacturing techniques. The printing industry, obviously, will also have the same gains some experts believe there will be much more. It is about time printing industries now implement lean manufacturing techniques on it's own. For sure, lean manufacturing adoption will not make the printing industry outpace or displace the online industry. But one thing is for sure. Lean manufacturing will surely help print industry players last and out live its destiny. It is said that printing industry is not meant to last longer. It can be true because the time and technologies have evolved along with people's preferences and interests. The printing industry surely needs its redemption factor. This is the opportunity it has been waiting all along. The opportunity to generate savings reduces operational costs and improve efficiency and competitiveness, all rolled into one single package. Lean manufacturing is the best means to lift up the printing industry. Understanding The Lean Manufacturing Principles Companies are always searching for a more efficient way to run their business. Cost cutting is the most popular way of doing getting ahead of the competition. This ideal management setting can be achieved by practicing the lean manufacturing principles. Lean manufacturing is the management philosophy of no waste. The focus is on reducing the seven wastes in the manufacturing business or any other type of business. The seven wastes are over-production, transportation, processing, waiting time, motion, inventory and scarp. The lean manufacturing principles serve as the outline and guide for any company wanting to get the best out of their organization. The lean manufacturing principles are taken as the outline for making a more productive work environment, whether it is in a warehouse, factory or the office. Perfect Time The first of the lean manufacturing principles is the perfect first-time quality. This is a quest for having zero defects by revealing and solving the problems right at the source. By cutting all the wasted time during quality inspection at the end of the production process, efficiency is reached. How does one achieve perfect first-time quality? By taking care of the problems at the source. Usually, after a through examination of how the usual production process is undertaken, the holes or inefficiencies of the process are exposed. After that, steps are taken to solve these holes immediately. The end result of following the first of these lean manufacturing principles is that it reduces the time spent checking for product defects or organization faults because all the problems are addressed even before they can become a major problem for the company. Get rid of waste The second of the lean manufacturing principles is waste minimization. This preaches to eliminate all those activities or departments that do not add significant value and safety nets for the company. This means the resources of the company (people, capital and land) are put into better use. Although this entails cutting off some workers, the option of reassigning them to departments where their talents can be utilized remains open. Often times, corporations, to justify mass lay-offs of their workers, use this second of the lean manufacturing principles. In reality, waste minimization is more effective when used in within the corporate hierarchy. Never ending pursuit of the best The third of the lean manufacturing principles is continuous improvement. As the title suggests, this principle focuses on continuous ways to improve the company. Finding the best way to do a task, reduce cost and improving product or work quality are examples of following this principle. At this point, any suggestions for improvement should be examined and, if proven to make the system more efficient, should be implemented at once. Information and tested knowledge govern the lean manufacturing principles. Flex your muscles The fourth of the lean manufacturing principles is flexibility. This requires foresight from management and a keen sense of the market trend. Flexibility means producing a mix or diversity of products quickly without sacrificing quality, even at low volumes of productions. How can these lean manufacturing principles be followed? By having a sound business plan at the start of the year and closely monitoring the market. The business plan should be flexible enough to adjust for any increase in volume or to make a new product in a short time. Expecting the unexpected and handling it with grace can sum up these lean manufacturing principles. Pull not push Pull processing is the fifth of the lean manufacturing principles. Simply put, pull processing means that the products are pulled from the consumer end, not pushed from the production end. It's all about relationships The last of the lean manufacturing principles dictates the importance of building and maintaining a good, long term relationship with the company's suppliers/partners through different management tactics like collaborative risk sharing, information sharing arrangements and cost sharing. By doing so, your company and theirs will grow together. As odd as this last of the lean manufacturing principles sound, it is by working with these people that your organization will achieve greater efficiency and the possibility of more job opportunities with your suppliers or partners is heightened. Following these lean manufacturing principles does not necessarily mean a leaner, more productive organization. Just as having the map is important, so is the execution of the lean manufacturing principles. The creation of a sound plan and firm implementation that can make or break the effectiveness of these lean manufacturing principles. Lean Manufacturing LED Signs Lean manufacturing processes and systems have required the need for lean manufacturing LED signs or displays to be able to monitor and adjust the process flow within the business systems. The principles and beliefs of the lean manufacturing system that was created by the Japanese have become accepted worlwide and have been so widespread that chances are a common layman could have heard something about it or are directly involved in some type or form of it. The idea of lean manufacturing is that a business or company can divide its workforce into possible distinct processes or work cells that can be easily monitored and adjusted. These companies with an active lean manufacturing programs or systems have to understand the need to map and measure the every stage of their available value stream for each product or goods with the aim or objective of eliminating or reducing waste from every system or process. The use of lean manufacturing LED signs will enhance a company's lean manufacturing programs. Using lean manufacturing led signs will quickly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of any existing lean manufacturing program by giving the business or company the ability to post the measurements exactly where they are needed most. Some of the available lean manufacturing LED signs are the following: 1. The Alpha 7120 displaying plant efficiency data. 2. The Alpha 9240 displaying the overall shipping performance. 3. The AlphaVision PC displaying productivity information. Using lean manufacturing LED signs can help a company to achieve the following targets: 1. About 40% -- 50% reduction in the cycle time 2. About 25% -- 35% reduction in the set up time 3. About 35% -- 45% reduction in the down time 4. About 30% -- 40% improvement in over all productivity 5. About 25% -- 35% reduction in the WIP 6. About 35% -- 45% reduction in the scrap 7. About 40% -- 80% reduction in the travel distance 8. About 20% -- 30% reduction in the floor space Companies that are fully engaged in the lean manufacturing programs or systems needs to have lean manufacturing LED signs to be able to achieve results like these. Key Lean Manufacturing Principles 1. Lean manufacturing define value precisely from the perspective of the end customer. 2. It identifies the entire value stream for each of the product line and eliminates waste. 3. Lean manufacturing makes the value added activities flow. 4. Lean manufacturing provides what the customer needs only when the customer demands for it. 5. Lean manufacturing pursues perfection through its continuous improvement. The Cornerstones of an Effective Lean Manufacturing Program 1. To create an exciting culture. Using lean manufacturing LED signs will definitely create an exciting and dynamic culture. 2. To empower a participative environment. With the use of lean manufacturing LED signs, employees of business companies can readily participate in the continuous improvement of lean manufacturing processes and flows. 3. To provide and give meaningful visual measurements using lean manufacturing LED signs. 4. To organize a visual and orderly work environment. The use of lean manufacturing LED signs will promote the organization. 5. To encourage a continuous improvement of the learning environment. Using a lean manufacturing LED signs will promote a possible continuity of improvement. What Are Visual Workplace Solutions? Manufacturing enterprises have thought about it. How much did they spent on various information systems or equipment just to create great and efficient reports that willl be reviewed after the fact? The use of lean manufacturing LED signs will make the key elements of the various reports to be available to the employees or people that really has a need for them immediately or instantly. With the purpose of supporting the key principles of lean manufacturing systems and programs, various manufacturers of lean manufacturing LED signs have produced a whole line or family of such lean manufacturing LED signs. These lean manufacturing Led signs are Visual Workplace Solutions or VWS that are designed specifically to be able to deliver key lean manufacturing performance metrics to the people or employees that requires them the most. The lean manufacturing LED signs and displays are the performance scoreboards and indicators in order to achieve the impressive gains in a lean environment. Lean Manufacturing LED Signs Performance Scores and Metrics A business or company must put the right data in front of the employees or the right people and will yield or provide instant and immediate results and will improve the people morale at the same time. Lean Manufacturing Implementing Implementing the Lean Manufacturing Strategy Before we discuss how to implement the much discussed corporate planning strategy known as lean manufacturing, let us first define what it is. Lean manufacturing is a combination of approaches that, when put together, aims to eliminate the all the common practices that are seen as wholly unnecessary and time-consuming. Such are called wastes, like overproduction, long waiting times, transportation and constant motion, which not only eat up precious time but are also a drag on resources, energy and expenses. Simply put, implementing lean manufacturing has the reduction of costs in mind. And this is done, ironically, by first making sacrifices on the strategies that have been in effect in many companies for decades now. Sound like a dangerous plan? Some companies believe it is, but when you really look at its long term benefits, you will find that implementing lean manufacturing will bring greater value to your company than the processes that have already been ingrained. After all, change is often for the better. You just have to open your eyes and welcome it. Implementing the lean manufacturing program is best for companies that have output and production as their primary source of revenue. Such companies place a prime on maximizing all their human and tool resources in order to achieve their target output levels without having to spend too much. This is where the principles of lean manufacturing are most helpful. Prevailing economic conditions often leave companies scampering for clients. Growing competition are forcing producers to lower their charges just to be able to get ahead, that's why such firms are looking for novel ways to lower their production costs and increase turnaround times. When firms need to boost efficiencies and generate revenue, lean manufacturing is often what is implemented. Implementing lean manufacturing techniques has been found effective in the survival and success of a company or an organization. This is because of the 'elimination of seven wastes' philosophy this program espouses. For a shorter version, what lean manufacturing aims to teach is the on time, at the right time and at the right quantity approach to production. For instance, producing too much that what is needed is often detrimental to a company. Sure, it shows that targets have not only been achieved, but grossly surpassed. But this does not always entail success. Implementing lean manufacturing systems means that there should no waste. That is, no unnecessary stockpiles that could just sit at warehouses and left to rot. If you produce more than intended, this is what will likely happen to your inventory. You'll take up warehouse space and see the products get worn by time. If you're lucky, you'll be able to dispose of the excesses, but they won't likely be sold at their original price because, well, they'll be considered old stocks or overruns. Before you plan to implement lean manufacturing strategies, it's best to be prepared. Critics are not kidding when they say that lean manufacturing is somewhat tricky, because the preliminary preparations can, indeed, deter you from pushing through. However, consider the long term gains you will obtain from this system. If you list pros and cons, you will find that the benefits will significantly outweigh the tedious preparations and planning by a long shot. Once you've laid down what needs to be changed and what needs to be eliminated, implementing should be a piece of cake. Good luck! Lean Manufacturing Implementation What Makes A Successful Lean Manufacturing Implementation? Choosing to apply lean manufacturing principles inside your company's organization is one of the smartest moves for any manager wanting to get ahead in the business. In today's competitive world, being one step ahead of everyone else is a major advantage. Lean manufacturing can be the turning point for any organization. Many companies who have tried lean manufacturing have experienced production growth of up to 25%, cost reduction from key areas of the organization and have developed a more personal relationship with the company as an identity. This is due to an effective lean manufacturing implementation plan. Lean manufacturing implementation planning begins with the executive management. After laying down the departments and areas in production that needs immediate attention, planning for the lean manufacturing implementation begins. Depending on the gravity of one point, say cutting production time to 10%, the steps for achieving it is listed down. There are a lot of detractors for lean manufacturing implementation. Many say that the principle is easy enough to understand -- reducing the seven wastes (overproduction, waiting time, inventory, processing waste, motion, underutilizing people and making defective products) in a company. However, things and money get lost in the actual lean manufacturing implementation. Because of this creating a planning for the lean manufacturing implementation in a department can be very useful. You can measure the success of the lean manufacturing implementation in quantifiable terms like percentage growth in production time or the cut in production time to meet the predetermined goals of the company. Phases of a lean manufacturing implementation plan For lean manufacturing implementation to work, it has to run in phases within the company. The first phase is Core Disciplines. It requires all the concerned employees and managers to undergo lean manufacturing training. Once they've grasped the concepts and principles of lean manufacturing, they can now make plans for the lean manufacturing implementation in their departments. When people understand what is required of them to become active members of a unit (the company, in this case), cooperation is easy to achieve. That is why the changes experienced in Phase one of the lean manufacturing implementation are usually dramatic, its results are immediate and the benefits are clear. Phase two of the lean manufacturing implementation builds on the core disciplines. This means whatever changes have been implemented on the first phase, it is fine tuned in the next one. Systems are placed, as a permanent part of the organization's routine and training for sustaining those systems is an ongoing process. The last phase is called Continuous Improvement. After the lean manufacturing implementation throughout the organization, the improvements made by the new systems gradually becomes part of the production process. The improvements may be small but as the months go by, it builds up like compound interest. Phase three of the lean manufacturing implementation never ends. As long as the plans for lean manufacturing implementation are followed, the company will continue to feel the positive effects of the change. This will mean additional profits for the company through money saved from the cost reductions. Keys to a successful lean manufacturing implementation Depending on how effective the plans for lean manufacturing implementation have been to the specific department, there are still a few considerations to take for the plan to be successful. First is prepare and motivate people. Quality training and recruiting of workers with appropriate skills can help lead an organization to lean manufacturing implementation success. The creation of teams to instill pride in one's work and organization is very good tool to get the people involved and really care about the company's growth. Second, share information with the concerned people or those who are directly affected with the kaizen events and manage expectations by making the goals realistic. When people see that they are part of something important, they become empowered and it makes the lean manufacturing implementation a whole lot easier. Third is to make an atmosphere of experimentation possible for any person in the organization. Small, calculated risks are allowed but major mistakes may cause the company to close down. It is important to draw the line of between honest mistakes from a corporate blunder. Fourth is to install realistic performance measures, fair evaluation, and solid reward systems. When everything is manageable, the workload is eased and there are more opportunities to reward good performance. The success of lean manufacturing implementation rests on the hands of the cooperation of the people inside the corporation. All you need to do is tap into their potential as a major resource and you've got it made. Lean Manufacturing Implementation in Facilities Lean manufacturing is a set of strategies and business approaches that help firms attain the desired level of profitability and competitiveness. Lean manufacturing are applied in manufacturing facilities that aim to maximize their earnings capabilities by boosting production, maximizing labor resources and reducing expenses and costs. The key to the success of lean manufacturing is effective implementation and religious adherence to the principles contained in the set of the strategies. Lean manufacturing principally targets companies' expenses. By lowering companies' costs and operational expenses, lean manufacturing serves it purpose and use. That is considered the key to achieving all of the companies' goals and targets. Reducing costs leads in generating savings and preventing further negative losses. You know that companies need to lower or trim down their expenses to be able to attain their goals and put up the target profits. Facilities and lean manufacturing Lean manufacturing are implemented particularly and especially in facilities and plants where outputs are the principal concern. Because outputs in these facilities are the principal drivers of revenues and income, companies are very keen to maximize their human resources to attain a target level of output production. Manufacturing companies are very much keen to save on costs. In that regard, lean manufacturing principles and strategies become very helpful to them. Companies around the world suffer from crunches brought about by the prevailing economic conditions. Because political and energy crises affect and infect the world, companies are becoming more and more keen and anxious to implement innovative and effective techniques to minimize costs. That is when lean manufacturing sets in. When companies need to improve efficiencies and generate significant costs, they turn to lean manufacturing strategies. An effective and religious implementation of lean manufacturing techniques can lead to the success and survival of a business organization or company. How? Through the savings and improved level of competitiveness, companies' profitability are boosted. There are seven wastes identified by lean manufacturing that are eliminated in facilities and manufacturing plants upon the implementation of the lean manufacturing principles. The seven wastes and unproductive tasks are as follows: Over production, over processing, transportation, motion, inventory, waiting and scrap and defects. Such wasteful concepts and manufacturing events are very much self-explanatory so there is apparently no need for this article to expound on each one. Planning for lean manufacturing implementation Before implementing lean manufacturing principles and techniques, it will be advisable for a firm to first conduct initial and intensive planning. Just like when companies are engaging in significant and major projects and initiatives, planning is an important factor in successfully implementing lean manufacturing strategies and principles. Planning involves the initial consideration and review of the major business aspects and areas that could be affected by the implementation of the lean manufacturing principles. Planning in lean manufacturing involves the careful and thorough study of the whole facilities and plants that would be covered by the initiative. Lean manufacturing will be more of a success if effective and realistic planning initiatives are first conducted before the final and sure-bet implementation stage. There are a number of human resources specialists and consulting firms that offer services pertaining and involving lean manufacturing. Even in your locality, for sure you can find these consultants that could help your business. Costs are inevitable. They are part of the capital and investment requirements in the business. That is why lean manufacturing principles are mostly implemented by companies in their manufacturing facilities. Reduction of costs and a boost in competitiveness will surely lift up a firm, especially during these dire times, when even a single cent in savings means a lot to companies. It is recommended that before your company embark on a lean manufacturing initiative, it should first address some concerns and make specific and realistic planning to make the implementation of lean manufacturing schemes really work. Companies, take heed! Lean Manufacturing Explained There are various management approaches that focus on boosting and speeding up a company's operational viability and sales. It is for this reason that companies all over the world are seeking unique strategies to improve their corporate environments and well-being, some of which have been so successful internally that other firms have taken to adopting the same or similar programs in their own realms. One of such is the much talked-about lean manufacturing approach. Lean manufacturing explained What lean manufacturing basically aims to achieve is enabling corporations to raise their profitability and competitive edge. It seeks to introduce and adopt management and production improvements via the identification and elimination of behaviors and practices deemed unproductive and wasteful. Lean manufacturing has been found to be right for all kinds of organizations and business set-ups, whether in the trading, service, manufacturing sectors, or any other types of industries around. It can even work in a small business setting that involves just a number of housewives with a home-based cookie baking venture. Getting the right things done at the right time is what lean manufacturing is focused on. Aside from that is getting tasks completed at the right place and at the right quantity, while also lowering activities that are considered wasteful and time-consuming and boosting boosting worker productivity and flexibility. This concept is believed to have been espoused by mogul Henry Ford and further developed by the Japanese car maker, Toyota. All about waste It will not take rocket science to figure out that there are certain activities in business that lead to a waste of energy, time and resources. The philosophy that is lean manufacturing pays particular attention to the reduction and/or elimination of seven major wastes commonly identified by international companies. Eradicating these said seven wastes promises to boost production quality, turnaround times and, eventually, lower expenses. The seven wastes include: 1. inventory 2. scraps and defects 3. over-production 4. motion 5. over-processing 6. waiting 7. transportation Lean manufacturing places a prime on time. That's why this strategy is bent on improving work efficiency. Transportation, for instance, is an important part of production because through it goods and services and delivered to and from producers and consumers. What lean manufacturing does to address the waste that is transportation is seek maximum ways to lessen the travel time and equipment costs, particularly at a time of rising oil and energy rates. Constant motion or movements must be kept to a minimum, therefore, not just to save on gas but also to save on energy. Unproductive employee hours and procrastination are some of the top things lean manufacturing aims to scrap from the list of tasks. Once motion is significantly reduced to appropriate levels, then the waiting time will also be significantly lowered or maybe eliminated. Turnaround times become faster and more output will be delivered. In addition, lean manufacturing also aims to eliminate the needs for constant repairs, which takes up precious time. That's why it is important for this strategy to keep all nuts and bolts in place and in check at all times, to eliminate the time inappropriately consumed by making repairs and the money wasted by always purchasing little implements. To make it short, if an equipment needs to be replaced, then replace it. Don't just fix one small part and then pray that the other parts don't fall apart at some other time. Nip the problem at the bud. Overproduction also presents a risk. Yes, you heard that right. Just because you went beyond your goal doesn't mean you've done better. Instead, you might actually have created a problem by introducing a glut to your inventory. Stockpiles take up space. And if left unused for a time, get destroyed or supplanted by more recent versions. That's money wasted and space consumed. In sum, what lean manufacturing does is take out wasteful activities in the workplace and replacing common practices with an as-is-where-is approach. Some companies might find it a little costly at the beginning, but, rest assured, the benefits will stay for a far, far longer term. Ergonomics in Lean Manufacturing Ergonomics is often referred to as a discipline containing human factors affecting or influencing manufacturing production. Ergonomics mainly focuses on the human body, its capacity and its limits. Thus, ergonomics is often considered a full-scale scientific discipline that tries to touch and understand interactions between humans and other significant elements of a system, usually the working environment. Thus, ergonomics as a profession aims to optimize well-being and total system performance of human beings working in an environment. To achieve that, ergonomics apply certain methods, data, principles and theories that would be of great significance to production. Ergonomics and lean manufacturing Lean manufacturing is a management principle or approach that principally targets the improvement in competitiveness and profitability of a business. The main concern of lean manufacturing is to eliminate or scrap unnecessary and wasteful behavior and practices of work personnel. Thus, it would be safe and appropriate to say that lean manufacturing and ergonomics are bed mates. The two work disciplines and principles could greatly and undoubtedly complement each other. It would also be proper to assert that ergonomics and lean manufacturing could work hand in hand to make sure the attainment of their respective goals and aims are achieved. Ergonomics involve the design, assessment and evaluation of activities, tasks, work loads or jobs, products, working environments and work systems. For its part, lean manufacturing involves approaches or business strategies that attempt to maximize productivity in the workplace by reducing, if not totally eliminating, unnecessary and unproductive tasks, activities and working behaviors. Experts estimate that improvements brought about by adhering to ergonomics can bring in lean manufacturing results or save production time by as much as 25% to 40% on the general average. Specific areas of lean manufacturing that targets lean manufacturing There are five specific branches of ergonomics that can specifically bring in desired and productive results when integrated with lean manufacturing. The five ergonomics branches are worker selection, man-machine allocation, anthropometrics, biomechanics and physiology. Read on to find out more about these ergonomics branches. Worker selection--- Ergonomics suggest that to achieve a major streamlining initiative or lean manufacturing effort, companies should start from the top. That means, to be able to eliminate and prevent wasteful and unproductive practices and behavior in the office, they should hire personnel that are apparently able to contribute to maximized productivity. Analysis of resumes and curriculum vitae of job applicants is very important, because the working nature of an individual are somehow stated within the contexts of these application papers. The employer should just learn how to read between the lines. Man-machine allocation -- Allocation in ergonomics and lean manufacturing means the division of work between personnel and machines or manufacturing equipment. To be able to achieve this ergonomics goal, the management should carefully plan and assign the use of specific manufacturing machines by certain personnel. Through that, both the equipment and the worker are not worn out, thus, increasing productivity. Anthropometry -- Anthropometrics in ergonomics and lean manufacturing focuses on the human capacity. This branch concentrates and deals with the weight, dimension and strengths of the personnel's physical body. By doing so, production will not be interrupted and smooth pacing of manufacturing is attained. Workers with weaker capacities will be assigned to handle works and equipments that they can surely handle, while the stronger workers will be given jobs using machines that fit their physical capacity. Biomechanics -- Like anthropometry, biomechanics in ergonomics and lean manufacturing deals with the human body, but this time, human movement and its mechanical forces are closely looked at. In Biology, you know that motions and movements of the human body burn energy. By conserving body energy and allocating them for activities that will benefit production, manufacturing is boosted. Physiology--- Lastly, physiology in ergonomics and lean manufacturing deals with the anatomy of the human body. Designations and assignments of machines are done by first considering the physical structure of the workers' human body. This time, it is not focused on certain body groups like muscles or energy requirements, but the whole body systems, from the physical, to the mental aspects. Indeed, ergonomics and lean manufacturing are interrelated disciplines. Companies and firms that aim to maximize productivity should take the initiative to adopt and implement ergonomics and lean manufacturing strategies and processes. The Lean Manufacturing Engineer Lean manufacturing has truly become a widely accepted and used discipline or approach to making the business efficient, profitable and competitive. Companies around the world have indeed started to recognize the importance of adopting the basic and fundamental techniques and strategies of lean manufacturing. That is because operational costs are constantly and rapidly rising nowadays, and the capital requirements for operations and energies are specifically soaring. The case comes hand in hand with the unnecessary and unlikely narrowing of margins and declines in profits and earnings of companies even in the developed nations. Thus, lean manufacturing has become part of the global companies' dynamics and internal operations. Lean manufacturing engineer Along with the rise of lean manufacturing as an essential element of companies' operations is the introduction of a new set of workers---the lean manufacturing engineers. As the job title suggests, lean manufacturing engineers are basically and practically installed and appointed to oversee the implementation of lean manufacturing principles and techniques, most especially in the manufacturing industry. Because lean manufacturing principles are too complex, but effective, companies are surely infusing investments to make sure the techniques are well implemented. Lean manufacturing engineers are created and assigned to do that. Although the nature of the job also suggests that the position should be assigned to professional and competent human resources personnel, lean manufacturing engineers are better equipped and fitted for that because they have the necessary and pertinent background in manufacturing and engineer. That is one factor and edge the human resource counterparts do not apparently have. Lean manufacturing engineers, indeed, have become important personnel that help companies increase profits and competitiveness and at the same time, reduce costs. Lean manufacturing engineers' responsibilities Like all other professions and job positions, the post of lean manufacturing engineer entails and requires specific activities, duties and responsibilities. Lean manufacturing engineers, indeed, have become important and needed personnel inside companies. Find out more. Lean manufacturing engineers should, first and foremost, apply and develop advanced and practical, but effective engineering methods, research, theories and techniques in probing and solving complicated and serious technical problems. In that case, lean manufacturing engineers are tasked and expected to help come up with solutions to technical problems that hinder the success and effectiveness of lean manufacturing principles applied in companies. Lean manufacturing engineers are assigned to direct important stages of projects and programs using the efficiency-focused lean manufacturing techniques. Thus, they are also assigned and are expected to coordinate with all necessary personnel and teams to make lean manufacturing efforts effective. Lean manufacturing engineers are also set and expected to provide technical support, whenever needed, to staff. Other duties of lean manufacturing engineers Lean manufacturing engineers are tasked to evaluate, assess, analyze, and most importantly, plan approaches or methods that are aimed to help the company in general achieve solutions and resolve to various and complicated technical problems. In general, lean manufacturing engineers are also responsible for devising new techniques and approaches to encountered problems using lean manufacturing principles. He or she should also be responsible for recommending corrections to a number of technical analysis and designs so that the completion of the project involved is ensured. Requirements of the lean manufacturing engineer's job Because the position entails a lot of responsibilities, duties and assignments, an applicant to the position of lean manufacturing engineer should have several characteristics of skills. That is because the lean manufacturing engineer is required to complete and do specific tasks. Among them are: o The recommendation and development of long-range and even short-range objectives and goals using the principles of lean manufacturing. o The evaluation of existing manufacturing systems so as to identify areas that require improvements and efficiencies. o Maintenance of lean manufacturing methods, preparation of capital requests, support recommendations, and even the justifications for cost appraisals and estimates. o The lean manufacturing engineer is also expected to serve as supervisor or facilitator for teams during lean manufacturing activities and technique implementation. o Lastly, the design and devising of appropriate and necessary methods of planning and the facilitation of implementation of projects. Lean manufacturing engineers, moreover and overall, are expected to imbibe and believe in the principles of lean manufacturing. No one can get as effective as a person whose heart and dedication is to helping a company achieve cost reductions and savings, and eventually improve performance and profitability. No need to emphasize that, right? Lean Manufacturing Consulting: The Way To Becoming A Lean Machine In the age of science and technology, nothing beats a sound management philosophy that ties the entire organization together. Lean manufacturing is one of those management philosophies governing the top corporations to date like Toyota Corporation. Because of their success, many businesses want to follow their example. That is what lean manufacturing consulting is for. Lean manufacturing consulting evaluates your company and creates a plan that the managers can follow to implement in their departments. It sounds simple enough, right? Well, almost. Different companies offer lean manufacturing consulting as a training course in their services. Most often lean manufacturing consulting trains people sent over by the companies to study about it and use their knowledge afterwards to improve conditions at work. What is lean manufacturing? Lean manufacturing is the philosophy of zero waste in a company or manufacturing organization. It covers all aspects of the company by using principles of lean manufacturing and the tools of the philosophy to make a positive effect on the company. Lean manufacturing consulting companies offers training for an organization in the art of running a leaner management. The continuous improvement and a work environment that is efficient in delivering the goods and services are major factors that attract people to the lean manufacturing philosophy. Lean manufacturing consulting firms handles each company depending on what industry it is involved in. The principles and core theories of lean manufacturing can be applied in almost all types of businesses, especially the manufacturing one. Why is lean manufacturing consulting needed? Even if one does know about the lean manufacturing philosophy through books and other information resource, it is not enough to implement it. Lean manufacturing consulting firms doesn't just train people in the lean management; they also make an overall assessment of the company and its business. Depending on the services offered by the lean manufacturing consulting firm that the company hires, the firm can analyze the production output and process of the company. Once they've pointed out where the problems are and how to address it, they make plans for the company to follow. But aside from following these plans, lean manufacturing consulting firms can also aid the company in the implementation of the business plans. For manufacturing companies, the introduction of new production processes can initially slow down the output. It is the expertise of these lean manufacturing consulting firms that can help in the adjustment stage of the changes. Is lean manufacturing consulting advisable for a small enterprise? The principle of lean manufacturing can be applied to any business enterprise, be it small or large. The zero waste philosophy is something that any organization should follow to make more efficient and leaner systems within the company. When all parts of the company are useful, waste is reduced and the employees work better. When lean manufacturing consulting firms is approached by small enterprises, they don't shun them away. This is because every business can stand to gain much from learning and practicing lean manufacturing in their business. How can organizations benefit from lean manufacturing consulting? The first step is to get information about the lean manufacturing consulting firm that the company is interested in hiring. Not all their services are the same. Some lean manufacturing consulting firms only offer services that extend up to training and making business plans while others follow through with the training of employees and implementation of the new production process. Lean manufacturing consulting firms can also suggest the types of plans and business consulting services that they feel the company needs. It is the management's duty to choose which one is appropriate in making their business more productive. The key to getting the most out of this lean manufacturing consulting is by picking out the right people to train. Another important aspect of these consulting firms is their track record. Checking on their success rate and the comments of their past clients can be a valuable resource in predicting if they can help improve your company. There are consulting firms that provide references and case studies of past clients, which can be taken either by request or through their websites. Lean manufacturing is all about the right things. It's getting the right products or services to the right location, at the fastest time without compromising quality and the quantity in production. And it is through these lean manufacturing consulting firms that the company can be taught to minimize waste, be open to change and have flexibility that can adapt to change with ease. Lean Manufacturing and Consulting Firms in the UK Lean manufacturing has become part of the modern corporate industries' existence. There are dozens of crises bugging all sorts and kinds of industries nowadays. That is why al companies are striving really hard to be utmost productive and profitable. Today, generation of savings and added revenues, along with huge and significant earnings, makes a company continually going and strolling. In the UK, which is basically and generally considered as one of the most progressive and developed among all nations in the world, companies are also striving to generate huge savings. Corporate environment in the UK Because the UK is part of the highly progressive European Union block, all British companies are striving hard to cope up with intense and very stringent competition. The corporate environment is demanding a lot from corporations and local firms. That is why in the UK, streamlining, rationalization and restructuring efforts among all companies are becoming prevailing and common business patterns. Not to mention, the rising number of mergers and acquisitions between companies, both huge and small. It is because al companies are striving and struggling to cut and reduce operational costs that make margins of firms somehow weak and narrowed. It is the principal aim of all local firms not just in the UK but also in other parts of the world to generate savings. In that way, profits are maximized and revenues are raised. There are a number of UK firms that in the past have consistently survived and topped all challenges to the economy but are now finally succumbing to the challenges brought about the prevailing difficulties and crises in the global corporate world. Lean manufacturing Lean manufacturing is the term that generally refers to the approaches, principles and strategies adopted by a company that are aimed at reducing high and astronomical operational costs. Lean manufacturing employs the use of creativity and innovativeness to combat rising operational expenses. Lean manufacturing is principally targeting reduced and eliminated wastes and wasteful or unproductive practices that bug the modern corporate industries and firms. There are seven wastes identified that are generally and initially targeted and scrapped by the implementation of lean manufacturing principles and strategies by companies not just in the UK but also around the world. The seven wasteful processes and practices identified and reduced by lean manufacturing principles are: Over production -- Basically all companies in the UK want to reduce or totally eliminate over production in their facilities. That is because over production make up for piled inventories, which in turn are contributing to unnecessary and untimely lowering or dropping of prices. Over processing--- Lean manufacturing principles are adopted by UK firms to reduce over processing. Over processing makes up for additional and unnecessary costs and expenses. These are activities that sometimes are not necessary and essential to a company's operations. Over processing only makes up for added but unimportant things and activities or tasks in the business. Lean manufacturing aims to scrap over processing. Transportation--- Costs and prices of oil and petroleum are rising not just in the UK but also in other parts of the world. That is why UK businesses are aiming to lower expenses in transportation. You will be surprised to know and take note how a significant amount of savings can be attained by merely reducing the costs of transportation requirements. There are lots of schemes and strategies that practically help maximize a UK company's expenses in transportation. Motion--- Workers need to move freely and comfortably in the work place. By eliminating wastes and non useful equipment in the work place, workers are able to move freely and speed up production. In the UK, almost all companies are already acknowledging the advantage of giving workers ample and enough space to freely move around. Inventory--- As mentioned, piled up inventories become liabilities in UK corporate environment. Waiting--- Waiting time are eliminated and converted to productive time by adopting lean manufacturing principles. UK businesses know that by heart. Scrap and defects---Lean manufacturing maximize production and productivity in the work place. Through preventing and helping companies avoid coming out with products that have scraps and defects, UK firms benefit the most out of lean manufacturing. Consulting firms in the UK Like in all other countries, there are a number of lean manufacturing consulting firms in the UK. All a company has to do is to log online or ask their human resources consultants to find out more about lean manufacturing principles. Lean manufacturing consulting has also become an industry on its own, especially in the UK. It is because UK lean manufacturing consulting firms are also relying on the fees and charges collected from clients for their own revenue and profits. Lean Manufacturing Consulting Ontario Canada Ontario, Canada is one of the many economic centers in the world where companies and local manufacturing firms start focusing on making their operations work out efficiently. Because the modern times are so dire and energy prices dictate the outcome and performance of major businesses, lean manufacturing has become a common word, and has become a necessity in all companies in distress. In Ontario, Canada, just like in all other progressive and struggling economic cities, companies are principally aiming to minimize and reduce costs, generate savings and maximize and step up profits and margins. The competition within all industries, and even inter-industries, are very so changing and cross-bordering that businesses face the challenge of improving their own competitiveness, first and foremost. There are numerous businesses and companies that are based in Ontario, Canada. These businesses are also put to intense pressure by the prevailing business environment that is pronouncedly intense. That is why, the lean manufacturing consulting industry in Ontario, Canada has also become lucrative and busy. With all those companies in distress, lean manufacturing principles are becoming templates that govern and guide companies in their daily operations. What Is A Lean Manufacturing Consultant? The world of manufacturing has always been driven to be effective and efficient at the same time, this is where the lean manufacturing consultant comes in. This type of consultant is very proficient in using various techniques and tools that can really and most often and not significantly improve the manufacturing business. Every business wants to be streamlined. Applying lean principles will depends on the lean manufacturing consultant. There are other factors to consider. If the company is already applying different lean principles, it might want to implement another lean tool aside from the ones that they already are using. If the business has not made use of a lean manufacturing consultant, they will have to start from the basics and move on from there. Lean manufacturing consultants having a new company to which they will be applying the lean principles for the first time have to get the changes right the first time. These changes start from the base of the business, and not getting it right can have serious consequences. What do lean manufacturing consultants really do? Why is their job so important in the manufacturing business? Lean manufacturing consultants first look at your current business process. Through analysis of your business processes, they can determine which changes to make and thus improve your business even more like for time to manufacture the product, to it's delivery and of course profit. To focus on how the lean manufacturing consultant will improve your business, we will give a breakdown of what he does. First we have to know what is a process. A process is doing an action or a series of actions and getting a reaction. For example the process of preparing cup noodles. You have to open up the cup noodles, then put hot water up to a certain point, Cover the cup noodle and wait for 3 minutes. This is in itself a process. To sum it up, everything we do everyday is a process. A lean manufacturing consultant for a company has to first select a process. He has to then document on how this process is done. To be able to do this he has to sit down and talk it over with the people that are involved in this task and list every detail that they tell him. A good thing to do here is to make use of a flowchart to show the steps that the process makes. After documenting the work process, the lean manufacturing consultant has to analyze it. You have to time how long each process takes to finish. Then pinpoint the important and not so important steps, if the step repeats or does not repeat itself. You will then have an idea of how long and where to improve on the current business process. The lean manufacturing consultant's next task is to implement the necessary changes to improve the business process. Talking to the management here is very important since you need their support in having your new business process put into action. Not having the support of the management will have made your work a waste. What's more, the company will not have improved on that area or process which you have analyzed. The lean manufacturing consultant also has to scrutinize the important steps that have been identified before to see if there is anyway in improving them or if they have become not important and can be done without. This process is repeated over and over again until the lean manufacturing consultant has gone through all the processes of the business. After making use of the expertise of a lean manufacturing consultant, I'm sure that your business will have aside from better profit, less waste, more productivity, a better management employee relationship, better benefits, and of course a streamlined efficient business for the owner. All this courtesy of the lean manufacturing consultant. Hiring the right lean manufacturing consultant can also spell the difference of a successful lean management implementation and the death of an organization. A lean manufacturing consultant must be very knowledgeable and has the experience to handle the different processes of different types of organization. The lean manufacturing consultant must be able to predict trends and yet establish a standardization process within the company to make sure that there is no wasted resource. This is why a lean manufacturing consultant is highly prized by any organization. Consulting firms in Ontario, Canada There are a rising number of consulting companies specializing in lean manufacturing advisory in Ontario, Canada. These consulting firms are collecting charges and fees for advising client companies in their respective quests and initiatives for boosting productivity and competitiveness. Lean manufacturing principles and techniques have become imperative and significant alternative schemes for Ontario, Canada-based companies that are on the brink of losing or inefficiency. Finding the best lean manufacturing consulting firm in Ontario Finding the best lean manufacturing consulting firm is a real challenge for all companies that are in dire need to streamline operations and rationalize operations. Because almost all companies are aiming to strike and attain goals especially those concerning improving efficiency, lean manufacturing consulting firms in Ontario, Canada are performing better and more upbeat as time goes by. To find the best lean manufacturing consulting firm in Ontario, Canada, companies must be focused and concentrated. Finding the best rates and cheap services fees for lean manufacturing consultancies and advisories can be hard an activity and a task for savings-focused companies. That is why, it is advised that before doing such lean manufacturing scheme implementation, companies should be able to focus and make initial planning first. Planning entails a lot of work. However, it will make things a lot easier and make the implementation of lean manufacturing principles within organizations worthwhile and effective. Finding the best deals for lean manufacturing consulting in Ontario, Canada is just like shopping. There are numerous lean manufacturing consulting firms in the city that the rates often do vary. To make sure your business gets the best deal, it is imperative you, as a resourceful and scheming good manager, do a comparative shop first. By doing so, rates and fees are compared, and your company is sure to get the best rates for the lean manufacturing consulting services. That would be equivalent to maximizing lean manufacturing's advantages and benefits. The second best thing to do when finding for lean manufacturing consulting services in Ontario, Canada is to solicit advise and feedback from peers and other businesses. Experience, as they say, is the best teacher, and the most convincing of al persuasive messages. That is why, learning from other companies' experiences in lean manufacturing is deemed valuable in all aspects. In Ontario, Canada, there are lots of companies already implementing lean manufacturing techniques. It would not hurt asking them about their experiences especially from seeking advisory roles and services from lean manufacturing consulting companies in the city. As they say, the wisest of men learn not directly from their experiences but from the experiences of people around them. If your business is located in Ontario, Canada, it would be wise to first observe before embarking on any lean manufacturing initiative. Remember, lean manufacturing schemes entails and commands religious and ardent implementation of the lean manufacturing principles. Finding the Right Lean Manufacturing Consultants Lean manufacturing has become part of global companies' standard operating procedures and practices. Because the manufacturing and labor sector around the world has been suffering from profitability and efficiency crunches due to political conflicts and economic recessions, lean manufacturing has emerged as a guideline or principle that basically leads to improved company performances. However, the practice, adoption and implementation of lean manufacturing principles by various firms have been under close and stringent scrutiny. Why? Because there are several companies that fail to get or attain the desired outcome from the implementation and adoption of lean manufacturing principles. It should be noted, however, that lean manufacturing principles would not stand on its own. Companies adopting and embracing them should also strive harder to attain their goals. Thus implementation is not enough. The principle should sink in the system and the processes and techniques should be executed at a normal and effective pacing. Consultants to lean manufacturing That is why the proliferation of various and numerous consultants to lean manufacturing principles have emerged throughout the years. Companies now recognize that in order to significantly cut and reduce costs, they have to maker further investments. Anyways, those additional costs would be incomparable and will surely offset rising operational costs due to economic situations. There are number of consultants not just in the US and in Japan that focus and concentrate on helping companies achieve the desired goals from the implementation of numerous and strategic lean manufacturing techniques and principles. However, consultancy to lean manufacturing has also evolved as a lucrative and revolving business. Consultants now take the advantage of having the right and necessary knowledge and expertise about lean manufacturing to generate more income and earnings. Human resource experts Human resource experts recognize the value of effective and guided implementation of lean manufacturing principles in companies. That is why various human resource firms and units around the world do, and recommend, hire consultants to lean manufacturing. Consultants to lean manufacturing are aware of the scoring system and assessment and evaluation guidelines that govern lean manufacturing. If you are not aware of it, lean manufacturing certifications also do exist. Through the help of lean manufacturing consultants, companies are able to obtain lean manufacturing certifications. Consultants to lean manufacturing do know that lean manufacturing certifications are obtained by achieving targets and desired goals from the adoption of lean manufacturing principles. Thus, lean manufacturing consultants know how to handle situations and how to resolve company and governance problems and issues that hinder the successful implementation and adoption of lean manufacturing principles. How lean manufacturing consultants work Lean manufacturing consultants work by addressing concerns inside their client companies that hinder a good assessment and evaluation of lean manufacturing implementation. Consultants to lean manufacturing design and devise comprehensive and constructive action plans that they in turn provide their client companies. The strategies and action plans recommended by lean manufacturing consultants are somehow focused on achieving higher levels and improvements in efficiencies and business performance. Lean manufacturing consultants work by first addressing the specific loop holes and deficiencies where companies fail to successfully attain desired results from the implementation of lean manufacturing principles. Lean manufacturing principles also demand team focus and team cooperation and consultants do know that. Thus, even the human resource factor, demographics and team relationship are looked at by lean manufacturing consultants when they do help figure out companies' lean manufacturing deficiencies. Lean manufacturing consultants are also somehow results-oriented. That is why they are also focusing on the desired and effective sequence and consequence or end results that are expected out of the implementation of lean manufacturing principles. Thus, it is apparently advisable that companies hire lean manufacturing consultants when they plan to adopt and implement lean manufacturing principles and techniques to boost their savings, profits and operational margins. Through that, the real objectives and use of lean manufacturing can be achieved and the operational savings from the principles be maximized. A Simple Checklist to Obtain a Lean Manufacturing Certification Life around the world, even in the first world and fully developed countries has really gone very hard. There are lots of concerns and issues that hound firms around the world. Unfortunately, these issues make companies' profitability and competitiveness at risk and declining. Thus, experts, managers and human resources organizations have verged to come out with principles and strategies that are aimed at helping firms improve their earnings and keep operations. Most firms now are starting to look at lean manufacturing to be able to keep with the changing and challenging times. Lean manufacturing principles are surely getting their way into various companies' door steps. An lean manufacturing as a discipline is expected to stay, not just in the manufacturing industry, but also in all industries and sectors. Insufficient implementation of lean manufacturing principles The number of companies adopting lean manufacturing principles is surely and is apparently on the rise, no doubt about that. But the thing is, firms adopting lean manufacturing techniques are most of the time, not achieving target and aimed results because they are not doing the strategies and techniques properly. It is reported by experts and by some consultancy firms around the world that companies adopting lean manufacturing principles are most of the time not implementing across-the-board and significant progress. These companies are found to not attain the performance and efficiency improvements they aim to achieve. It is like working out in the gym. If the form and processes of a person is not properly executed, he will only get tired but not achieve his desired physical result. Insufficient and ineffective implementation of lean manufacturing principles and techniques will surely make the companies' efforts and capital infusion for the initiative futile and wasted. Lean manufacturing certification Because the problem of insufficient and ineffective implementation of lean manufacturing principles and techniques among companies are rising and rapidly concerning, organizations and experts around the world have agreed to set standards and gauge effectiveness of implementation of lean manufacturing principles. To find out and determine whether companies are doing the right processes and techniques, and whether they are implementing maximized lean manufacturing techniques, industries gave come out with lean manufacturing certification program. Lean manufacturing certification, just like any other standard check programs, categorize companies and identify those that are effectively implementing lean manufacturing techniques within their work systems. Lean manufacturing is a sure way to make companies retain and achieve profitability. That is why, organizations and advocates feel bad if the targets and intent of the principles are not met. The primary aim of lean manufacturing certification program is to make sure the intent and purpose of lean manufacturing lived up. A simple checklist for lean manufacturing certification A company is expected to benefit and reap the advantages of lean manufacturing if its answers and responses to the following questions are on the affirmative. Otherwise, the company should make sure it is qualified to get lean manufacturing certification by consulting experts and going through the whole process to make sure everything is done appropriately, properly and in the right pacing. Here the questions companies should look into to review if they are qualified to get a lean manufacturing certification: * Is the performance improvement aimed at by your company upon implementing the lean manufacturing principles been achieved? * Is you company successful in applying and instilling upon workers the principles of lean manufacturing? Have the best practices been introduced and implemented? * Is the structure of the company been made lean and practical? * Are the target results that should come from the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques achieved? * Are there no more room for improvements, or is the company now enjoying significant cost reductions from improved efficiencies and streamlined operations? Lean manufacturing certification assessments Companies adopting lean manufacturing principles are usually assessed and evaluated by standard organization to determine whether they are qualified for lean manufacturing certification. In doing so, the companies' performances are subject to specially designed scoring system. Lean manufacturing certification's scoring system are established to review if companies measure up to high and world class standards and practices. It is somehow similar to ISO, which has become, over the years, a standard quality assurance gauge in manufacturing facilities and businesses around the world. Lean manufacturing criteria used to judge or assess companies adopting lean manufacturing principles are specially designed to allow experts and evaluators to rate and assign scores to the subjected companies. Lean Manufacturing Books A Handful of Recommended Books About Lean Manufacturing Lean manufacturing is the emerging trend nowadays for maximization of productivity among companies and firms. Because today's time is so hard, with almost every company around the world suffering from narrowing margins and operation losses, major and established giant firms acknowledge and start implementing lean manufacturing strategies within their businesses. However, lean manufacturing is a discipline, an approach that should be carefully studied before implemented in the workplace. Taking a closer look at it and its operational nature will ensure the attainment of desired benefits from lean manufacturing. Because lean manufacturing is a helpful set of strategies and business operational techniques, it would be helpful if managers, employers, entrepreneurs and even the most common workers know about it. In this regard, here are some of the best and most helpful books that are recommended if you want to study, look at and know more about lean manufacturing. These books are available on your nearest book stands. These lean manufacturing books are also available online, so log in and check them out through your reliable and favorite online shopping Web site. "5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace" A book authored by Japanese expert Hiroyuki Hirano and translated by Bruce Talbot, "5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace" gives pertinent outlook and information about the visual workplace. "5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace" touches and focuses on the widely popular 5S's principle, which are being used currently worldwide. These are seiri or organization, seiton or orderliness, seiso or cleanliness, seiketsu or standardized cleanup and shitsuke or discipline. The Japanese 5S clearly and obviously outlines the approaches behind the ever-reliable lean manufacturing techniques. Apparently, the two workplace concepts are interrelated with each other because both aim to maximize productivity by eliminating wastes and wasteful practices. "5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace" also offers a number of significant and related case studies that include 5S training materials and graphic demonstrations and illustrations. "New Manufacturing Challenge" This book details and outlines the competitive techniques and strategies successfully implemented and adopted by successful and giant global companies in the past two decades. Authored by another Japanese researcher, Kiyoshi Suzaki, "New Manufacturing Challenge" focuses on manufacturing firms and provides recommendations on how these companies can boost production efficiency. "New Manufacturing Challenge" is very much recommended specifically for manufacturing and production specialists. "Just Another Car Factory?" The book is written by Christopher Huxley, James Rinehart and David Robertson. "Just Another Car Factory?" demonstrates the effective implementation and use of lean manufacturing techniques by taking the example of the CAMI Automotive. CAMI Automotive is a joint car making business of US-based General Motors and Japan's Suzuki. It is understood that CAMI Automotive has developed and adopted one of the most effective lean production facilities. By taking a closer look and conducting a case study of the company, the authors have successfully come up with a book that touches mainly on lean manufacturing, including the aspects of sociology, labor, human resources management and industrial relations. "Lean Manufacturing Implementation" "Lean Manufacturing Implementation" is a sequential and step-by-step informative reading about implementation of lean manufacturing techniques in businesses. The lean manufacturing book is authored by Dennis Hobbs and co-published by CPIM and APICS. "Lean Manufacturing Implementation" was published in October 2003. The book enumerates comprehensible and understandable transformation of manufacturing businesses into productive ones using lean manufacturing techniques. "Lean Manufacturing Implementation" is written in a manner that readers will surely easily understand the techniques and description due to the simple words, vocabularies and sentence structures used by the author. "Lean Manufacturing Implementation" also tackles common problems and concerns arising from the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques as well as effective and recommended solutions to address these lean manufacturing issues. "What is Lean Six Sigma" is written by Bill Kastle, David T Rowlands and Michael George. This lean manufacturing book focuses on the integration of the Lean Six Sigma, which practically and effectively combines the principles of improving work (through the use of the paradigm of the so-called workplace Six Sigma) and faster work (through using and implementing key lean manufacturing principles). "What is Lean Six Sigma" will surely be an easy reading, but informative, because the authors employed the plain-English style of book writing. Implementing Lean Manufacturing by Third Party Logistics Outsourcing Lean Manufacturing Lean manufacturing is one of the business philosophies of today that have been embraced by most corporations around the world. Though it was initially intended for the improvement of manufacturing systems and processes, it made its mark throughout the rest of the enterprise as well. Lean manufacturing originated from the business policies of one of Japan's top automobile maker Toyota. This is very obvious since several of the terms used in the lean manufacturing processes or systems are Japanese words like kaizen, kanban and andon. Lean manufacturing has since been part of the business system and is regularly observed by most companies around the world. Lately, lean manufacturing is being implemented by companies by hiring third party logistics. Lean manufacturing by third party logistics is possible by outsourcing. Lean Manufacturing By Third Party Logistics Outsourcing is currently the trend in most businesses today. In fact, General Motors of North America has been using outsourcing as part of its competitive advantage strategies. This company has plenty of experience when it comes to the analysis of an outsourcing company's capabilities and solutions. Lean manufacturing by third party logistics is being utilized by most of the companies today including General Motors. General Motors identified the Powertrain Warren plant where General Motors can implement lean manufacturing and they used third party logistics to do this. It embraced lean manufacturing principles by third party logistics and used the plant to effectively manufacture engines. It also used lean manufacturing by third party logistics to resolve transportation issues. Later general Motors decided to further use lean manufacturing by third party logistics for the entire group. Greater benefits are evident from the economies of scale. Clearly, the teachings of lean manufacturing are to add value and eliminate waste simplifying the manufacturing process. Steps Done In Choosing Lean Manufacturing By Third Party Logistics General Motors made its choice on what potential supplier or third party logistics to choose from a number of factors enumerated below: 1. The overall quality of the lean manufacturing by third party logistics. 2. The service of the lean manufacturing by third party logistics. 3. The available technology or innovation of the lean manufacturing by third party logistics. 4. The price of the lean manufacturing by third party logistics. The Benefits From Lean Manufacturing By Third Party Logistics In line with the principles of lean manufacturing, the outsourcing party must be able to do it all in the least costly and the most relaxed manner. The strategy of General Motors to outsource its transportation function has been very effective and is rather working well. The third party logistics have a 99 percent record for on-time performance and has met its objective to gain significant savings for General Motors. The lean manufacturing by third party logistics has been implemented rather well in the case of General Motors. The available visibility of the products and data information via the supply chain pipeline of General Motors has been a value that was unexpected. Furthermore, the lean manufacturing by third party logistics strategy covered scanning of all the General Motor's freight and updated the advance shipping notifications of General Motors. To make sure that both parties will combine their efforts to continuously improve processes in line with the principles of lean manufacturing, the outsourcing arrangement will include a gain sharing component. Lessons Available From The Outsourcing Journal The lean manufacturing by third party logistics strategy is effective since outsourcing several of the company's functions such as the transportation functions will allow a buyer to possibly leverage the strength of the supplier in the economies of scale in order to be able to achieve a number of objectives that include on-time performance and cost reduction. From the view of the third-party logistics supplier, it will manage the transportation function. It may also decide on using subcontract arrangements for some portions of the route, or otherwise perform and deliver the transportation services along with the management decisive component. Lean manufacturing by third party logistics have a gain sharing mechanism indicated in the outsourcing contract which is a highly effective option for an incentive as well as for continuous reduction of cost and the improvement of services. Implementing Lean Manufacturing Systems Lean manufacturing is a very good and effective concept of managing a company. The philosophy of reducing wastes found in a manufacturing business or any type corporation is a sound idea. The most common wastes that needs attention are: - Overproduction - Waiting time - Transportation - Processing - Inventory - Motion - Scrap When these wastes are minimized, the quality of the products or services is improved, the production time and the cost of manufacturing the goods is reduced. With this in mind, many companies go through lean manufacturing training to get the most out of their systems. The goal of lean manufacturing for any business is to have the production and demand be linked directly. The result is a more efficient way in delivering your goods to the customer because you produce the product at the time the customer wants it. But this is only achieved if there is a proper implementing lean manufacturing guideline. However, despite the training and guidelines, some companies have trouble in implementing lean manufacturing systems. There are different reasons in the failure of implementing lean manufacturing principles in projects. One of them is the difficulty in grasping the true nature lean manufacturing. The most accepted form of implementing lean manufacturing is the kaizen. Kaizen in Japanese means, "improvement." In implementing lean manufacturing, kaizen can be done in large scale or small-scale projects. The most commonly used kaizen are the blitz events. These are short-term programs launched to instantly improve the production process. Though kaizen is highly prized as a valuable tool in implementing lean manufacturing in a company, it is not enough. If an endless cycle of kaizen events is the only form of lean manufacturing tool used, the company may suffer. Why? Because blitz events can be expensive and may cost the organization more money in implementing it. There are other implementing lean manufacturing tools that an organization can use to get the improvements they want. There is the Value Streaming and Process Mapping. These two can effectively eliminate waste and in implementing lean manufacturing, they can streamline work processes. Although lean manufacturing may sound simple enough, there are companies that do not view it that way. They find implementing lean manufacturing obscure and cloudy. This means that they do not fully grasp the principles of lean manufacturing. The best solution is to hire a lean manufacturing consultant. Once the consultant has made an assessment of the organization's problem areas, he can then suggest the most appropriate projects that will achieve the goals of the company. While the implementing lean manufacturing systems are explained to the managers and lean masters, the process of enforcing these systems and plans fall on the latter's shoulders. For the company to fully appreciate the benefits of implementing lean manufacturing systems, they must be willing to wait. Change does not happen overnight and some resistance should be expected from the people directly affected by the implementing lean manufacturing systems. Why is there resistance when lean manufacturing aims to improve the production quality of the organization? Simply put, some people hate change. They have been doing the same thing and have been used to going through the routine for years that it has almost become something familiar to them. In light of this, companies should make it a point to clearly explain the changes in implementing lean manufacturing systems. If all things go smoothly for the first run, the implementing lean manufacturing system must be adopted as soon as possible to make sure that the workers do not forget the new process. When implementing lean manufacturing systems involving the executive management, it is important to note that this group is the one that must have a full understanding of lean manufacturing principles. Their training must cover all disciplines of lean manufacturing including the planning and implementation tools. Although lean manufacturing is one of the best choices for improving a company or organization, you must be certain if your business fits this philosophy. Not all the implementing lean manufacturing systems may be good for your business, like excessive use of the kaizen events. In implementing lean manufacturing systems, most often the best way to employ its principles is by only taking the elements that fit your company. This way you also save money without losing valuable resources. Defining Of Lean Manufacturing Understanding what lean manufacturing is does not take rocket science, nor does it take a conference of ten experts to bear down to the basic concepts. Simply put, lean manufacturing is the achievement of the greatest efficiency and profitability for a company by eliminating the wasteful methods and activities that are commonly present in corporate regimes. At first glance, some firms are intimated with the thought of adopting lean manufacturing because of its fancy sounding name. But, if truth be told, it's actually easier than seems. What you just need to have is the dedication and the discipline to see things through and make change happen. First up, let us identify what the top seven wastes companies identified as the reasons for the production delays, gargantuan costs and, eventually, bankruptcy filings and hostile takeovers. 1) overproduction 2) transportation 3) motion (processes that don't need to be conducted) 4) inventory 5) processing 6) waiting time 7) defects These are the key reasons why most firms often fail. For instance, with defects, instead of focusing on achieving the best quality output at the shortest period of time, some firms waste effort and energy into looking at and fixing equipment and method defects and problems. If the kinks had been addressed in the first place and the problem nipped at the bud, such an unnecessary activity would be eliminated. Definitions of popular lean manufacturing terms If a company wants to fully understand what lean manufacturing is, it should first familiarize itself with some of the prominent technical terms linked to it. Don't let these words scare you off. Cellular manufacturing This involves the linking manual and machine operation to achieve the most efficient and cost-effective combination that would extract maximum value from a certain activity and method, while reducing wastes at the same time. Cellular manufacturing is usually U-shaped and flows in a single pattern. Kanban System This is a pull method that makes use of color-coded cards attached to parts to be able to ensure the smooth flow of the production process. A 'pull method' simply means the customer's interest is foremost, instead of you as the manufacturer dictating what the consumer should have. Value This is what the customers is willing to pay for. It is the responsibility of the lean manufacturing strategy to deliver what the customer wants exactly. Pull system This involves the replacement only of goods that have been used up or depleted. Takt time This is identified by the customers' rate of demand. The takt time is what sets the production pace and matches it with how badly consumers need the product delivered to them. It is often referred to as the heartbeat of lean manufacturing systems. Success in the Implementation of Lean Manufacturing Principles in Companies Lean manufacturing is a holistic and innovative approach to making companies' profits and earnings somehow upbeat and at par with contemporaries around the world. Lean manufacturing, according to experts, was developed and initially implemented and launched in Japan, which is a country foremost known for interactive and inventive approaches to solving and dealing with problems. Experts also note that lean manufacturing principles are very simple and practical. However, the success of lean manufacturing adoption and implementation depends and principally relies on the effective and religious implementation of the simple and easy to do strategic principles. Lean manufacturing and companies Companies around the world, in all aspects and in all industries, are now addressing lean manufacturing issues and concerns, one way or another. The fact that all companies need to reduce operation costs and expenses make up to the companies ever- enduring efforts and initiatives to adopt lean manufacturing principles. There are numerous companies that fall and file for bankruptcy every now and then. The corporate world is alarmed because even the staunchest and most stable companies in the past decades are beginning to show signs and indications of deterioration and weakness nowadays. It can be because the world economy is so challenged by the greatest problem that has bugged the economy of the world---rising and higher oil prices. Lea manufacturing is becoming very popular among all companies because of that. Lean manufacturing principally aims to help companies by targeting or initiating ways, measures and practices that alleviate and reduce wasteful practices and behaviors in the work environment. Lean manufacturing is also helping companies around the world to cope up with the real and emerging challenges in the real world when prices and costs are so volatile and influential to modern living and economies. There are seven waste, wasteful practices and unproductive processes that lean manufacturing aims principally to erase or alleviate. First, lean manufacturing aims to scrap over production among companies. Over production leads to lowering and declining prices of products and merchandise that would eventually lead to a company loss. Second, lean manufacturing aims to reduce and cut over processing inside all companies. Over processing makes expenses higher by putting up additional costs and expenses for processing materials and labor costs. Time is also wasted by that. Third, lean manufacturing maximizes transportation. You know that transportation is facilitated by automotive and cars. These in turn, burn up oil and petroleum that are currently priced at unreasonable levels. Fourth, lean manufacturing makes motion productive. By eliminating wastes and setting aside big and space-consuming equipment in the work place, laborers are able to move freely, enabling them to eventually speed up production and do more outputs. Fifth, lean manufacturing prevents piling up of inventories. In some industries, piled up inventories are positive, but in almost all, or the majority of manufacturing firms, inventories should be kept controlled because prices of the goods are affected by piled up inventories. Lean manufacturing makes up operations streamlined and more efficient. Thus, for the sixth spot, lean manufacturing principles help make companies alleviate and prevent waiting time. Lastly, because the environment is cleared from all obstacles and disturbance, lean manufacturing helps companies avoid the production of goods with scraps and defects. Companies producing merchandise and outputs with scraps and defects not only suffer from losses from the production of such substandard products, they also lose customers because their credibility are destroyed and tainted. Companies that successfully implement lean manufacturing principles There are more and more companies around the world that successfully implement lean manufacturing techniques and principles in their daily operation. It should be noted that companies that use lean manufacturing with success are characterized by one and a single unifying feature--- all of them are profitable and strong. Companies that use lean manufacturing with success are also notably very competitive amid intense and rising competition in the corporate world. The Andon Lean Manufacturing Tool Andon is a "visual control" device that shows machine, line or process status. It is a very useful tool in lean manufacturing systems where the main goal is to reduce production waste in all levels. Using andon boards can help the industry guide, monitor and ensure productivity. Andon boards also double as early warning devices because audible alarms or warning messages usually accompany them to communicate a problem. With andon boards installed in lean manufacturing warehouses, workers can instantly see order status, priorities and many relevant productivity measurements even from more than 100 feet away. Critical areas in lean manufacturing where andon boards can be used are manufacturing, inventory management, storage, receiving, picking and shipping. By using andon boards in a lean manufacturing system, there is evidently better coordination of orders, parts, priorities and flow thus an improvement of customer service. In shipping for example, andon boards can display queuing information, priorities, pick-up and departure and wait times, truck directions and other specifics which ensure fast and correct deliveries. Inventory accuracy is assured by seeing to it that proper items are picked. Because of andon boards, lean manufacturing systems do not rely on white boards, clip boards and word of mouth and even emails and intranet as a communication tool. There is little room for error, therefore, and a reduction of "work in progress" or lag time between cycles. Most andon boards have the ablity to project a number of 4" characters. Requests normally refer to x number of lines and y number of characters. You can run for example 5 lines of 30 characters each which implies 4" characters. Andon boards can also be used to display smaller characters as needed. 2.1" high characters are usually used for smaller areas with 100 ft. or less of viewing distance. Some adaptive andon boards can display different character sizes at once. are available in single-sided and double-sided veer Windows applications can be installed inside andon board displays and all these will operate on the boards just like they run on PCs. Excel can be used to display charts and graphs live. Explorer can display internet or intranet sites as well. Other HMI applications like GE Cimplicity, Wonderware, Visual Plant, Iconics or other SCADA applications can also be run on andon boards just like they are run on a desktop computer. Andon boards have enhanced lean manufacturing tremendously. However, andon displays have, for a long time, been a basic but very expensive addition to lean manufacturing systems. New technologies had to be developed to further enhance these communication tools and reduce more waste. Before, the data that andon boards display are usually fixed and restricted to single word headings such as "target" or "actual", and data is lost once the display changes. Now, Gemba Solutions have developed a new model, the OEE Impact Andon Board which provides flexible and displays which the user can configure via a PC. This can also be viewed on LCD or plasma screen. The OEE Impact Andon Board creates another dimension for lean manufacturing as its software lets you know how you fare against targets in real-time by calculating TAKT times. A production plan for machines and lines can also automatically account planned breaks. A profile of progress can also be views within a specific period of time or within work shifts. The OEE Impact Andon Board also can provide a historical summary report showing shift, daily, weekly performance vis-à-vis TAKT times, targets, rejects and down-times. These new kinds of andon boards are very helpful in lean manufacturing as they let you know how well your production is going. In the event that results are less than what you want them to be, the OEE Impact Andon Board can also utilize a powerful software to find out where problem areas and bottlenecks are. This helps lean manufacturers decide what to change in the process and later check on summary reports whether, in changing the process results have indeed improved. This shows that with the OEE Impact Andon Board, no data is ever lost. The Advantages of Lean Manufacturing Lean manufacturing is the processes, techniques, strategies and initiatives being implemented by companies around the world that aim to reduce unnecessary and unproductive tasks, activities and behaviors in the work environment. Because the times have really gone hard, demanding and intense due to political and turbulent concerns affecting all nations, firms are currently facing challenges to be able to keep their profitability and efficiency. Lean manufacturing not only reduces operational costs but also targets to boost, restore and significantly raise the competitiveness of a company. There are seven identified 'forms of waste' within the work environment and systems that lean manufacturing principally aims to alleviate, if not totally eliminate. These are over production, over processing, transportation, motion, inventory, waiting and scrap and defects. Several advantages of adopting lean manufacturing principles The first advantage identified by experts from implementing lean manufacturing techniques and strategies is the reduction of manufacturing time. When the manufacturing lead time is significantly lowered, it follows that the operational costs incurred from the use of energy, utilities and wages from laborers' time will also be significantly reduced. Thus, lean manufacturing helps companies retain, maintain and significantly increase their earnings, widen their margins and help them generate savings from lower costs. Space is another area where lean manufacturing advantages are clearly and effectively exhibited. Working space, it is understood, is one of the primary and basic factors that keep operations of businesses going. Labor and human resource experts estimate that adoption of good and effective lean manufacturing techniques and strategies will likely help companies reduce their physical floor space requirements by as much as 5% to 30%. The figures involved could be small and miniscule for your eyes, but, actually, that will significantly contribute to much more efficiency and savings. That would be an advantage almost all businesses will surely look after. The advantage in productivity It is found that in general, companies implementing and adhering to lean manufacturing practices significantly boost and increase their manufacturing productivity by as much as 75% to 125%. It is because time and efforts are principally targeted by lean manufacturing processes. Thus, elimination of wastes, practices, behaviors and unnecessary and disturbing objects in the work place will surely and practically help workers get on to their tasks with much smooth pacing and comfort. You know how it is when workers work without any distractions and interruptions. Productivity is very much maximized. Thus, lean manufacturing becomes a necessity for companies to be able to achieve that goal. The advantages in terms of waste to profit relationships It follows that elimination and reduction of wastes will gradually and efficiently help boost and raise up earnings and profits in companies. Thus, elimination of wastes and unproductive activities, objects, tasks and behaviors in the work place will surely help the company and its personnel focus on the requirements and demands of the customer. The advantage of that, above all is that, when customer satisfaction is achieved, sales will surely rise. The best way to establish a good relationship with customers is to improve the products and services offered to them. Lean manufacturing would be of great help to achieve a good customer or client relations. Another advantage brought about by lean manufacturing techniques among various companies and firms adopting it worldwide is streamlined, rationalized or lean structuring of the organization. You should know that elimination of excess and unnecessary job positions and tasks in a company is a sure way to help that firm reduce labor costs and eventually lead to generate savings. Lean manufacturing without a doubt brings that advantage of leanness upon organizations and companies practicing and adopting it. Advantage on culture improvement Various companies around the world are practicing and implementing different cultures. It is usually a cause of problems, conflicts and issues around and within the organization. In lean manufacturing, the cultures are standardized, thus, unfavorable practices and behaviors of both the employees and the management are reduced, if not eliminated. The greatest advantage of lean manufacturing in terms of cultures adopted by companies is that lean manufacturing makes the differences between management and personnel reach to a verging point. Lean manufacturing principles should really be implemented by companies. It is high time to reap its advantages. Learning the Basics of Lean Manufacturing and Processing Lean manufacturing and processing has been an important strategy and basic technique in helping companies improve their profitability and competitiveness. The fundamental function of lean manufacturing and processing is to reduce wastes and unnecessary work practices and behaviors among workers of a particular manufacturing company. Because the times have really gone hard, demanding and intense due to political and turbulent concerns affecting all nations, firms are currently facing challenges to be able to keep their profitability and efficiency. In principle, there are seven identified 'forms of waste' within the work environment and systems that lean manufacturing and processing principally aims to alleviate, if not totally eliminate. These are over production, over processing, transportation, motion, inventory, waiting and scrap and defects. Lean manufacturing and processing principles not only reduce operational costs but also aims to boost, restore and drastically improve the competitiveness of a troubled or struggling, even already good-performing, company. That is basically why learning about lean manufacturing and processing has somehow become imperative for major and global companies. The era of complete globalization is at hand. That contributes more pressure for companies to start acting right away to be able to survive the rough and hard operational and company challenges ahead. Lean manufacturing and processing Lean manufacturing and processing surely gets companies moving along and enjoying huge benefits of really reducing operational costs. If savings are generated, the saved amounts can be used for further capital requirements and investments that could further help companies expand and grow organically. Lean manufacturing and processing, however, is not very easy to implement and adopt. The companies involved should really and religiously pay particular attention to details to be able to ensure the success of the efforts. The number of companies adopting lean manufacturing and processing principles is surely and is apparently on the rise, no doubt about that. But the thing is, firms adopting lean manufacturing and processing techniques are most of the time, not achieving target and aimed results because they are not doing the strategies and techniques properly. Insufficient and ineffective implementation of lean manufacturing and processing principles and techniques will surely make the companies' efforts and capital infusion for the initiative futile and wasted. It should be noted, also, that lean manufacturing and processing principles would not stand on its own. Companies adopting and embracing them should also strive harder to attain their goals. Learn about lean manufacturing and processing Experts advise companies to really get involved in and further learn more about lean manufacturing and processing. It is a logical and surely beneficial effort because lean manufacturing and processing can surely help companies get on with the current challenges and concerns affecting all firms around the world. There are many ways on how companies can get to learn more about lean manufacturing and processing principles and techniques. For one, they can hire lean manufacturing and processing experts and professionals who are credible and knowledgeable on the subject and who can really help the companies attain and maximize the benefits of such strategies. However, hiring lean manufacturing and processing professionals will entail additional costs and investments from companies. They should not really mind it, because the benefits from lean manufacturing and processing implementation will surely offset the little and minimal costs of learning it. Another thing, companies can designate key personnel to specifically and intently learn lean manufacturing and processing principles and techniques. It is a common practice by companies around the world currently. The arrangement sees the key personnel attends seminars and get books to really know or learn the lean manufacturing and processing principles. After that, the designated and assigned personnel will relay the message and everything he learned to the whole staff. It is up to him whether he will make the learning process for his officemates fast-paced or low-paced. What is important is that the skills and knowledge are distributed and communicated to the entire organization. That way, lean manufacturing and processing principles are really and seriously imbibed by all personnel, to make the strategies work overall for the company. Lean manufacturing and processing should be learned by all companies because the benefits it assures them, is nothing compared to the costs of absorbing them, which are not really that significant. Wise, isn't it?
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