Monday, September 16, 2013

Lean is more than just reducing spend

     I chose this article because it raised an interesting point.  Many companies have adopted the principles of the lean system.  However, they look at it only as a way to reduce spend.  This is a good benefit but it really doesn't capture the true purpose of lean.  "Lean manufacturing is about identifying and rectifying inefficiencies to reduce waste and streamline the manufacturing process."  Embracing this viewpoint really increases the value of utilizing lean.
     When lean is used for supply chain management it can lead to a "seamless process from start to finish.”  From what I have learned in class so far, this seams to be one of the hallmarks of a good supply chain.  A streamlined supply chain process can decrease costs, while reducing waste and decreasing lead time.  My question is: why don't more companies truly take advantage of lean?
     I think the way for more companies to truly utilize lean is through education and introspection.  By taking the time to educate your leaders and those below, you can have more buy in to lean.  Knowledge of The Seven Wastes are critical for lean adaptation.  In particular the supply chain should be concerned with over-production and over-processing.  There is no need to produce more than your customers need and working as efficiently as possible on a product is essential.  By focusing on these two issues, the supply chain can become more than just a way to cut costs.  Instead it will add value for you and your customer.

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