Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Steps of Implementing Lean Manufacturing

The concept of lean manufacturing in a manufacturing company or lean system in any company is a giant optimization puzzle, with the objective to minimize total cost and constraints to satisfy customers. Because the fascinating concept, many articles have a point on implementation or operation level.

The article in the reference is written by a partner and managing director of Boston Consulting Group. He mainly introduces that there are three phases for a company. The first is when a company grow, it will identify many waste and inefficiency in single processes. Companies at this level could try their best to eliminate non-value-adding steps in each process. However, there is still room to eliminate more as whole, which is the next phase of companies growth. When a company is among the first tier leaders, one could begin to adopt total quality management, which would cut the waste by 10-15%. The leftover room for more elimination from first phase is due to there are resources that is more valuable for a process than for the other from a customer-service point of view. The third phase it for a company to enjoy the advances of the first two elimination phases. He made a point that before a company implementing more advanced lean system, it should first make full use of the existing one. For example, at phase one, a company should eliminate waste and inefficiency in each single sector as much as possible before going into the next phase of eliminate waste and inefficiency from the whole company point of view.

The article has a point, while I think the implementation of lean system is continuous and should not be put into much of a segment sense. The changes and rearrangements in manufacturing cost much and therefore lean system should be planned well even before implementing a supply chain. When the supply chain is in using, continuous learning process could identify many other inefficiencies. And each time adjustments are implemented within a process or department, the whole company should be considered as a whole and see if it is possible to identify other opportunities to optimize the whole supply chain. Because it is expensive to do each adjustment, therefore each one should has the maximal waste reduction. And the only way to accomplish that is to consider the each adjustment from both department view and company view.

Which approach do you think is more cost-effective and more feasible?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.