Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Leveraging Productivity with Three Lean Manufacturing Principles

In my opinion, the Lean Process is an innovative idea that is angled around reducing waste across spheres of production operations. Also, I applaud the ingenuity of Henry Ford in bringing about this concept and at the same time praising Toyota Motor for modifying the process through the introduction of Toyota Production System (TPS). I can't fathom the amount of waste, both financial and non-financial terms, that firms had incurred in the past before the emergence of the Lean Process. The Lean Manufacturing Process and the TPS have taken today's production process to an optimal level so much so that firms have learned multiple ways of increasing efficiency and output across all sphere of their operations.

The resulting effects are tremendous for companies implementing the lean process ranging for quality products, time-conscious productions to higher revenues among others. Also, the fact that the Lean Process works seamlessly across all industries provided all the principles are fully implemented is a brilliant feat. On that note, I decided to search for articles on how the lean process can be leveraged in the IT industry so as to optimize work output that could serve as the basis for my week post.

Fortunately, I came across this article "Improving Your Productivity with Three Lean Manufacturing Principles" which speaks about how the fundamental ideas of Lean Manufacturing Process can be leveraged to increase staff performance. In this article, the author narrates the three lean manufacturing concepts propounded by Daniel Markovitz that can be implemented by firms so as to drive up productivity. The lean manufacturing concepts are:

1) Introduction of 5S
2) Standardized Work
3) Flow

In the first concept, the intoduction of 5S, Markovitz indicated that the underlining idea of the 5S is to maintain a neat, clean and organized work site. The 5S encapsulates the following: make all unnecessary work tools and supplies are removed from work sites (Sort), that all important items (for example: hammer, computer, boxes, office supplies, desks, etc) are station in their specific spots (Set), that all work sites are clean and neat at all times as work is being done (Shine), that all cleaning procedures are done consistently (Standardize), lastly that the practice of the 5S process is continuously improved (Sustain). According to Markovitz the of the 5S concept of Lean Manufacturing leads to optimal output in the production operations which help to increase staff work output.

Markovitz stated that the introduction of standardize work procedures as in the case with the TPS used by Toyota in knowledge-based tasks will boost staff productivity in improving their performance. This can be done by generating checklists on most of tasks that staff must implement in knowledge-based tasks will prove productive. On the third concept, Markovitz asserted that halting productions process is an expensive venture as compare to operating at reduce production capacity and advised companies not pursue the former options despite difficult situations. As a recommendation, Markovitz opined that implement systemic structures and service level contract with employers that will allow them to work half the time in keeping the plant in production.

Therefore, based on Daniel Markovitz's three concepts of lean manufacturing, I agree that the points stated above are brilliant suggestions that companies can implement to boost staff performance and the overall productivity of the company.


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