As the world is changing, most workplaces are trying to adapt their production to have high efficiencies. Most places call this lean manufacturing, six sigma, 5S projects, or other lean manufacturing principles. In this blog, we touch on what lean manufacturing is and why it is vital to workplaces.
What is Lean Manufacturing?
In its purist form, lean manufacturing is maximizing the customer’s value while minimizing waste. To do this, you need to know what processes add value. A value-added action must change the product or service the product in some matter, must be done right the first time, AND the customer must be willing to pay for this action. Any process that doesn’t add value to a product is considered a waste. Following these principles, you can start to understand what lean manufacturing is.
Why is Lean Manufacturing Important?
Lean manufacturing is essential to workplaces for a few different reasons. The first is simply efficiency. When a company goes “lean,” one of the biggest wastes they try to remove is time. If you can make the same product of the same quality in a shorter amount of time, you can make more of the same product with the same amount of manpower and time. This can potentially turn into substantial profits for a company without having to expand or hire more employees. The next reason is going lean can make the overall unit cost of product go down. This, in turn, can make some companies more competitive with their competitors. If one company can make the same product cheaper than someone else, the consumer will almost always choose the cheaper product. This leads to the last reason, which is this whole thing trickles back to the consumer. In the end, the consumer also benefits from having a more affordable product.
This is only one example of what lean manufacturing can do. Like I mentioned, many times, time is a waste that usually tries to be improved. But for some settings, maybe time doesn’t need to be improved. The goal could be creating a setup that is easier to work in. This could be done with improved organizational methods or getting rid of tools that are no longer used. There are endless variables that lean manufacturing can affect.
I’m not an expert in lean manufacturing, but I know a thing or two, and I want to share what I do know with you. In future blogs, I’ll get more in-depth in different areas of lean manufacturing and how to start implementing these principles in your workshop. Stay tuned!