How can you implement lean manufacturing?
Several companies are in need of a way to reduce waste and eliminate defects. If you want to make your company become more productive, turning to lean manufacturing is one of the best options. A lot of companies don't know where to start or how to implement lean manufacturing. If you find your business is among the companies looking to implement lean manufacturing but your not sure where to begin, this article will offer you advise on what you need to do.
Lean manufacturing will work if management is on board. Learn manufacturing almost always fails due to lack of quality management. When you do not have the new process starting from the top and trickling down, it will be hard for everyone to get on board with lean manufacturing. Managers are usually the toughest to change to a lean mindset because they are stuck in their ways and they are often unwilling to give them up. Management must be on board for lean manufacturing to work successfully. To help your managers, send them away to training seminars and events so they can actually learn about lean manufacturing. Sometimes management fails to implement lean manufacturing because they don't know much about it and they feel embarrassed by their lack of knowledge.
Once management is on board with lean manufacturing, you will have an easier time talking to your employees and helping them to understand their roles. Lean manufacturing requires open communication between all the various departments of the company and you need everyone to talk to one another if improvements are going to be made. The senior management team will be responsible for communicating a vision to the rest of the company. Then you will pick leaders for the various departments and they will be in charge of certain lean objectives to help the company get on board with going lean.
Choose your project leader carefully. This person will demonstrate all the skills you need in order to develop a strong working environment. The project leader must have good communication skills and they need to have charisma and persuasive skills to meet with the various people in your organization. All in all the project leader needs to have the ability to make quick decisions and they need to have the best interests of the company at heart when they are trying to make the company better. If you choose the wrong project leader, bring in a new one. Own up to your mistake because if you allow the wrong person to continue operating the company, you may be unable to have a successful organization as the various departments will not be organized and they wont know what they are doing.
Pick your team
The project leader will choose a team. There will be about 5-7 people on the team to make it complete and to make sure each department is running correctly and that they are all able to complete the various assignments and tasks that are required. Once you have the team assembled, you will then go into lean training. This means you will employ a trainer to come in and teach your team all about lean. They will help the team to understand the various lean principles like the 5 S method along with the 7 wastes. The more your team knows about lean manufacturing principles, the easier it will be for everyone to get on board with it.
Once the team is trained, it is time to implement lean manufacturing. Introduce it well in advance to the employees and slowly integrate the principles into the company. This way your employees won't have a lot of room to fight back against the changes because they are already done. The entire process will take about 3 months to implement.