Implementing lean manufacturing
Successful implementation of lean manufacturing has saved companies millions of dollars on lost production costs and other "wastes". To implement lean manufacturing, you need to identify which method you want to use. Once you identify this, you need to create a plan.
Start by appointing someone to be the leader. This person will be responsible for coaching the other staff members through the process.
You must also appoint a team to review product design and manufacturing processes. Almost all of the wastes found in lean manufacturing come from faulty product designs. Employees usually opt to produce a product they already know and waste additional time and money than spend time researching ways to make the product better and less-expensive.
Seeing the product and actually handling it can give you a greater interpretation of some of the changes that need to be made. These changes are often not noticed on paper and you won't see them until you create the product for the first time.
The team of managers must also include individuals from your production team. They will be able to let you know how long it will take to actually produce the product and some of the hiccups you may have along the way.
Successful implementation of lean manufacturing must come from the managers. If management doesn't embrace a lean-thinking environment, it will be difficult for the employees to believe in it. Lean manufacturing can work from your production supervisors, but it is better to come from the top and trickle down to the production floor.
As previously discussed, you need to appoint one person to be in charge of the entire process. This person will be known as the Change Agent. Not only will they sit on product design teams and watch the manufacturing process, they will actively seek ways to change the normal course of action within the company.
The Change Agent must have a creative ability to think outside the box and look for creative ways to fix the normal operations of the company. Once others see the impact of the Change Agent, they will start to jump on board and you will have developed a lean environment.
Some of the problems you may experience with a lean environment include the following:
There are several lean manufacturing firms out there that can help your business achieve the results you are looking for with lean manufacturing. They can help you organize the program and properly implement it without the headaches and frustration you may experience on your own.