Incorporating lean manufacturing into everyday business
Lean manufacturing is a method of making a product or providing a service in the most effective way possible.This means eliminating any waste in the form of materials, time, movement, etc.Lean manufacturing concepts apply to far more industries than just those with assembly lines and production plants.Lean manufacturing concepts have a place in even small businesses.The principles of lean manufacturing can and should be incorporated into everyday business.
There may be some obstacles in the form of office hierarchy that you will need to get over in order to start applying lean principles in a business where the lean mentality has not previously existed. Your executive leaders will probably debate the method of incorporating manufacturing into everyday business.No two businesses are the same and as a result, there is no one-size-fits-all method to properly incorporating lean manufacturing into everyday business.Your research and development departments should be given the responsibility of finding areas of your business where concepts of lean manufacturing can be applied more aggressively in order to improve the overall flow of the business.
These first steps can be the most challenging.Introducing a new way of thinking to a long-established business is a challenge, even if that new method is going to lead to improvement, innovation, and higher profits in the long run.Being opened to thinking about your business in a way that you may not have considered or maybe put much thought into before, is your first step.Here are some examples of other things that you can do to begin the incorporation or implementation of lean manufacturing principles into your everyday business relations.
- Establish a lean manufacturing task force - Assign certain individuals in your establishment to spearhead the incorporation of these principles.Include individuals from a variety of different departments and levels of responsibility to that you have a good sampling of all the employees at your business.This can be responsible for coming up with ideas for implementing lean manufacturing ideas that your upper management team members have signed off on.
- Checking up - Another team should be established who is responsible for overseeing the results of the implemented changes.Having a separate team in charge being critical of whether or not changes are being made is important as the task force team may be hesitant to admit when their well-planned ideas did not yield the desired results.
- The role of management - A management team needs to oversee the lean manufacturing changes being made so that the proper line of authority is in place and to ensure that the quality of the product or service is still maintained while other processes may be changing to make way for lean concepts.
- Repeat - Not all ideas will be implemented as planned or will work out as well as they may have on paper or in a conference room discussion.There is need for adjustments and second tries.Do not think that you will get everything right the first time, give yourself a chance to learn and grow from mistakes.
In a small business, you may not have a large number of employees from which you can assign responsibilities or create teams. This is not the point; the point is that there is someone in your organization responsible for filling these roles even if it is one person in charge of everything.Incorporating lean manufacturing concepts into everyday business is about changing your mentality and training yourself to think in a way that may be unfamiliar but that will ultimately bring about necessary and productive changes, which will ultimately make you a more successful businessperson.