The journey of becoming a lean manufacturing firm
Lean manufacturing is one of the best ways to eliminate errors, boost employee morale, reduce costs, and strengthen your relationship with your customers. Many of the large corporations and looking into lean manufacturing because it allows a business to run smoothly and easily. It can take 6 months or longer to implement lean manufacturing and have it start to show signs of success.
You need to have discipline and patience when you are implementing lean manufacturing. It may take some time for you to properly implement it and have everything work the way you desire. Like any new thing you implement into a company, it requires hard work and patience on your part. In order for lean manufacturing to become successful, follow some of these simple rules:
Rule # 1 - Management
In order for lean manufacturing to work, your management must fully embrace it. Everyone with the company must accept it fully and believe that it truly can help the company. The best way for this to happen is for the managers to show them that they believe in it and they see it is a great option for your business. If the managers are not utilizing it, the employees will not look up to you and they will not accept it. Create a vision and have implementation steps for your employees to follow. This way they will be able to see it can become a reality and they will be able to achieve it with your help. Having a commitment to it and also showing your employees that you have certain expectations for them to meet will motivate and drive your employees toward success. If the management fails to accept and implement lean manufacturing properly, the entire process will fail.
Rule # 2 - Training
No matter how large or small your organization is you need to send your managers and employees through training. Hire a good lean manufacturing company to provide you with implementation tips and to properly train your employees and make it easier for your company to accept lean manufacturing and to have it trickle down through each employee at the company.
Rule # 3 - Apply the principles
What type of lean manufacturing system are you introducing to your organization? You must apply the principles properly in order for lean manufacturing to work and for your business to see results from it. In order for lean manufacturing to work correctly you also need to follow through with it. You must keep on top of your managers to make sure they are following the principles and that they are sticking to it. People are often resistant to change so it can cause some employees to do it for awhile and then fall back into their old habits that may be contributing to waste and other things. Proper control over your managers is important to make sure lean manufacturing is properly implemented and followed through correctly.
Rule # 4 - Change
Employees in the past may have been fearful about losing their job due to the economy and slowing production. By implementing lean manufacturing you will be able to reassure your employees that you are doing everything possible to help your business become more productive and to save money. Employees must know they have job security and be happy with their jobs in order for lean manufacturing to succeed. Lean manufacturing is a complete mindset change that must be fully accepted by everyone in order for you to succeed at it and to watch your business become a success. A good review process will also help you make sure your employees are following the 5S method, problem solving, value stream mapping, and many other things.