Understanding myths about lean manufacturing
Lean manufacturing entails coming up with a management program, the purpose of which is to cut waste as a measure to reduce costs in your business.So, for example, if you are involved in the manufacturing industry, one place where you could cut costs by cutting waste is by reducing the amount of energy and raw materials consumed in the production process. You could also eliminate the total amount of time required by eliminating any waste in the process of production. One of the key things to remember about lean manufacturing is that it is intended to eliminate waste or anything that does not add to the value of your customer's item.Whether or not something adds to the value of your product is determined by your customers, rather than by you.Here's an example of something a customer would consider to be waste: the cost of extra packaging.Your customers don't want to pay for it, and so you can reduce costs by eliminating it, as much as you can.Lean manufacturing is not just beneficial to your customers, however.If you implement a lean manufacturing program in your company, it can aid you in becoming more competitive by freeing up more time, energy, and money for expansion.Studies have been done that show that as many as forty percent of major businesses, manufacturing plants and factories are using lean manufacturing. So lean manufacturing sounds pretty great, doesn't it? However, there have been some myths circulating about lean manufacturing that you should learn about. Discussed below are some of the most popular ones.
- Some have claimed that using lean manufacturing means loosing workers. This would seem to be rational when going lean should mean that you will cut the size of your business and hence yoru workforce. However, this is simply not the case because lean manufacturing requires the input of many employees. It also is a process designed to make your business more profitable and to help it expand. Expansion naturally leads to a need for more workers.
- Lean manufacturing simply means that you force your machines to work harder. This is completely false because the lean process is designed to actually make work easier by eliminating waste. Ideally it should make business easier on employees and on the machines involved. Furthermore, as the business continues to grow there will be a need for more employees and creative problem solving. Any form of unecessary extra work is what lean manufacturing is designed to produce.
- Another common myth about lean manufacturing is that it requires no special skills or expertise to implement it. Lean manufacturing is not just good business sense; it requires some know how and experience to get the process to work.
These are just a few of the common myths associated with lean manufacturing. These streamlining methods have made a huge impact on thousands of businesses around the world. Take a company like Toyota, for example, which uses a form of lean manufacturing. The company has gone from being totally unknown to being the single largest car manufacturer in the world. This reputation has been earned by producing excellent vehicles, but also through its reputation for efficiency. Lean manufacturing will hence give your business an appearance of being cutting edge and extremely efficient. You can see that there are few good reasons to not implement lean manufacturing methods. In fact, you should try to debunk the myths about traditional manufacturing techniques sooner than those about lean manufacturing. The more you know about lean manufacturing the more false the myths become.