What is Lean Production Success?

What is Lean Production Success?

So, the key question that everyone is asking is: What is Lean Production Success? 

How do you define and understand what it is? How do you know when you have achieved it?

Every company that’s seriously trying to implement lean production methodologies wants to read and hear positive things about other companies that are experiencing great results by doing the same.

Anyone that says implementing lean production methods is easy is not being totally honest. It is not easy, however it does not mean that it is impossible as many have tried and failed. It requires patience, perseverance and resolve to overcome the embedded cultural issues that every company faces when starting out on their lean journey. So, you must keep asking the question over and over again: What is Lean Production Success?

Here is a great article from the Association of Manufacturing Excellence – AME that discusses the latest report from Nikedemonstrating how they are achieving lean production success as part of their strategic vision for the company.

What is Lean Production Success?

What is Lean Production Success?
What is Lean Production Success?

Nike Inc. highlighted its lean manufacturing milestones in the recently released “FY10-11 Sustainable Business Performance Summary.”

The Beaverton, OR-based company unveiled its new factory rating system, the Manufacturing Index, which looks comprehensively at a contract factory’s total performance and includes a deeper look at how a factory approaches sustainability, This index elevates labor and environmental performance alongside traditional supply chain measures of quality, cost and on-time delivery.

Within its overall Manufacturing Index, Nike’s Sourcing & Manufacturing Sustainability Index (SMSI) assesses contract factory performance on sustainability measures, including measures of lean, environment performance (e.g., water, energy, carbon, waste), health and safety, and labor management factors, according to the report. Following two years of development and piloting the program, the company has rolled the SMSI out across its global supply chain.

By adopting a “better manufacturing” or lean approach as part of the sustainability initiative, Nike has reduced material waste and production time, allowing the company’s supply chain to operate more efficiently.

The report stated that contracted factories that adopted Nike’s lean approach experienced defect rates 50 percent lower than facilities that didn’t. Delivery lead times from lean factories were about 40 percent shorter. Lean factory productivity increased 10 percent to 20 percent; and the time to introduce a new product to a factory was reduced by 30 percent.

“Sustainability at Nike means being laser-focused on evolving our business model to deliver profitable growth while leveraging the efficiencies of lean manufacturing, minimizing our environmental effect and using the tools available to us to bring about positive change across our entire supply chain,” Nike CEO and President Mark Parker said in a statement…[Read more in the original article]

The Nike executive management team are a great role model for a lean production success story. They have designed and developed a great business culture that has clearly stated their strategic vision for where they want to take their company. They have clearly asked and defined the question: What is Lean Production Success?

Change does not happen overnight and it will never occur by chance. It is to be defined and planned with the ability to roll with whatever the economy throws at you. This takes stamina and guts to take on the risk because there are no guarantees in life, only opportunities. If we miss them, we may not get a second chance.

Article written by Chris Turner

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Five Things To Know About Lean Principles!

Five Things To Know Before Implementing Lean Principles!

Every business owner needs to know this about lean principles!

Transforming any enterprise into a Lean Business can be a daunting job if the person carrying out the work doesn’t have the knowledge and experience to comprehend what needs to be done.

Allow me to share five important points about implementing lean principles! Every business owner should know about

Five Things To Know Before Implementing Lean Principles!
Five Things To Know Before Implementing Lean Principles!

these before they start implementing lean program into organization:

#1. Lean Training:

One way for a conventional company to become more profitable will be to train their employees about Lean Principles and how to apply them to eliminate waste and improve their own workspace. This can be a win-win for the enterprise, its people and its customers. Get the right individual, and that is someone who has a good knowledge of implementing Lean Principles into an enterprise. Ask for details about past results for continuous process improvement (CPI) projects utilizing Lean tools.

#2. Problem Solving:

Finding improvements on the job sounds like an easy step, nonetheless, realistically, it is rather tricky, and the root-cause of this can be that people don’t know the place to start. Most organizations get their workforce to spend their valuable time concentrating on the wrong areas. This causes more issues since it increases cost instead of reducing it. Train your staff to use lean principles to become problem solvers and then allow them to see and eliminate the waste.

#3. Kaizen:

The concept of Kaizen is based on a couple of factors included inside the word, which you will find are “Kai” and “Zen”, the definition of these two words is “change for the better.” It is important to understand that this means never changing something for the sake of change. Make it a rule to make use of change using lean principles only when it will improve business processes to increase value from a customer’s perspective.

#4. Genchi Gembutsu:

A business owner cannot determine what is happening in their workplace if they are not embracing “Genchi Gembutsu.” This is a Japanese term which loosely translates into “Go to the place where the work is actually being done to see it with your own eyes.” Don’t try to improve company methods away from the place of work, such as inside a conference area or an office. Employ lean principles to drive change! Go to where the process is currently being performed and watch it in action to get an accurate understanding about what is occurring.

#5. Developing a Lean Culture:

Many organizations employ lean principles on an unplanned basis while not thinking about the consequences of their actions in attempting to develop and establish a Lean Culture. The only way any company is not going to emerge as one more failed lean implementation statistic is to obtain the proper type of environment to aid the identification as well as elimination of waste to increase value for its end users.

Understanding these five straightforward factors will get you targeted on accomplishing the right actions and make your Lean implementation proceed much smoother. Education is important but it is only by people taking action and employing their understanding of Lean Principles that they will start to change their enterprise into a Lean Enterprise.

Chris Turner is the CEO and Director of Training and Development for Radical Transformation LLC. He has almost 30 years of hands-on experience in the Continuous Process Improvement field. During this time, he has integrated Lean Principles, Lean Six Sigma and Change Management into his skill’s portfolio. He has worked with major organizations in the UK, USA and Canada such as the US Air Force, Canadian Ministry of Health, Siemens, Medtronic, APW, English China Clay to name a few. He participated in the design and development of Lean Certification Online, which allows learners to have 24/7 access to online lean training materials. To learn more about lean principles click here

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Lean Office Reduces Processing Time By 50%

Lean Office Reduces Processing Time By 50%

Have you heard about a Lean Office? What if I told you that by implementing lean principles in your office areas, it’s possible to reduce your administrative processing time by 50%. Would you believe me? Maybe, maybe not, right?

What if you were presented with data clearly demonstrating that a company had actually achieved this goal by using lean principles to restructure and develop lean office procedures. Yes, that’s right, their lean office reduces processing time by 50%! So, did I perk your interest? I would like to share a great article that I found on the WMEP website. It explains how a small family-owned company called Dalco Metals, in Walworth, Wisconsin used some basic lean tools to achieve these amazing results.

Lean Office Reduces Processing Time By 50%

Lean Office Reduces Processing Time By 50%
Lean Office Reduces Processing Time By 50%

Since 1973, family owned Dalco Metals of Walworth has been a premier supplier of flat-rolled steel-processing services to manufacturers throughout the Midwest. John Ring, executive vice president of Dalco, credits this long-term success to the company’s focus on the customer’s needs, close relationships with suppliers, and constant attention to quality in every manufacturing and business process.

“About eight years ago, it seemed that everything pointed toward adopting lean manufacturing methods: a customer recommended we look into lean manufacturing, a classmate in my MBA program recommended 5S (a lean method), and I attended the Manufacturing. Matters! conference and participated in a Lean workshop presented by WMEP.

5S is not a static tool – Dalco Metals continually works at sustaining the changes they’ve made and to continually find new ways to make the process better, cleaner, faster and less expensive. “Dalco Metals is a great example of what it takes to generate the benefits of Lean manufacturing over the long-term,” said Thiltgen. “Many companies start lean programs, but lack the stamina and commitment it takes to fully realize the benefits gained when Lean is a way of life. Dalco Metals has tremendous executive support of Lean – it’s a part of everyone’s job.”

Chuck Ferguson, inside sales and applications manager, agrees. “The ‘sustain’ part of the program is the toughest part. We are trying to ingrain the 5S mentality in everyone’s minds here at Dalco and I think it is working. As long as we have the support of the management, Dalco will continue to operate at peak efficiency.”

Ferguson implemented the following steps to ensure that the company remains focused on 5S…[read more in the original article]

I have been involved in the Continuous Process Improvement field for nearly 30 years and I have to say that I still get stoked when I read article like this. Why is this? Well, its because small to medium sized businesses are the backbone of the US economy and it is exciting to see them leading the way when it comes to improving productivity. Contrary to popular belief, it is not using lean principles to improve efficiency and effectiveness that forces companies to close their doors and causes people to lose their jobs. So what does it? It is poor management structures and decision making that creates inefficiency and increase the amount of waste in the system that leads to rising costs that is the root-cause of it. So, if you want to create a right culture that is capable of developing a successful lean implementation, you need to start with the management team first. Then you will be able to write your own article with the same heading as this one – Lean Office Reduces Processing Time By 50%!

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