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Lean Manufacturing: A Business Model with the Consumer in Mind

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Lean Manufacturing: A Business Model with the Consumer in Mind

Hearing a company pride itself on being committed to good faith and fair dealing above all else is refreshing. Many companies are beginning to realize that dedication and loyalty to the consumer first and foremost is actually what drives business, not the hunt for profit. This is where a recently popular manufacturing model known as Lean Manufacturing (Lean) plays a huge role.

First introduced by Toyota, Lean is a progressive way to give customers what they want, how they want it and when they want it by eliminating waste and maximizing efficiency. Seems rather simple right?

According to the company LeaningForward, Lean is based on 5 major principles:

  1. Specify what creates VALUE from the customers perspective
  2. Identify ALL the steps along the process chain
  3. Make those processes FLOW
  4. Make ONLY what is pulled by the customer
  5. STRIVE for perfection by continually removing waste

In order to implement these principles it is important to recognize the dreaded 7 wastes:

  • Over production: Producing more items than needed = wasted space
  • Excess Inventory: Practive Just In Time Delivery (J.I.T.) set up delivery so materials arrive as they are needed
  • Transport: Utilize “Back-Hauls” for lower prices
  • Processing: Remove unecessary steps from production line
  • Idle Time: Coordinate flow to maintain a steady rhythm
  • Operator Motion: Minimize the amount of physical steps between parts bins, tools and materials
  • Bad Quality: Determine what is of value to your customer then build it right the first time

Many Companies have found that exercising the Lean Manufacturing model has reduced the amount of employees needed by nearly half and increased productivity by nearly four times!

In short, this manufacturing model is a win-win for companies and consumers. Practicing Lean principles increases profitability for companies by reducing waste [Go Green], reduces price for consumers and opens a communication channel between businesses and consumers. This allows for the cultivation of personal relationships and strengthens loyalty.

Don’t have the authority to implement Lean Manufacturing in your workplace? Start by implementing concepts into your personal work routine. By doing so you will notice a decreased amount of stress and an increased amount of productivity, efficiency, and organization.