The Best Advice You Could Ever Get About Lean Manufacturing

The Best Advice You Could Ever Get About Lean ManufacturingSource: Flickr

The goal of manufacturing right now is to be as lean as possible. And so many manufacturing firms are looking for ways to achieve their cost-saving goals. The idea here is to optimise every last aspect of the process to maximise efficiency. But doing so, is, of course, proving to be challenging. That hasn’t stopped manufacturers from trying. Just look at how we see a tidal wave of robotics and big data usage in the sector.

The real change in manufacturing isn’t going to be seen in a single process. Rather, it’s going to be about how individual processes are linked together in one giant, digital nexus. Manufacturers need to integrate customers and technologies if they are going to achieve their lean goals. Here are some of the guiding principles of this new, exciting movement.

1. Have A Lean Improvement Strategy

The whole purpose of being lean is to eliminate waste, reduce costs and keep processes flowing. But if you want to stand any chance of actually doing those things, you’ll need a plan. The best approach is to make a checklist and tick off a goal every time it is achieved. Start off by critiquing every stage of your business process, from milling machines, to supply chains. Ask yourself whether a customer would be willing to pay for everything you are doing. Is it all necessary? If not, go back to your strategy team and come up with a new and better idea.

2. Set Goals

If you want your manufacturing firm to be motivated, it’s critical to set achievable goals. Both you and your team need to have something to strive for. And that means that the goals you set must be both achievable and meaningful. Goals should motivate your team to improve processes. And they should make them feel invested in the company as a whole.

Don’t forget how important it is to take feedback on your goals. You want your team to be able to inform you whenever they make progress.

3. Discard Conventional Ideas

Conventional ideas were what brought you to this point. And, to give them credit, they allowed your business to come a long way. But sticking with conventional ideas forever is a surefire way to stagnate. Conventional thinking did not achieve lean manufacturing goals. If it had, we wouldn’t be discussing it today.

If you want to succeed with lean manufacturing, you have to start thinking outside of the box. Thinking outside of the box will allow you to take a fresh perspective on your processes. No idea is too wacky because wacky ideas tend to lead to original thinking. And innovative thinking is what you sorely need.

What’s more, technology in the manufacturing space is changing so fast, a lot of your blue-sky ideas might just be possible.

4. Focus On Bad Processes And Improve Culture

Every company has a process that they hate. Perhaps it’s doing invoicing. Maybe it’s marketing. But in manufacturing, as in other businesses, resolving issues depends on culture. Don’t waste time blaming people for bad processes. Develop a culture that says that if there are problems, they get solved.