Why a Company Should GO LEAN! Taking the Lean Journey
Last week’s blog article shared some of the history, terminology and philosophy behind Lean Manufacturing and continuous improvement. But why should a company consider taking this “Lean Journey?” How will “Going Lean” make a company more profitable, more agile and more successful?
At the heart of Lean Manufacturing is the prevention of waste in the system. Waste being defined as non-value added operations and defects as defined by the customer. If a company could eliminate all waste from its system, then theoretically only customer valued processes and product would remain. So how is this advantageous to your company?
- Well, one major advantage of implementing Lean is getting more done with fewer employees. As equipment is better located and utilized, a single operator can manage many pieces of equipment. And as unnecessary processes are eliminated, everything from order processing to billing is streamlined and simplified.
- In Lean Manufacturing defects are considered a waste, so there is a strong emphasis on first-run quality. As defects are reduced, the time and attention to remake or repair parts is eliminated. This saves companies not only the cost in materials and manpower that was focused on defects, but likely speeds up product lead time as focus can now be fully given to getting perfect parts out to the customer quickly.
- Lean Manufacturing also emphasizes pull production (not push). This means that products are made to order vs. made to stock. This saves money on product storage and inventory management.
- A side benefit of Lean Manufacturing is improved customer service. The first principle of Lean is identifying value as perceived by the customer – which amounts to providing what they want, when and where they want it.
- Another side benefit of Lean is greater employee satisfaction. Lean Manufacturing principles require employees to cross-train in more areas – thus developing more skills, and have more autonomy over their duties. Both skill development and work autonomy are known contributors to employee satisfaction and engagement.
So now that you know the benefits of Lean Manufacturing, how does a company get started and what should be done first? Well, keep your eye out for next week’s Dion blog post where we will be discussing just that. Until next time, let us know your thoughts about Lean, and any experiences your company has had on your own “Lean Journey.” Thanks for reading.
By Ann Condon, Marketing Manager
Ann Condon has been with Dion for 16 years, working in Dion’s Marketing and Business Development Department. Although this was her first position with a jewelry manufacturer, she has learned a lot over the years. Ann enjoys getting involved in “All Things Dion” from volunteering at the Dion Golf Tournament to being a part of the Dion Diamonds Relay for Life Team. She has quite a number of Dion event t-shirts to show for it!
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