Efficiency will always be a big benefit to each and every business. The act of producing more with less will save on time, efforts, and resources, while also increasing the profit and success of a company.
That is why Lean Principles is particularly useful, especially to the manufacturing industry. In general terms, Lean Manufacturing is a set of principles that allows for the improvement of processes and output.
One of the ways it does this is by eliminating waste, focusing on what gives the company value, and making the company process “leaner” as a whole. Apart from this though, there are many more unseen benefits that Lean Manufacturing provides businesses.
If you are unfamiliar with Lean Manufacturing and would like to learn more, we invite you to check out our list of Lean Manufacturing training materials. Moreover, we also have a list of the top Lean Manufacturing tools you should learn and remember.
For now though, we’ll be delving more into the top benefits that Lean Manufacturing can provide businesses. We hope that these will convince you and your company to adopt these principles to benefit your business.
Lean Manufacturing Benefits
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
Creating a better product, increasing efficiency, and improving the work processes are great benefits that Lean Manufacturing gives. However, in terms of importance, the fact that Lean Manufacturing gets everyone on the same page is one of – if not the most important – benefit.
The principles of Lean Manufacturing start with the understanding of the work process while also engaging all parties involved. These include the employees from various departments and the stakeholders.
This engagement is a vital key to the success of the company.
With everyone on the same page, this means that in terms of strategic planning, any guessing by the people who make the decisions is taken out. Lean Manufacturing not only shares the information and processes with everyone, it also reveals the source of value to everyone.
This allows for plans and actions to be guided by a common lighthouse if you will; it is the unmistakable light of “value” that will improve the product and experience for customers.
Moreover though, a business that has all employees and stakeholders united under a single understood goal is a fearsome one that is geared towards success.
Employee engagement is a very important factor in all businesses. It is defined as the emotional commitment of an employee to an organization’s goals.
In a recent study, more than 70% of executives stated that the engagement of employees was vital to a company’s success. Higher employee engagement also directly correlates to profitability and employee retention.
With Lean Manufacturing, increasing employee engagement is inevitable. One of the first steps of Lean Manufacturing is the understanding of all the work processes. Once that happens, all the departments and stakeholders come together and discuss what is needed to improve the work processes.
This giving of input for work mapping and process improvement transforms employees into stakeholders. Collecting employee input engages them on a different level. They not only feel like they are contributing to the success of the company, but also that they are being better appreciated.
Moreover, this creates a fundamental shift in their mentality. From being afraid of problems, engaging them via the Lean Manufacturing principles will allow them to embrace the problem solving process. More problem solvers in a company translates to sustainability and improved performance all around.
One of the most important steps in Lean Manufacturing is the evaluation and continuous improvement that it brings. This gives the company the feeling that they shouldn’t just rest on their laurels. Instead, they must keep on looking at their processes and see what works and what doesn’t.
While perfection is never attainable, the idea of pursuing perfection or excellence is valuable in its own right. It develops an improving mindset that will ensure that the company will continue to evolve and increase their value streams for the customers.
This mindset is also valuable since it keeps everyone on their toes. This means that employees and stakeholders are less likely to be caught off guard by certain surprise problems that may pop up down the road.
Finally, the path of constant improvement allows for the company to remain competitive within the industry and amongst various competitors.
Lean Manufacturing introduces many improvements in a company.
For starters, it improves the quality of the product being produced by identifying and rooting out issues. Couple this with the mindset of continuous improvement and this means that the identified issues will no longer come into play and affect the development lifecycle.
The analysis that Lean Manufacturing affords also means that each problem is analyzed and solved to completion. This improves the overall quality of the product.
A lean process will also mean improvements in the efficiency of employees. When employees and stakeholders get together to discuss improvements with the lifecycle of a produced product, one of the items rooted out is the effective use of time.
There may be some cases where a product meets a bottleneck in the production process. There are also times where when a product goes from one step to another, the employees are inevitably stuck waiting for feedback from various parties. This leaves them waiting which is not an efficient use of time.
With improved efficiency also comes the idea that the company can accomplish more things with less. This means that the company can reduce their costs and utilize their resources better.
One example is that employees that were freed up can devote their energies to learning more value-adding tasks and actions.
Finally, all of the above improvements ultimately translate to increased profits. A better product with efficient processes allows the opportunity to earn the company more profits.
Implement Lean Manufacturing Now
These are only some of the top benefits that Lean Manufacturing provides businesses. Despite that, it is enough to paint a picture of how useful and effective Lean Manufacturing is.
If you are still on the fence, you should look no further than several famous companies that have used Lean Manufacturing and showed how effective it was.
Toyota started the Lean Manufacturing principles. They were able to use it and improve their production system to only make an item when an order is in. This has allowed for decreased overstocking of inventory and products.
Intel used Lean Manufacturing to reduce the number of bugs in their product, while also improving the time the microchips were being developed to when it got to the customers.
Be sure to learn more about Lean Manufacturing and the various tools it employs so that you can effectively implement them in your business and set yourself up for success.
You might also wanna check How to Apply Lean Manufacturing Principles to Engineering.