If you are familiar with lean manufacturing, you may be glad to know that there are a number of resources available to improve efficiency, production, and ultimately bottom line. Lean’s ultimate goal is to find a simpler, faster, and ideally more cost-effective way to get things done. You will, in turn, need put in less time, energy, and resources to accomplish your end goal. Keep in mind that some resources may be better for some businesses and industries than others. However, if you have any questions, the staff at C Tek can lend a helping hand.
Kaizen is a classic resource. It is generally implemented with the intent of continually improving technology, quality, productivity, company safety, and productivity. Kaizen developed in Japan following World War II. It was also used to aid in rebuilding following the war. The concept behind the resource is to draw inspiration and input from all employees. That ranges from upper-level management to employees who clean the facility. The goal of Kaizen is to get input from all employees about what they think the company can do to improve its business operations. Some areas of change in the company can be left to employees, while others require a company-wide effort.
Another good resource to consider is 5s. This system is designed to maximize efficiency by using a systematic approach to making the workplace cleaner and more organized. There are five guidelines that influence 5s: Set, Standardize, Sort, Shine, and Sustain. Collectively, they help to make the workplace more efficient by customizing work areas to improve efficiency, removing unnecessary items from the workplace, documenting any improvements made and applying them to other areas of work, and cleaning the work area after each shift in order to maximize cleanliness, safety, and efficiency.
Another resource that is widely used and popular in lean manufacturing is Kanban. Kanban is a visual production system that delivers parts supplies to the production line when needed. Ultimately, this helps to improve efficiency. Workers have all the tools and resources that they need to complete the task at hand. They have materials and resources available when and where they need it for quality and efficiency. By implementing Kanban, companies can manage their inventory more easily, and they can focus on getting products and materials that need to be in stock on demand. Kanban encourages some individual action on the part of each employee, but it also encourages companies to work together to find a common solution and ways to improve their production processes. This tool is sometimes used in combination with 5s and Kaizen.
Value Stream Mapping
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a tool used in the manufacturing process that allows organizations to maximize their production capabilities and manufacturing output. Value stream maps are ideal for analyzing the company’s current process. It also identifies problems and works to solve them, and it creates ideas and proposes solutions for a company-wide change. A hallmark of VSM is using a map or another kind of visual aid to help employees across the company understand what the current problems are so that they can work together to formulate a solution. Secondary items are generally brought to the forefront as an issue to solve, and employees learn to see how all items in the process interact with each other.
The fifth process in lean is called Focus PDCA, or “Plan-Do-Check-Act.” This process includes a number of vital steps. Ultimately, its purpose is to create a structure that supports finding a way to solve some kind of problem. FDCA was initially developed in the healthcare industry, but today it is used in a range of entities.
To learn more about the lean resources and how they can help your company, reach out to C Tek today.