Principles of lean manufacturing heavily focus on the reduction or elimination of waste during the operation of a manufacturing business. It is so important to reduce waste that it even has its own term in principles of lean manufacturing, “Muda” which also means waste in Japanese.
There are seven types of waste these principles of lean manufacturing are dedicated to eliminate, namely:
1. Defects – Having to repair or refurbish the defected product and the time and effort it takes.
2. Processing – Having different add-ons that the customer does not need.
3. Motion – The movement of people during production.
4. Inventory – Having to store the product.
5. Over Production – Producing more than what is demanded in the market.
6. Transportation – Unnecessary transportation of products or materials from one location to another
7. Waiting – Idle time of people because of bottlenecks in the manufacturing system.
In minimizing these wastes, the principles of lean manufacturing employ strategies that focus on improving the production process. These are:
1. Value – The price of the product is solely based on the customer’s expectation. This means that as one of the principles of lean manufacturing, it must be value for money and must meet his or her requirements at a designated time. What manufacturers do to change the raw materials to the finished product is not of relative importance to the customer.
These principles of lean manufacturing are one of the hardest to achieve because of competition that the company has to optimize its operations and identifies the different tasks that add value and those that don’t add value.
2. Continues Improvement – As one of the principles of lean manufacturing, this involves mapping out the whole business process. From analyzing the business process to reviewing the most efficient points, as one of the principles of lean manufacturing, this changes how the business is handled from the very foundations.
As part of the principles of lean manufacturing, it is crucial to gain optimized levels of performance from time, delivery, to resource management, and of course, profit.
3. Customer Focus – Every manufacturing firm always has the customer first before profit. As part of the principles of lean manufacturing, customer focus makes sure that customer satisfaction is reached, feedbacks are heard and the necessary changes implemented to satisfy the customer base as a whole
4. Perfection – One of the principles of lean manufacturing takes into mind that there are lots of ways of using company assets efficiently. This principle focuses on the reduction of operating costs while meeting the customer’s expectations.
To be able to carry out all the principles of lean manufacturing in a business, the consultant has to be able to:
1. Motivate People – Motivate people for the new changes that the principles of lean manufacturing has done to the company. This can be done through training of the personnel and recruitment of people with the needed skills for the job.
2. Employee Involvement – Giving the normal workers the right to decision making will give them a sense of involvement and value to the company is essential to follow the principles of lean manufacturing. Having different activities that will bring out the best in each person.
3. Sharing of Information and Experience – Having experienced co-workers give information to the newer ones on how to get the desired results while carrying out the specific task serves the principles of lean manufacturing.
4. Empowering Key Employees – Identifying the workers that have leadership and giving them different tasks or responsibilities through training or other company activities like team building seminars.
5. Conducive Environment – To carry out the principles of lean manufacturing, having the right environment that is strict and lenient at the same time is important. People must understand that if they make mistakes, the steps to correct them are clearly stated.
6. Compensation and Benefits – Having the right evaluation for each person with no biases is important in principles of lean manufacturing. Focusing on the results instead of the number of activities or tasks done is important in the principles of lean manufacturing.
7. Execute different projects all over the business – After successfully having one project that carries out the principles of lean manufacturing succeed in one sector of the business, it should be extended throughout the whole company one step at a time.