My grandfather used to tell me, “I have forgotten more than you know!” Well if he had ever studied the concepts of the LEAN Enterprise, he would probably be correct! Occasionally I can benefit from a quick refresher, so I hope that you will find this helpful.
Whether this is a “Readers Digest” refresher, or your first introduction to how to transform into a LEAN Enterprise, you will find these concepts to be a quick and easy read. In conclusion, I will offer a few ways to take the next step toward your Distribution or Manufacturing organizational LEAN Transformation.
5 Basic LEAN Enterprise Philosophies:
No product is made until the next customer “downstream” requires it
Quality is designed into the product and process, not inspected in
Employees are an integral part of the business enterprise, not extensions of machines; employee empowerment is good.
Inventory hides problems and must be eliminated
There is a relentless commitment to banishing waste and striving for perfection.
The General Principles of LEAN
Safety compliance – very safe, no hazards. Rigid adherence to policies. Full government compliance
Just-In-Time (JIT) Production – produce only when needed.
Empowered Teams – production teams identify sources of waste in the value stream and are empowered to act and remove the waste.
Visual Management – transparency of information in widely readable formats.
Pursuit of Perfection – the relentless search for waste and low quality and the continuous activity of eliminating waste and solving quality problems.
The 7 Wastes:
Production of defective parts
The 5 S’s of Safety, Order and Cleanliness:
Sort – separate and eliminate waste
Straighten – arrange all essential items with clear markings
Scrub – maintain immaculate cleanliness
Systematize – make cleaning and organizing a routine practice
Sustain – stay committed to the first 4 S’s and drive continuous improvement
Value Stream Mapping (process workflows) – involves understanding every aspect of your process from Suppliers through Manufacturing and/or Distribution and to Customers. This understanding helps identify the waste so that it can be effectively eliminated.
Your Transformation to a LEAN Enterprise requires a Championship Mentality!
Leadership is an essential component
Personal transformation will be required
Let people know what to expect
Be firm. Give them time. But not too much!
I hope that this “Reader’s Digest” version of the LEAN Enterprise Principals and Philosophies brings you an instant refresher on the keys to a LEAN Enterprise. So now, how does this apply to your organization? Do you have wasteful processes? Do you duplicate data entry? Does your organization carry extra inventory? Do you have a hard time finding, lot tracking or rotating inventory? Do you have too many paper processes, or a lack of transparency or real-time reporting? Does human error introduce waste that can be eliminated by embracing Wireless Automation technology?
If any of these apply to your organization, please look to Supply Chain experts such as the Appolis – WithoutWire™ (WoW) Warehouse Management Solutions (WMS) team for ways to transform your organization to a LEAN Enterprise. Through our years of Distribution and Manufacturing experience we will share industry best practices, case studies, and WithoutWire™ (WoW) Customer Success Stories that will make you say WoW!
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