“The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.”
Lean manufacturing is a business model and collection of tactical methods that emphasizes eliminating waste while delivering quality products on time, with the least cost and greater efficiency. As Lean thinking continues to spread to every country in the world, leaders are also adapting the tools and principles beyond manufacturing, to logistics and distribution, services, retail, healthcare, construction, maintenance, and even government. Indeed, Lean consciousness and methods are only beginning to take root among senior managers and leaders in all sectors today.
Best Practices Means Green in Lean Manufacturing
As efforts in Lean manufacturing spread across all industries, some basic ideas must remain in the forefront of those seeking true success with the practices. Here are three tips to success:
1. Make More Money By Making Less in Production – One of the biggest wastes is overproduction. Every aspect of it drains every resource an organization possesses. For some, backstock is a security blanket. A true Lean company sees backstock as a big red flag. The bottom line is that you produce only what needed precisely when it is needed.
2. Stop Moving Around – Unnecessary movement is a killer. The concept is not just about the people. It applies to the organization. A company should be located strategically to minimize access to the supply chain. Within the company, employees and materials movement should be limited in the production process.
3. Stop Wasting Time – Time is the most valuable commodity we all possess. Overprocessing is a significant drain on resources across the organization. Constantly analyze and refine processes to optimize the use of time and materials. By ensuring quality through refinement, the need to spend time on unnecessary quality checks is reduced. Stop having inspectors, who check the inspectors, who check the inspectors.
Lean manufacturing working at an optimum level revolves around reducing waste while increasing quality. You will find that while refining practices, your organization will become not all Lean, but green. These efficiencies will lead to the conservation of our precious resources through this conservation. Your focus on these three concepts will enable you to be more supportive of sustainability.