Oftentimes manufacturing organizations find that while their production processes may run well, there is a need for improvement around inventory management. Lean process improvement tools can offer a huge benefit to improve inventory management. Businesses, especially those in retail and manufacturing are finding that lean process management helps them reduce costs, improve customer experience and increase agility, which all lead to increased profitability.
What is Lean Process Improvement?
Lean process improvement is an overall approach that focuses on reducing waste within processes. This waste can come in the form of more efficient use of materials, reducing redundancies and overlap in work flow, and creating more effective processes to improve employees’ work. Popularized through its success with the Toyota Production System, lean methodology is being used by efficiency focused organizations with a continuous improvement mindset.
How Can Lean Tools Help in Inventory Management?
Lean inventory management focuses on refining processes in order to improve quality, reduce cycle time, be more efficient, and reduce costs. By understanding the value of your inventory and the management of it, how it moves through your processes, and how it adapts to demands and lead time changes, organizations are better able to make management decisions and increase profitability.
Inventory management starts with understanding:
Independent and dependent demand needs. Do you have inventory to meet customer demand? Are Sales, Operations, and Production on the same page? Does everyone understand when and why demand fluctuates or how to make adjustments when it does un-expectantly?
Types of inventory you require. Raw material and equipment/tool management is just as important as deliverable products. Likewise, understanding what is currently in the process of being produced and/or delivered effects profits, purchasing, and customer service.
Associated Inventory Costs. Knowing how much time passes between when a product needs to be ordered in order to receive it in time for production (or lead time), ensures you never run out of product. Lean process improvement can be used to calculate holding, ordering, and shortage costs to reduce wasteful spending and costly downtime.
Why does it matter?
Lean process improvement of your inventory means:
- Improved customer service (meet the demand)
- Keep inventory costs low (keep what you need in stock and not more)
- Know your reorder points and safety stock levels
- Take advantage of quantity ordering when desired
- Standardize processes for better quality output
- Improve communication and collaboration between departments
Inventory Management Systems
Because PBEX, LLC focuses on overall systems and processes, we are software agnostic, meaning, we don’t sell inventory management systems. Instead we teach organizations how to improve current processes to make them more effective. If software is chosen to then support, and even further inventory management, it will be more efficient. In fact, you can expect to see:
A 50-100% reduction in quality defects
20-50% Improvement in Productivity
60-80% Set Up Time Reductions
30-60% Improved Safety Performance
40-75% Inventory Reduction
30-50% Floor Space Reduction
And a complete review of your business processes to create long-lasting efficiency, agility and profitability.
Contact me today to learn more about how as a Lean Process and Inventory Expert I help businesses simplify and improve the way they do business to better grow and manage. Together, we will create a continuous improvement culture and healthier bottom line.