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What is Lean Manufacturing?

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What is Lean Manufacturing

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Lean Manufacturing is a business method focused on eliminating wasteful practices in manufacturing. It is also referred to as Lean Production, Lean, or Toyota Production System (TPS). Lean focuses on value and reduces everything that doesn’t create it by using a set of practices to identify both value added and non-value added (waste) steps within manufacturing business processes. Auditing current systems and processes and implementing changes to improve workflow, including adding automation when needed, is the broadest overview of Lean.

What is the Goal of Lean Manufacturing?

The bottom line goal of Lean Manufacturing is to create efficiency, and therefore the most profitable manufacturing process. The objective of reducing all areas of waste, including that created from both unevenness in work load and overburden, is also a part of Lean.

TPS looks at 8 areas when discovering true wastefulness- things done that don’t add value and are unneeded for the final product outcome. These 8 areas are summed up in the acronym “DOWNTIME”:

Defects: Anything done incorrectly, not meeting customer requirements, requiring rework or scrap
Over-production: Building more than what is required- leads to excess inventory
Waiting: Areas of down time in production
Non-Utilized Talent: Not engaging employees in continuous improvement
Transportation: Additional movement of product within the facility
Inventory: Carrying more than what is required, especially “frozen” inventory
Motion: This refers to damage and wear and tear (both to people and equipment)
Extra-processing: Doing more or using more than what is required for the desired outcome

Implementing Lean Methodology

Implementing Lean practices is more than simply using tools. While Lean practices focuses on having an efficient and effective work flow, a cultural shift must happen as well. The organizational value of continued improvement must be adopted. Business agility is required, which means all employees and management must be flexible and willing to change.

True transformation is open-ended and not all business cultures allow for that. Therefore, Lean Manufacturing, in order to offer the long term benefits, must be embraced at all levels and incorporated into onboarding, training, management practices, production, research, and more. This change will not happen overnight and does require a long term commitment to the continuous improvement effort and cultural change.

How PBEX LLC Supports Lean Manufacturing

Trained in Lean Manufacturing Methods, PBEX LLC helps by providing:
• Lean Process Management
• Kaizen
• Gemba Walk
• 5S
• Visual Management
• Kanban
• Value Stream Mapping
• Facility Layout
• Cellular Flow
• Problem Solving

As your “Lean Sensei”, I use these non-software based solutions that can be implemented quickly and easily to reach the goals you are desiring. Contact me today to learn more about how Lean Manufacturing can simplify and improve your business processes making them easier to understand, perform and manage. Together, we will create a continuous improvement culture and healthier bottom line.

7 Benefits of BPM: Business Process Management

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Business Process Management

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There is a lot of buzz in the business community about workflow improvement via Business Process Management (BPM) – both through software and in tangible practices. Business Process Management, in general, is a combination of systems and procedures built to reduce redundancies and improve the bottom line, but in my opinion, their main role is to create a culture of continual improvement.

Business Process Management and Improvement Culture

A research study conducted by AIIM, shows the benefits of BPM to be more than just the desire for increased productivity. While over 80% of companies did see an improvement in productivity, they also saw the culture shift into one of continuous business process improvement. Over 75% saw improved consistency and quality, which resulted in improved customer satisfaction.

With so many companies looking for the edge that positively effects their bottom line, and those pushing for better customer satisfaction, it seems BPM is the answer.

7 Benefits of BPM

My company, PBEX, LLC offers a variety of hands on BPM techniques, but none of them matter if you aren’t aware of what you are looking to accomplish, or without knowing what to expect. Here are the top 7 benefits of implementing BPM tools in your business and/or workplace.

Decrease Costs

When efficiency is improved, costs  go down. This could be a simple reduction in paper and copy costs or better use of employee’s work time. Cost savings can also come in better inventory management to reduce frozen capital from over purchasing, or even in being able to take advantage of vendor discounts or sales.

Increase Revenue

Eliminating wasteful steps and redundancies can increase revenue by allowing products to be processed faster, and or creating a higher yield. A streamlined approach to hiring and training new staff means production can happen sooner and be more effective. If onboarding took less time, could that change your bottom line?

Improved Agility

The ability to quickly adapt to market changes is a sign of organizational intelligence. Truly understanding your processes and having better business process management, gives you the flexibility to know when to buy, when to hire, and when to reduce costs to keep things moving forward and profitable.

Better Customer Focus

It may not seem sexy, but consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy.

Source: The Three C’s of Customer Satisfaction

Delivering a consistent experience happens when all the cogs of the machine are running well. When every player knows their role, is held accountable for results, and is empowered to follow a process, that creates consistent results.

Better Compliance

Clean processes keep things from “falling through the cracks” and this is important when dealing with compliance requirements. Processes need to be followed in order to keep documents and data secure and seen only by the right people. Business process management looks at these procedures to make sure they are air tight.

Amplified Staff Satisfaction

How many times have you heard a staff say these things:

“We do it that way because that’s the way it’s always been done.”

“It’s stupid, but that’s how they want it.”

“I think this is a waste of time (and/or money) but I can’t change it.”

Often these comments are disempowering and hurt morale. However, when these steps are looked at both at a micro and macro level, employees feel heard. From this place, redundancies can be eliminated and/or employees can get a better understanding of a potentially misunderstood component within the framework of the bigger picture.

Increased Productivity

Of course, the biggest pain BPM resolves is that of sluggish or under-optimized productivity. A review of processes from an outside, objective, and trained eye is all it takes for many companies to clean up their business processes to increase productivity.

How PBEX LLC Helps with BPM

Business Process Management can happen in a variety of ways. Some of the methods we use include:

  • Lean Process Management
  • Kaizen
  • Gemba Walk
  • 5S
  • Visual Management
  • Kanban
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Facility Layout
  • Cellular Flow
  • A3 Problem Solving

These are non-software based solutions that can be implemented quickly and easily to reach the goals you are desiring. Contact me today to learn more about how business process management can support your desire for a continuous improvement culture and healthier bottom line.