Why Lean Manufacturing is Here to Stay

Having borne the brunt of the economic downturn in recent years, it is not a surprise that manufacturers, in particular, are constantly looking for ways to increase profits and decrease costs.

Since lean manufacturing practices accomplish this very goal by eliminating waste and streamlining production, it is only logical that adopting these practices would be top strategy for manufacturing organizations.

Because the green/sustainability movement is also about eliminating waste, reducing costs and doing business for the long haul, manufacturers are reaping the same benefits by going “green” and going “lean”.

The most common forms of waste that lean manufacturing attempts to eliminate include:

  • Transport of products that are not required to perform the processing.
  • Inventory (all components, work in process and finished products not being processed).
  • Motion of people or equipment beyond what is required to perform the tasks.
  • Waiting for the next production step.
  • Overproduction or production ahead of demand.
  • Over Processing resulting from poor tool or product design creating activity.
  • Defects (the effort involved in inspecting for and fixing defects).
  • Manufacturing goods or services that do not meet customer demand or specifications.
  • Unused human talent.

Whether your manufacturing organization is attempting to eliminate these areas of waste or to streamline and improve the flow of your processes, it is easier than ever to achieve and maintain lean manufacturing practices with the support of current technologies.

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) that enable you to identify areas of waste or unevenness in your system can easily be identified and tracked with enhanced business intelligence (BI) solutions.
  • Metrics and critical data can be shared with the appropriate decision makers throughout your organization through collaborative portal technologies.
  • Customer trends and communications are easily tracked and reported through customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions.
  • Increasingly easy-to-customize ERP solutions lay the foundation for maintaining the financial and manufacturing data for your organization.

  • Having all of these solutions integrate and work together seamlessly, and be offered in the cloud, makes having the technological foundation for your lean manufacturing practices more easily attainable.

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