Lean manufacturing – systematic method for waste minimization within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity. 1
The above description is a Wikipedia definition and a good one. I’m a fan of simplification and believe it or not – the idea of simplification would also be a part of the definition for Lean.
In keeping with this subject of “simple”, the core idea of lean manufacturing is actually quite simple:
— Relentlessly work on eliminating waste from the manufacturing process. So what is waste? Waste is defined as any activity that does not add value from the customer’s perspective.
What is lean manufacturing?
You should know and understand the cost of your actions throughout each phase of your manufacturing business. When you have the ability to follow the entire manufacturing process as you are developing a product or service, you obtain the opportunity to eliminate waste by eliminating non-value-add activities. If an activity does not contribute to the creation of high-quality products, eliminate it. If it does not contribute to a feature or benefit your customer would be willing to pay for, eliminate it. When you are successful in eliminating these non-value-add tasks and procedures, you achieve lean manufacturing.
Word of caution applies as well. What a development engineer views as waste is different than what an operations engineer views as waste and is further different than what a line supervisor views as waste and so on down the line of positions in your company. Also, your actual building, equipment and total layout may not lead to waste elimination – the cost of making the changes may hold you back.
Remember that this is not a short term process and that Lean is part of a continuous improvement project that has no end date. You will apply changes to eliminate waste as soon as you can and will note that as you begin this process you will find new opportunities – sometimes going back to areas you have already dealt with but now can advance deeper. Eliminate waste, improve production.
How is lean manufacturing helpful?As you reduce the costs that a customer has to pay, you in return improve your company’s competitiveness. By using lean manufacturing methods, you increase the value of the products you are producing and delivering to consumers.
Lean manufacturing helps to improve:
- Customer satisfaction
- Increase sales
- Employee effectiveness
- Improve your firm's reputation
How can I integrate lean manufacturing methods into my business?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) can handle whatever blend of lean manufacturing you want to integrate with your pre-existing discrete or process manufacturing workflows. Dynamics 365 is a solution that provides manufacturers with a set of tools that help identify and eliminate waste. D365 also helps you adjust production schedules, capacity loadings and shop floor activities for maximum results. Dynamics 365 helps you understand the cost of your actions on every part of your business.
Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 for discrete manufacturers here. By integrating information and capabilities throughout the design and manufacturing life cycle, D365 can help you get better control of inventory, lead time and materials costs. Learn more on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for discrete manufacturers here.
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