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Like most other manufacturing companies, you are likely trying to find ways to increase profitability without affecting quality. Obviously, that is easier said than done, but embracing the concept of “lean manufacturing” is a step in the right direction.
As the name implies, lean manufacturing is based on creating a leaner, more efficient operating model for your manufacturing operation. The manufacturing accounting professionals at Doeren Mayhew note some of the potential benefits of lean manufacturing, including:
What are the elements that comprise lean manufacturing? The following may be incorporated into a unified lean manufacturing approach.
Core disciplines: Although the particular needs will vary from company to company, a manufacturing concern may take advantage of such core disciplines such as Cellular Manufacturing, Pull Scheduling, Six Sigma/Total Management, Rapid Setup and Team Management.
Analytical tools: Valuable tools such as value-stream and process mapping can help streamline the process. Group technology can help refine the workflow in complex product mixes.
Integrated technology: Workers and technology can be integrated in a system using the strengths of each component and minimizing the weaknesses. This also reflects the psychological aspects involved in production.
Waste elimination: Waste can be identified through a value-stream analysis focusing on all activities and their specific values. By using this process, the company tries to find more efficient ways to add the same value to its products.
Minimized inventory: Excess inventory can consume resources, slow down response time and disguise quality problems. Eventually, inventory degrades and becomes obsolete. Similarly, documentation of the development process should be subject to value stream analysis, since it can affect the manufacturing flow.
Scientific approach: Implementation of lean manufacturing is likely to be more successful if it is based on sound scientific principles rather than slogans or mere buzzwords.
System-wide viewpoint: The core disciplines for lean manufacturing are interdependent. They should function cohesively in a continuous cycle to generate greater productivity and profitability.
The bottom line: Lean manufacturing can provide a boost to profits in today’s competitive environment.
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