Lean can bring growth, profit, happy customers, and employees

This article provides a high-level overview of the three pillars for a successful implementation of Lean. It also provides the first step in getting started. It will be followed by a series of articles on Lean, People-Centered Leadership and MIS.

LEAN manufacturing reduces waste and increases profits. It is a system for minimizing waste without eliminating productivity. There are three Japanese words that describe the process. Muda – which means uselessness, wastefulness or futility. Muda refers to any resource that uses more resources than needed and causes waste. This can include a waste of employee talent or a waste of space, money, and other resources based on overproduction. The second word is Muri – which means waste created through the overburden. This waste refers to unreasonable work. When a company is poorly organized it creates several types of Muri waste. It imposes unreasonable workloads on employees. It can also push employees and machines beyond their natural limits. Muri can result in errors, accidents, and lost or disgruntled employees. The third word is Mura – which refers to waste caused by unevenness or inconsistency. An example of Mura is the end of the month rush to fill and ship orders, while the beginning of the month is slow due to lack of parts and lack of focus on the month-end target.

Many incorrectly believe that implementation of LEAN means elimination of jobs and employees. This is definitely not the case. It is the elimination of waste and the improvement of the workflow. Many others incorrectly believe that Lean is the tools that assist in the identification and elimination of waste. But tools alone do not solve the problems and eliminate waste.

PCL (People Centered Leadership)

Around the globe, companies have found that the most difficult challenge of all is changing the company to a LEAN culture that values the employee and their contribution. LEAN can fail to deliver results if the company does not educate, include, and value the employee. A Gallup survey found that 87% of C suite executives recognize that disengaged employees are a threat to the success of their business. They also found that only 30% of the population is inspired and engaged in the workplace. 50% are not engaged and the other 20% are actively disengaged. Disengagement costs the US alone $450K to $550K annually. Companies with engaged teams have higher productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction scores. They also have fewer accidents, quality defects, less turnover, less absenteeism, and lower healthcare costs. These inspired and engaged employees come up with the most innovative ideas and help acquire most of the company’s new customers. LEAN eliminates waste, increases profits, and develops and nurtures employees

Therefore, before you invest any money, it is important to get the entire executive suite onboard with a commitment to LEAN and to a People-Centered Leadership style. Not only must they be committed, but they must also remain committed, and they must actively exhibit the characteristics and processes associated with LEAN. Then you can take the next step of convincing the employees that LEAN will not only be a value to the company and the customer but to them as well. They will have the opportunity to participate in the process changes, submit ideas, learn new skills, and they can earn more money and grow in roles and responsibilities.

MIS (Management Information System)

Management Information Systems provides a method to track business and production processes from estimating and quoting through job tracking on the floor or outsourced all the way through to delivery and billing. The system can be on a workstation, the web, or cloud-based. MIS systems help to manage the flow of information and keep your customers informed. It is important to select a product that not only helps you track and eliminate waste but also integrates with your current systems. It must be flexible and scalable for the future business as well. You want a system that will help you manage your workflows and help you make informed decisions. But before you invest in a system and someone to install and work with it, remember the advice provide in the previous paragraph. It is critical to your success to get the executives and the employees committed to LEAN, Continuous Improvement and People-Centered Leadership before tracking waste. If the team is not committed, they will not do the work and some may sabotage the effort.

Now that you have an adequate idea of the big picture, you can take help from the internet and can know more about the same.