Lean thinking is all about doing more with less. Therefore, lean manufacturing is about reducing or eliminating waste across the board, from customer service and design to distribution and manufacturing. It is also commonly referred to as lean production. There are many benefits associated with lean manufacturing, as well as numerous challenges. Read on to discover everything you need to know.
The short-term and long-term benefits of lean manufacturing
As mentioned, lean manufacturing includes production planning, scheduling & control, and there are a number of benefits that come with readdressing these areas and eliminating waste. This includes improve employee morale, as your team members will feel empowered and like they are contributing. Moreover, lean focuses on reducing uncertainty in the workplace, which can also make employees more secure and confident in their role. Other benefits of lean management include a safer working environment, the creation of more space, and problem elimination. After all, lean manufacturing is all about forcing you to attack issues head on until they have been eliminated. Aside from this, you can expect total company involvement, as well as easier management because everyone knows what they have to do and when they have to do it. And that is not all! Other benefits you will realise include manpower reductions, increased efficiency, improved visual management, and improved quality.
Challenges you may face
As is the case with any change in business, there are going to be challenges you face along the way. Once lean manufacturing has been implemented successfully, it will all be worth it. Nevertheless, you do need to be aware of the challenges that you will come across so you can manage them effectively. The first challenge is resistance. After all, most people do not like change. They like to live in their comfort zone. This is why you need to make sure that everyone is aware of why this change is going to be implemented and how it will benefit them. Some of the other challenges you can face include initial labour increase, upkeep, and cost. This is not to say that lean manufacturing is expensive. After all, it is all about reducing waste. However, redesigning equipment and such like is going to cost money at first. Nevertheless, it is all about seeing the bigger picture and ensuring that you are going to be making cost savings overall.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding the short-term and long-term benefits that are associated with lean manufacturing, as well as the challenges. Lean manufacturing is something more and more companies are embracing today, and it is not difficult to see why. However, you do need to make sure you have the correct approach.