This week I want to talk about “lean” methodology that originated from Toyota, specifically the Toyota Production Systems years ago. The idea of this was to promote the flow of value to the customer by eliminating the costs presented by human error and inefficiency. It was most tailored towards manufacturing and improving production by introducing two primary concepts:
1. Continuous improvements
2. Respect for people
I’m sure some of you are still wondering what a Lean Initiative would consist of or trying to envision it. Trust me; I was thinking the same thing when I read an article in “Insight on Manufacturing” magazine. I ended up doing some research/investigating on it and how some companies have made “Lean” thinking into an initiative of theirs. The idea is that it works towards creating a better process by getting rid of inefficient processes. This could mean building multiple products on one single assembly line or instead of having 4 or 5 production facilities bring all of them under one roof. Another thing to think about is that this allows for the employees to be under one roof and improve collaboration and innovation.
Let’s say a company that has four different facilities with one single piece going through three of them. After working with lean consultants the company decides to put all four production facilities under one big roof. That may seem like a big decision in which it is, but by doing this they are able to focus better on things like standardization. This also gives more opportunities for the company to save time with no need to transport parts back and forth and save money. By incorporating “lean” thinking in a business you are able to get the customer what they want and when they want it.