Caveat: Blitzes are all too often un-targeted, . done with little concern as to the overall impact on the total company. The results of such un-focused blitzes typically have a significant local impact, microcosms of excellence , but little or no impact on overall company well being. See “Solutions Looking for a Problem” below.
Sure, there is much more that could be said, but we hope this brief overview gives you a good sense of what to expect going forward. Don’t let anyone sell you a “step by step package” to getting Lean, unless they have conducted a thorough assessment of your company, and can tell you the How, What, Where, When, & Why behind their proposal. Though many of the Lean Tools can be generally applied, Lean is not a one-size fits all program and must be adjusted to your specific and unique needs.
The TPS Team…
The importance of employee participation and retention is paramount to a successful foundation and sustaining a LEAN culture. Although restructuring during a slow time may not be avoidable, it is the last resort when trying to transform into a Lean Manufacturing culture.
LEAN MANUFACTURING focuses on elements that seem elementary but specific tools and training can lead to valuable gains. Furthermore, the tools guide the team to reveal DFSS and waste removal opportunities AND improve existing value added processes (. speeding up an existing running machine with better maintenance program).
Lean tools can also be applied to transactional process as well as the DFSS and DMAIC tools.
Value stream mapping is a key component of Lean Manufacturing. Most often a product value stream will consist of 95% or more non-value added time.
That means that most value streams begin with <5% of the total time devoted to adding value, or creating a feature that the customer is willing to pay for.
In many cases, there is business (or regulatory) time that complicates the map. Many companies must perform record keeping, audits, data entry, and maintain environmental, health, and safety compliance that take time in the value stream. While it is mandatory, it is still non-value added and should be challenged and streamlined to lean out within reason.
Many of the tools are taught to an entire workforce to develop a foundation of LEAN thinking in day to day operations. Some of the tools used are:
Mistake Proofing / Poka-Yoke
OEE - Overall Equipment Effectiveness
TQM - Total Quality Management
Health and Safety
Designing Workcells / Cellular Flow