Lean manufacturing is a manufacturing approach that emphasizes minimization of all resources used in manufacturing. Lean management is just a way of identifying and reducing time-consuming activities in design, production and supply chains. Lean manufacturing strategies reduce production times and reduced cost per unit. When a business to use lean manufacturing strategies, it generally applies four principals.
The first principle is lean design which involves assessing and improvement on production methods in order to efficiently adapt to changing the business environment. Most lean blogs applaud the use of computer-aided design as a flexible and fast way of transferring production ideas from design concepts to the market. Lean management, on the other hand, involves people management strategies that attempt to ensure full training of all workers involved in production methods. Empowerment and delegation form the pillar of lean people management. This not only motivates workers but makes them feel valued and important to business objectives.
The third strategy in lean production is known as lean component supply. This is a system that deals with various aspects of stock management. It deals with when restocking, storage, insurance and opportunity costs involved. It emphasizes the need to recognize necessary conditions of supply such as identifying reliable suppliers who can supply and deliver stock on time. Lean quality is the final principle used in lean management. An organization can incur great losses, bad publicity and loss of customers when it ignores production quality. One way of ensuring quality in an organization is training employees in all aspects of lean manufacturing. All employees are trained in multi-skills and quality techniques such as quality circles and kaizen groups. This is a proven way of bringing the best ideas from employees.
In conclusion, it is worthy noting that lean manufacturing is expensive; it has high initial costs and therefore, cannot be applied in every manufacturing company. It also takes a long time for employees to adapt, a period within which many economies of scale pros are lost.