The goal of Lean manufacturing is to minimize the amount of waste that is produced within a facility. This would apply to any type of waste including wasted time, energy, excess pieces or parts, and much more. Gemba is a process where managers go out to the shop floor to analyze how things are done, and how they can be improved. When done properly, Gemba can do a lot to help accomplish the goals of Lean manufacturing.
Gemba Walks with Lean Goals
When a company is using Lean manufacturing goals, it makes sense to add them to your Gemba walks. For example, if the company wants to reduce the length of time that it takes for a particular product to be made, they can plan Gemba walks that will look for bottlenecks and other issues that slow down production. Using the information gathered on the Gemba walk, the managers can streamline the production processes to ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible. Other Gemba walks can be planned to identify and eliminate any other type of waste as well.
Keeping in Touch with Employees
One of the most effective things that Gemba can do is bring all the employees into the process of waste elimination. Gemba is an excellent way to ensure managers and others in the company are spending time with the front line employees. It should be no surprise that front line employees have unique insights into where waste is created, and how it is implemented. Without Gemba, many managers just try to come up with ways to improve efficiency on their own. While this can sometimes be effective, it is leaving out some of the most important people in the company.
Gemba is also great for finding improvement opportunities on just about everything that needs to be done. Using this process will really help a department make improvements on any area that they are having trouble. Since there are so many different types of waste that can be generated in a facility, using Gemba walks is a great way to make improvements throughout the facility.
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