How can I implement Lean manufacturing?

Implementing Lean manufacturing into your facility can help to identify and eliminate many types of wastes, which can have big benefits for your bottom line. Getting started off on the right foot is important for ensuring you get the best results possible. The following are some key tips for implementing a Lean manufacturing program in your facility.

Get Management Buy-In

The first thing you need to do is to get buy-in from all levels of management. When talking to executive management teams, make sure they understand that this is a long-term system that they need to support going forward. If they aren’t willing to commit to its long-term success, Lean manufacturing may not be a good solution for this facility.

Once the upper management teams are committed, the other levels of management need to know that it is a mandatory strategy. If other departments aren’t willing to put in the effort to make this a success, you aren’t going to see the results you need.

Identify the Benefits to All Employees

Lean manufacturing isn’t something that only benefits the corporate bottom line. When done properly, this system will identify ways to improve the work environment for everyone. In addition, it creates a safer workplace, which benefits all employees. Teaching everyone this will help to ensure they are willing to participate in the program right from the start.

Offer Training

In addition to showing the benefits of a good Lean manufacturing program, you need to train everyone on how it will be implemented. Teach them how to identify types of waste, and what can be done to attempt to eliminate it. Even employees who aren’t on the core improvement teams can help to contribute in many ways.

Look for Easy Improvements

As you are first implementing a Lean manufacturing system in your facility, it is a good idea to focus on finding easy improvements that can be made. If you can identify and eliminate waste in a few key areas right at the beginning, people are going to be more willing to accept the system in the future.

Measure Everything

One of the most important things you need to do when implementing Lean manufacturing is to measure everything. When you are identifying a specific type of waste, measure how much waste is actually being caused. Then, once improvements have been made, measure things again so you can illustrate the benefits of the program.


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