When should a firm adopt Lean Manufacturing?

When Should a Firm Adopt Lean Manufacturing?

If your workplace has processes that don’t always produce consistent results, don’t confront frequent errors, and are often redundant, you may have considered an overhaul. To improve efficiency at your company, you may have looked into Lean manufacturing. 

Today, we’ll discuss Lean manufacturing and when it’s time to implement it. With this information, we hope you’ll make an informed decision about whether or not this method could be helpful for your firm.

What Is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing is the process of getting rid of wasteful procedures at a company. This methodology views ‘waste’ as anything that doesn’t add profitable value to a business. Companies that implement Lean manufacturing may see increased profits, increased productivity, and even improved quality of their products.

If you’ve heard of this method, you’ve probably also heard of 5S–but, what is 5S, and why is 5S important in the workplace? Put simply, this is another Lean methodology that improves workplace efficiency and reduces waste. It includes the following:

  • Seiri/Sort: Separate needed and unneeded tools to remove those that are unnecessary
  • Seiton/Set in order: Arrange, label, and store items to make them easier to use
  • Seiso/Shine: Clean up the work area thoroughly
  • Seiketsu/Standardize: Implement the above three S’s daily
  • Shitsuke/Sustain: Habitually follow the above four S’s

These steps can improve workplace safety and the utilization of your tools. The 5S’s can be used in conjunction with Lean manufacturing to produce sustainable results.

What About Six Sigma?

Back in the day, Six Sigma was all the rage in project management, but is Lean Six Sigma still relevant today? After falling out of style in the early 2000s, it’s making a comeback in many workplaces. More and more companies are having their employees complete certification for it, so it shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether you choose to implement Lean Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, or 5S, you can bet that your workplace will become safer.

When Is It Time to Adopt Lean Manufacturing?

Many Defects in Your Company’s Work

If your current processes are resulting in errors and defective products, it may be time to review them. An effective process produces similar results every time, and Lean manufacturing can help you achieve this.

More Inventory Than You Can Handle

Companies should not hold onto more inventory than they need to complete their projects and get products to customers. If your warehouse is overflowing with inventory, something has to change.

Not Meeting Production Deadlines

With effective workplace processes, your company should be able to meet deadlines every time. If your workers are falling behind, your processes are likely not efficient and need to be inspected and reviewed.

Closing Thoughts

If you need to improve workplace safety and efficiency, Lean manufacturing may be your best option for doing so. Many companies have been thrilled with its results, so it could work for yours, too. 

If you’d rather implement 5S, you’ll benefit from training materials, floor markers, and labels specifically designed for this method. Creative Safety Supply carries all of that, plus a 5S starter kit to help you start your process improvement journey. Check out our online store today to get all of the supplies you need!


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