Who should be involved in Lean manufacturing?

Any facility that is looking to implement or expand Lean manufacturing will have to take a close look at who should be involved in the process. The fact is, Lean manufacturing will require everyone in the facility to contribute in some way. While there may be a few people who act as the Lean leadership team, it will be necessary to get everyone involved in order to have the most success.

CEO & Executive Leadership

All major initiatives need to start from the top. Without support from the executive leadership teams there is no way that the Lean strategies will be able to remain successful over a long period of time. In addition, anytime that a major change needs to be made, it will undoubtedly require approval from this level of management, so having them supportive from the beginning is key.

Mid-Level Managers

Many of the changes that are required for eliminating waste are going to impact multiple departments or areas of work. To facilitate this, the area managers will need to step in to ensure everything is coordinated properly. This level of management often also has to approve any downtime that may be required, or other larger scale changes that are necessary for eliminating waste in the facility.

Supervisors

The supervisors are going to be an invaluable resource for Lean manufacturing. These individuals typically know all about the day to day operations as well as how different areas interact with each other. In many workplaces, the supervisors are going to be able to point out many types of waste so that it can be addressed by the Lean manufacturing team.

Front-Line Employees

All the front-line employees will be the ones that need to make the most adjustments and implement many of the changes. Having them on board is perhaps the most important thing possible for ensuring the success of Lean manufacturing in any given workplace. In addition, front-line employees have a better understanding of where waste exists than anyone else in the facility so they should be a key resource for finding improvement opportunities.

 

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Additional Resources

5S Lean Guide
 
Lean Manufacturing Powerpoint
 
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