Lean Manufacturing: A Business-Focussed Approach

Lean Manufacturing is a commonly used term and a well-known systematic approach to improving manufacturing processes. There are a lot of resources available, online and in text books, to explain what ‘Lean Manufacturing’ is, where it came from, the tools used, and resources to support implementation.

There are a lot of tools and systems out there too. You might have heard of some of these:

  • 5S
  • 5 Whys
  • Six Sigma
  • 7 wastes
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Fishbone (Ishikawa) Diagram
  • Kaizen, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
  • Plan Do Check Act (PDCA)
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
  • Value Stream Analysis
  • Visual Management

The important thing is that we have the experience to help you cut through the jargon and achieve real growth by implementing Lean in your business. We take a much more business-focused approach than some of the lean manufacturing consulting companies out there.

Look at the whole business, focus on the customer, and clarify the objectives

Firstly, we look at the whole business to understand what you’re trying to achieve and how you serve your customers. Then, we focus on implementing the elements of Lean that will have the biggest impact to your objectives. This is a different approach to many lean manufacturing consulting firms. We’re not trying to train your people in Lean. Nor are we trying to make your business an ideal showcase for Lean. We are focused on your business objectives and implementing the tools and processes that will deliver your desired outcomes for the business.

Focus on the teams and their immediate supervisors

Secondly, we focus heavily on the employees who are engaged in value-added activities, and their immediate supervisors. These are the people who are going to move your business performance forward. But just giving them training is not enough. We will explain, show, and then encourage the teams to replicate implementation – help them to understand the business objectives, how their actions impact the whole business performance, and what they need to do to help the business fulfil its objectives.

Drive cultural change

Thirdly, and most importantly, we aim to achieve a cultural change. One of the biggest benefits, and the most satisfying outcome, of Lean manufacturing, is helping teams take control of their workplace – to independently and systematically implement change and improvements. When your teams really take ownership and responsibility for their workplace, analyse their own performance, and put in place credible improvement plans, then you know you have succeeded, and the business will systematically improve.

If you need help with achieving your business objectives or you’re interested in Lean Manufacturing consulting services, contact us. We’re specialists in manufacturing. Talk to someone who has experience in manufacturing and led businesses through significant change. We can help you create and implement a powerful strategy to grow your business.