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How Can LEAN Manufacturing Improve Operations?

As manufacturers seek ways to increase efficiencies and reduce expenses, they’re realizing the importance of LEAN production. This Japanese-developed manufacturing concept focuses on eliminating waste and unnecessary steps that drive up costs, increase production times and drain human and equipment resources. Continuous improvement is also a cornerstone of the LEAN manufacturing philosophy. By continually assessing each process, manufacturers can find ways to eliminate non-value-added or repetitive activities without impacting output.

How Can LEAN Manufacturing Help a Company?

The LEAN technique represents a radical departure from traditional production processes that emphasize the heavy utilization of manpower and machinery and disregard cycle times and waste. Manufacturers that make the transition can experience a variety of advantages. The benefits of LEAN manufacturing include:

  • Lower inventory costs: Inventory represents a significant expense for most manufacturing entities. The LEAN process focuses on producing just enough goods to fill customer orders. Companies won’t have to handle and store excess stock, which minimizes labor costs and frees up floor space for more productive uses.
  • Faster turns: Because LEAN manufacturing facilitates a quicker turnover of inventory, it helps to maintain price stability and maximizes profit margins. It can also increase buying power with suppliers, which can reduce procurement costs.
  • Fewer process delays: The LEAN philosophy emphasizes doing more with less. Consequently, there are fewer instances of issues such as machine breakdowns and other snafus that can disrupt the production cycle and create lengthy and costly delays.
  • Better product quality: The LEAN manufacturing technique integrates quality control through every step of the production process instead of only at the end. This change increases the likelihood of detecting issues that could lower quality and provides more opportunities to correct them.
  • Improved employee morale: Employee engagement is a key component of the LEAN concept. It empowers workers by encouraging them to participate in process improvement efforts. Engaged workers are typically happier and more likely to stay with their employer longer.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: By eliminating inefficiencies, LEAN manufacturing creates faster production, packaging and shipping times. Customers will receive their orders more quickly and with fewer errors, which will improve their level of satisfaction and increase retention.
  • Larger customer base: As the word spreads that a company that has implemented LEAN manufacturing is meeting the needs of its customers, other prospective buyers will take notice. Manufacturers can then attract more customers and increase their revenue streams.
  • Higher profits: The combination of lower production costs, increased operating efficiency and more revenue will have a positive impact on what matters most: the manufacturer’s bottom line.

MANTEC Can Help You Explore the Advantages of LEAN Production

As a full-service manufacturing consulting firm, MANTEC can provide a wide variety of cost-effective LEAN manufacturing services for your South Central PA company. We offer LEAN training and consulting that can assist you in implementing this methodology in your production processes, helping you achieve operational excellence. Give us a call today at 717-843-5054 or contact us online to learn more about the benefits of LEAN manufacturing.

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