By weldadmin | June 18, 2016
How simple and efficient are your welding processes? Do you have the ability to easily modify your welding products, based on your customers’ needs? If your processes are rigid with an inability to customize your product for your customers, this increases waste and the loss of money. This is where lean, or lean manufacturing, comes in. So what is lean manufacturing? It is a way to make sure your work processes are running as efficiently as possible to reduce waste and meet your customers’ needs.
Here is a breakdown of lean manufacturing so you can apply it to your own business.
Henry Ford is known for being one of the first people to apply the idea of lean manufacturing to his Model T automobile assembly line. If there was one thing Henry Ford’s assembly line did flawlessly, it was the concept of continuous flow from one step of the assembly process to the next. While this cut out waste, it did not allow for any modifications or changes to the product based on customer needs. In time, other manufacturers like Toyota built on Henry Ford’s work to make manufacturing methods that allowed for optimization of products to meet customer demand.
To find efficiencies that cut out waste, every manufacturer needs to step into the shoes of their customer and determine what he or she is willing to pay for. As a customer yourself, would you pay for a product that has defects or doesn’t meet your needs? Probably not. Cutting out waste such as defects, overproduction, and slow transportation can help increase the value of your product and improve your customer service.
The first step is simply identifying the waste in your own system. Is it a defect in your product that is making your customers unhappy? If so, you’ve now identified it and can move on to figuring out what is actually causing the defect to occur. This is where you will perform a root cause analysis to determine the underlying cause of the defect and focus on discovering a sustainable solution rather than rely on temporary and unreliable fixes. The third and final step is to solve the root cause with a long-term solution that will eliminate the defect and allow you to provide a more valuable product to your customers.
Lean manufacturing doesn’t guarantee the removal of all waste forever. In order to stay on top of your customers’ needs and wants, you’ll need to be on constant lookout for waste and new opportunities to make your processes simpler and more efficient. By continuously optimizing your services and products, you’ll be providing higher quality goods that will keep your customers happy and engaged.
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