5 Steps to Lean Production

Implementing  lean  has become very vital for any manufacturing organisation from the point of view of reducing waste and increasing value for the customer. But implementation of  lean  production strategies must be done in an organized stepwise manner to yield maximum results.

Here are the 5 steps that can help you achieve  lean  in your organization:

Assess: This is the first step that tries to find out the current stage that the organization is in. This is very crucial as it provides a base or foundation on which you bring about change. It involves not only the assessment of manufacturing processes and systems but also a survey of the organization’s culture. There is also an in-depth study of the business basics. Moreover, employees and their engagement in the workplace and crucial decision making are also studied. Another important assessment is done with relation to the flow of value. This helps in determining how the production chain progresses and gives great insights about the prevalent inventory management systems. All in all, there is a thorough analysis made of systems, processes, products and people in the workplace.

Control: This step lists down the checks and balances to ensure that the systems and policies are implemented smoothly in the organization. It also pays a lot of attention to production schedule, defect checking and shift system of employees. Additionally, it also checks how the organization measures efficiency and how it penalizes inefficiency. The discipline measures in place that keep the systems chugging along are also studied.

Strategy: A road map is drawn where the various  lean  production objectives are carefully scrutinized. These are customized to suit the type of organization and its business. These strategies carefully take into account all the assessment and control activities that were done in the earlier steps. This is a detailed plan that carefully lays down the vision, objectives and individual steps to get there in a time-bound frame.

Action: Continuous improvement is the driving force here. Strategies that deliver are continued; those that fail are improved upon. Employee feedback is sought and effectively changes are made. Slow cultural changes are also rolled out. The aim is to use best practices like 5S, Total Production Management, Quick Changeover, Kaizen etc. Performance Measurement System is put in place to monitor performance on a regular basis and ensure standardization.

Evaluation and Standardization: It is important to sustain change else it is quite useless. With standardization, you can ensure that the best systems and practices continue to deliver and perform smoothly. Evaluation mechanisms ensure that you stay on track and perhaps even a step ahead of the competition.

This is a 5 step approach to implementing  lean  production strategies!