Lean production, or lean manufacturing, is the practice of using a series of methods to minimize waste related to material and labour while still maintaining or increasing production levels. It also optimizes the efficient use of material handling systems and solutions. Ultimately, lean production’s main goal is to eliminate anything that doesn’t add value as well as delivering a superb product to the customer as rapidly as possible with little to no limitations.
Many manufacturers have adopted lean production processes along with custom material handling solutions because of the evident benefits. In fact, it is almost necessary to use lead production in today’s world of business to remain competitive. Below is a list of lean production benefits.
1. Better Product Quality
A product’s quality is increased by using lean production because employee’s time is freed up meaning their time can be allocated to innovation and quality control. Also, since lean production has such a heavy focus on the manufacturing process, more proofing can be put in place to prevent recurrence of damage or defects.
2. Improved Lead Times
Lead time is known as the time between initiation and completion of a production process. Since manufacturing processes are streamlined using lean production, businesses can respond better to demand fluctuations and other market changes. As a result, there will be less delays and better lead times.
Businesses that have less waste and are able to adapt quickly will be much more sustainable in the long run than businesses that don’t have these qualities.
4. Problem Solving
Lean production forces a business to take a hard look at the issues they’ve been facing and tackle them head on. Without it, it’s easy for management and employees to ignore problems or shift them aside.
5. Space Reduction
Part of the whole waste reduction process is eliminating space in warehouses and other storage facilities. You may even find that you no longer need a warehouse or storage unit through lean production which will save you money.
6. Employee Efficiency
By using lean production, employee’s work becomes more standardized thereby boosting efficiency. In addition, the work will be repeatable and easy for anyone to do making processes such as training and performance reviews more efficient too.
Employee’s efficiency is also bettered by the fact that lean production uses less employee time to achieve more. This may sound bad because it implies that employees will have to be sent to unemployment, although, this is not the case. The employees who are no longer needed in production can be promoted to do more important work for the company such as providing training to other employees or maintaining the production system.
7. Employee Satisfaction
Morale is impacted more than you’d think by having employees do unnecessary work in their daily routine. Essentially, it makes them feel redundant and useless which takes a negative toll on morale. By using lean production, employees will be more satisfied with the work they’re doing as well as being more productive.
It’s important to understand that, at first, lean production could actually decrease employee morale. Generally, employees don’t like change and may feel uncomfortable in the early stages of the lean production transition. With time, employees will adjust to the changes and grow to appreciate them.
A key concept behind lean production is collaboration among the entire company. Lean production is not meant to be implemented into one component of an organization. This is beneficial because all the employees will feel a part of a team and bigger purpose which boosts morale.
9. Increased Profit
Possibly one of the greatest benefits, lean production increases profits due to the reduced waste and better product quality. Companies can also take comfort in the fact that lean production makes ample use of resources meaning that all of your costs are justified and worthwhile.