In order to make custom products, the production and manufacturing of the process would have to be adjusted for every new order. Looking at our business, this would cut down the printing time of tape since a new plate would have to be installed with every order. For the production team to print the optimal number of tape to fulfill the highest number of orders, there has to be a system in place to reduce wasted time and other resources.
For manufacturing companies, it is best to start looking at the production team to see what can be improved in order to accept and fulfill as many orders in a given time with the least amount of waste. Lean manufacturing is a system that minimizes waste without sacrificing productivity. The concept was first introduced by Toyota, which has helped them become one of the world’s largest automakers today.
A great way to describe what going lean means, is through a series of tools that helps in identifying and getting rid of waste. Another approach brought forth by Toyota is improving the flow or how smoothly it runs. In some factories, the layout of the machinery and certain work stations can be placed to reduce the number of steps or walking back and forth to get a task completed. There are many ways companies are engaging in wasteful tasks without even being aware of it.
Types of waste
When companies produce too much product at one time, it can result in poor workflow and excess inventory. Since we are human, mistakes can be made in paperwork, product quality or poor delivery. There are ways in which these issues can be avoided if there is more organization in place.
Unnecessary inventory will take up space in the warehouse, which can lead to delays, excessive cost and poor customer service. Other times it all comes down to processing work using the wrong set of tools or procedures.
There may even be too much transportation due to excessive movement of various information, products and even people. This all leads to wasted time, effort and cost.
On the other hand, there can be periods of inactivity of various things such as people, information and product. When this is the case, it is a result of poor workflow and long lead times.
Lastly, when the workplace is organized in such a way that increases unnecessary motion, it should be time to rethink the workplace layout to reduce poor ergonomics, excessive bending or stretching.