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Lean Overview Video

  • This presentation is an overview of Lean Business and Lean Manufacturing.
  • Lean Business can be compared to our bodies. If we are athletic, we are considered to be lean. If we are not athletic, we are not lean. When we are not lean, we are sluggish and lack energy. For example, it is very difficult to run when we are unfit as opposed to being in good physical shape. Let's explore this concept a little further.
  • A Lean Company is considered to be:
    A: Fast
    B: Strong
    C: Agile
    D: Coordinated
    E: Ready for anything
    F: Promotes teamwork
    G: Has a lucrative business
    H: And in general, a winner
  • On the other hand, a non lean company is considered to be:
    A: Slow
    B: Weak
    C: Clumsy
    D: Uncoordinated
    E: Not ready for anything
    F: Severe lack of teamwork
    G: Cash poor
    H: And in general, a loser
  • Every company is made up of several business processes that are linked together as shown in this example.
  • The first reason many companies fail to become lean is they focus their attention solely on manufacturing, rather than the entire business.
  • Let's take a look at the process flow for manufacturing as an example.
  • The green areas represent value added work, whereas the red areas represent all of the wastes found in manufacturing.
  • The amount of actual value added work adds up to a very small 1 - 5% of the time spent in manufacturing
  • The second reason many companies fail to become lean is, they focus their efforts on improving only the value added work they perform, instead of reducing or eliminating all of the waste in the process. Making improvements on the value added work gives a very small return as shown here.
  • Within manufacturing, let's focus our attention on the non value added work, or wastes that extend the lead time unnecessarily. Remember, this represents 95 - 99% of the time spent in manufacturing.
  • There are seven predominate wastes in manufacturing processes, and I will give some examples of each.
  • If you see product sitting on your shop floor waiting to be processed you have excess inventory or excess work in process. While it sits on the shop floor you are not adding value to it.
  • If you have to remove rust or dust from products because of the length of time they spent in your manufacturing process, you are over processing.
  • If you have to wait for anything including waiting for set-ups, inspection, or other downtime, this is the waste of waiting.
  • Any walking the operators have to do is a good example of wasted motion. Walking never adds value to the product.
  • If you produce more parts than what the customer needs because you want to take advantage of the set-up, that is overproduction. Long set-up times are the cause of overproduction.
  • Defective products have to be either reworked or scrapped. Defective products take a substantial amount of time away from production.
  • If you move product with forklifts or conveyors your process includes excess transportation, which is usually caused by a poor layout of equipment and machines.
  • To become lean you must focus your efforts on both the value added and non value added steps in your process. Reduce or eliminate as much of the waste as you possibly can, and make improvements on the value added work to reduce the lead time substantially.
  • There are many steps in the business process that contribute to the overall lead time. To reduce total lead time we have to focus efforts in more areas than just manufacturing. If waste is eliminated at every business process, total lead time can be drastically reduced. Kaizen Events are one of the best ways to identify and eliminate waste.
  • Search for waste in your business and look at all of your business processes, not just manufacturing. Sometimes waste is disguised as value added work and can be difficult to find, so be diligent and ask lots of questions.
  • Perform a comprehensive lean assessment on your business. A fresh set of eyes can be extremely helpful when it comes to an accurate lean assessment. We specialize in quick yet thorough lean assessments.
  • When performing an informal self assessment of your company, you might want to ask yourself these questions:
    A: Do we deliver quickly and on time to our customers, or are we slow, our deliveries late and customers are upset?
    B: Is my business strong and do we value our employees, customers, and suppliers, or are we weak and just taking care of number one?
    C: Is my company flexible? Can we respond effortlessly to changes in customer demand and marketplace? Or are we inflexible and clumsy?
    D: Are all the processes in my business well coordinated or is coordination a foreign word?
    E: Is my company always ready for continuous improvement efforts, or is my company never ready or willing to change?
    F: Is teamwork a way of life at my company or is there a lot of infighting?
    G: Are we lucrative and put money back into the business regularly, or do we struggle to make ends meet?
    H: And in general, is my company a clear winner, loser, or somewhere in-between.

Remember, when it comes to business, you want to be a winner, not a loser, so give us and call and we can help you transform your company into a lean, mean, money-making machine.


About the author:

Jeff Hofstetter

Jeff Hofstetter Jeff is the President of Xtreme Lean Consulting with over 24 years of experience in Lean and Six Sigma Consulting. Jeff is a results-driven, decisive leader with a proven track record of initiating time and cost-saving operational improvements while leading diverse teams to strong, sustainable performance gains. Skilled mentor and coach with a hands-on, positive approach to resource management, leadership development, and training.

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