Many different industries use the lean model of business to stay efficient and ensure they are cutting back on as much waste as possible. Lean thinking looks at balancing customer and employee satisfaction with minimizing costs. Could your business benefit from this way of thinking? Here are five steps you can take towards a lean manufacturing business.
Focus on the customer
First of all, put all your focus on providing your client with the best possible value. Everything you do in business has a cost, and these costs all contribute to the price you charge your customer for a product or service. So, by scaling back your expenses to production, you are giving your customer the best possible value. You can charge them less; they are happier, and you can give them higher quality for less money.
Get some training
There are a few areas you can look at when it comes to making your business leaner. Yes, it’s about reducing waste, but it’s not just regarding going paperless or recycling properly. It’s also about looking at your processes, improving productivity, and maximising every activity. There’s a lot to think about, so it might be worth looking at some kind of lean manufacturing or process training.
Identify wasteful practices
As we mentioned above, there is a lot to think about when trying to be a leaner manufacturing business. You have to look at all your processes and methods of doing things and identify any area that is adding to your costs. It could be something as complex as your inventory control, or as simple as production dips in the afternoon. The point is, without looking for inefficiencies, you won’t find any.
Part of the lean manufacturing business model is about uncovering surprising facts. There are many processes in all companies that seem to work well, but on closer inspection, they are inefficient. It could be something that everyone just ‘does’ because that has always been the ‘right’ way. But, if you want to improve your business processes, you have to use evidence to make your decisions, not supposition. So, ensure that you track everything that takes place on a daily basis, and use those figures to make more informed decisions.
Listen to your employees
Want to know where you can find some genuinely groundbreaking ideas for process improvement and waste reduction? It’s from your front-line employees. These guys understand every aspect of their jobs and are often the best people to ask when it comes to becoming more efficient. So, listen to their ideas – and test them out. If they can help you improve your processes, they will have more time on their hands to be even more productive. It makes perfect sense, yet so many companies lay down the law and leave it at that.
As you can see, there are a few things you can do if you want a leaner manufacturing business. The main thing to remember is that reducing waste costs you less, and that saving can go straight to your customer. This makes you a better value proposition for them, and, ultimately, more sales. Let us know your thoughts on the lean business model!