Benefits of Lean Manufacturing (Part#2 of The Big Fat Lean)

In today's part, we will cover various benefits of lean manufacturing implementation.

Benefits are endless. In general, we will focus on a couple of benefits of lean project implementation. It may be an implementation of a number of lean tools. The most benefits of lean implementation in the production environment are followings.

1. Lead time reduction: Order receiving to shipping time can be reduced. In production process, you can reduce throughput time by following one-piece-flow system.

2. Inventory reduction: Lean follows the Pull System and believes in JIT (Just-in-Time) purchase and distribution.

3. Cost reduction: Whenever WIP is reduced costs come down. In Lean we purchase how much of what is required. No excess inventory, reduced processes. Less space is required as production is Pull that is against customer demands alone. Hence cost reduction in terms of overheads. And stock retention also is achieved.

4. Floor space reduction: As already mentioned no additional inventory is available because of JIT purchase. Also production occurs against demand which limits the over-processing and overproduction. These together leads to less floor space requirement.

5. On time delivery: Lean follows various tools (which will subsequently be detailed during the series of publication).These tools (e.g. JIDOKA, POKAYOKE) make sure to clear the bottlenecks and reprocessing of goods. This results in on time delivery.

6. Improved quality: The tools employed here say JIDOKA-says "Stop Production - So that Production Never Stops". This simply means during production if a worker finds something doubtful he/she can immediately stop production in that stage itself. Otherwise if it is not detected here and corrected then the entire production will have to stop and engage in corrective/reprocessing purpose. Also PokaYokes make sure that no defect is produced. Hence quality is improved.

7. Improved workflow: The 5S tool employed here makes sure that workflow is smooth. Lean stresses on clean and safe work environment.

8. Job satisfaction: Lean believes in team work. It says "All for One & One for All". Also The Warm Heart Principle which is hard on the problem and easy on the people. Both coupled together give the entire team Job satisfaction.

9. Flexibility: This is made possible by Heijunka Box or production leveling. We set our production capacities based on an average work load, not for the peak or for the valleys, planned also on the basis of our personnel, equipment, material needs. This makes sure that the workforce is neither overstretched nor over relaxed.

10. Predictability: It believes in TPM (Total Productive Maintenance). This involves the shop floor members in basic maintenance work like lubricating, screw tightening etc, while main team engages in predictive maintenance, assuring zero breakdowns.

11. Team work: "All for One & One for All" is the slogan which Lean teams follow. There are no walls in between higher and lower management levels. Uniformity also in terms of rules to be followed builds real strong team.

12. Fewer conflicts: Employment of Lean Principles assures fewer conflicts as everybody is aware of their responsibilities and everybody is satisfied with the role assigned.

13. Improved response to market: Market demands defect free, on time delivery stressing on quality aspects. This is what Lean makes easily possible. Lean works towards customer satisfaction.

14. New product development in the least possible time: Lean tools make it possible by undertaking market surveys and reflect the demands in its R&D and further processes.

15. Time reduction in production of existing product: Existing product repeat production leads to less time consumption as the process is previously formatted and made to precision.

16. Better use of equipment and power: Production planning follows production leveling or the Heijunka. Planning here is done on the basis of our personnel, equipment, power, and material needs. It is like nothing less nothing more but simply customer satisfaction

This is a long list of benefits you may have after successful lean implementation. 
In case you have already implemented some of the lean tools in your workplace, we would like to listen from you what benefits you have gained till now.

Be with us. In the next post we will discuss various wastes in lean manufacturing.

Books on lean manufacturing for your further reading.

About Vijayalaxmi Meharwade: Vijayalaxmi is a graduate (B.E.) in Textile and Master is Textile Technology (Garment Technology). She has 14 years of experience in research, and working in industry concerning textile and garment manufacturing. She has also worked as a teaching faculty. 

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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