If I were a Plant Manager I will ask myself: “How to implement Lean Manufacturing to reach the results they publish?”
If you are a Plant Manager and you want to have a Step by Step guide I will follow if I were you, continue reading this article and you will discover a proven method how to implement Lean Manufacturing.
If you do not have so much time to read … start with this video:
# Customer first!
The first step is to re-focus on the customer.
Especially in the large companies every department tent to focus on its indicators (KPIs) and forget what Sam Walton (the founder of Walmart) used to say:
Do you agree? I do!
I want to propose you to do this easy exercise to assess if your more strict collaborators are focused on the customer or on their KPI’s
I call this test: What customers want.
Here the steps:
- Choose a relevant customer to your company.
- Ask yourself what is its demand (Products or SKU’s) for the next month.
- Write down on paper
- Call 3-5 collaborators (separately) on phone and ask them to bring you urgently the same information you wrote in the point 2
- Compare the numbers.
Do you want to bet something with me?
You will find very different numbers.
Let me know if I am wrong.
the first task to perform is to align the company to the customer request.
How to do it?
If I were a Plant Manager, I will write on the wall of my office the customer request and I will show to every collaborator that will come in my office.
The first step is done!
Remember that everyone is in the company for the customer.
But let me ask me something:
Are all the customer equal?
My answer in the next paragraph.
# Look where the money are …
I want to be rude!
Not every customer is equal to me.
There are customers that spend more money than other.
If I were a Plant Manager in trouble or with the strong intention to improve I will focus on the most important customer.
I know what are you thinking …
How to manage the minor customer?
Treat them as usual excluding them from the Lean Strategy for a while.
when you will start the Lean Journey on the major customer they (the minor) will have a side benefit for sure.
To select the customers (and the related SKU’s) you have to do a Pareto Analysis.
Have you ever heard?
I think yes!
Anyway, here you will find a couple of videos that will teach you what is the Pareto’s law and how to perform it in excel.
Video 1 – Pareto’s Law.
Video 2 – Create a Pareto Chart
Have you seen the videos?
I am sure that when you will carry out the exercise about your customers you will find that the 20% of your SKU’s cover the 80% of the income.
- you have refocused on customers
- you have a Pareto Chart on the 20% of the SKU’s that matters
We have covered the first 2 steps on “How to implement Lean Manufacturing”.
Let us move on the 3rd step.
# What do you really want?
Let me leave the word to this great Sensei and author.
What do you really want?
Take your time now and write it on a piece of paper.
Stick it in your office!
Do it now!
Try something different!
# Look, Learn and Train
The best way to change your mind is to be inspired by others.
You can look videos on the internet for a first inspiration and then you have to learn by hiring a Sensei.
How much it costs a Sensei?
It is not cheap but if you choose the right one it worth the money!
My only suggestion is to use your network to find the best one that fits with you and your organization.
Look at this video collection: Which companies use lean manufacturing
# Start now on 1 product or 1 SKU’s
You should be in the position to be engaged, aligned for the customer request, trained and with a Sensei that will support you.
It is time to start.
Do not procrastinate!
I want to be honest with you …
The first time could be a failure.
Most of the time is a failure.
But the failure of the Lean Implementation is part of the Lean Journey.
If you do not fail you do not learn Lean Manufacturing.
My suggestion is to start with a Pilot Phase on one of the SKU’s selected by the process described before.
The video I love the most to explain to you how to implement Lean Manufacturing on the SKU you selected is below.
Video – The 5 Steps of the Lean Manager.
What you have to understand is that Lean Manufacturing Implementation is something that has to be done at 2 different levels:
- Day by Day on the shop floor
- Time to Time in the office and by PC
In the next rows, I will give you some reference on the Lean Tools to use.
# On the shop floor start with 5S and Daily Morning Meeting.
It is proven that the best way to understand what are the benefits of lean manufacturing is to start with a 5S methodology application.
On the other hand, to have a successful 5S Methodology implementation you cannot miss having a Daily Morning Meeting.
in conclusion, the basic tools to start with the Lean Implementation are:
- 5S Methodology
- Daily Morning Meeting
I have prepared a Daily Morning Meeting e-book in partnership with experts.
# At higher level do a Value Stream Mapping.
Every 3 or 6 months you have to carry out a Value Stream Map of the SKU’s selected in the steps before.
You have not to do it all across the company!
Is it clear?
Value Stream Map is an essential tool to use in order to understand where to focus the KAIZEN in your company with tangible results.
Let me underline again.
You have to do the Value Stream Map only on the 20% of SKU’s that cover the 80% of the income.
The Value Stream Mapping has to be done at the Gemba (i.e. Shopfloor) and with PC tools and reflection moment in the offices.
In this article, I have explained how to implement lean manufacturing.
If I were a Plant Manager I will:
- Refocus on the customer
- Select by a Pareto Chart where to start with Lean
- Learn by others and with a Sensei
- 5S and Daily Morning Meeting @ Shopfloor
- Use the Value Stream Mapping as a strategic Lean Tool
If you have any comment do not hesitate to leave it below!