Lean manufacturing, or lean production, is a methodology that focuses on minimizing waste within manufacturing systems all while maximizing productivity at the same time through a series of techniques and activities. Those techniques can differ according to the application at hand, but ultimately, they have the same end goal, which is to eliminate waste from a business and creating more value for customer in order to efficiently run a business.
In order to achieve high quality and little to no waste, the key is to knowing (and applying) the five principles of lean manufacturing
What Are the Five Principles?
Elimination of Waste
A core lean manufacturing principle to follow is making sure there is as little waste as possible in everything that you create. The more eliminated waste, the more your business can save with its products and processes that it carries out.
The best way to work toward lean manufacturing is with continuous business improvements. That can be done by documenting and managing your processes and procedures. With reducing waste, these documents allow you to see where the inefficiencies are and how you can improve upon them.
Having quality built into your manufacturing processes is key toward having a successful business. Quality can suffer when there are bad processes or human errors. In order to have quality, think about the value and product that you are providing customers.
One way to ensure that waste is eliminated is by creating a mistake proof environment through re-engineering tasks to suit a format or including specific measures to make sure that mistakes are caught early and fixed immediately.
Detecting Defects Through Automation
Rather than manually checking every product for defects, those possible mistakes can be detected automatically which removes human error from the equation.
How ERP Helps Obtain Lean Manufacturing Principles
Enterprise Resource Planning software, commonly referred to as ERP, can help a company maintain lean manufacturing thanks to its many features. Here’s how:
- One Central Information Hub
WorkWise ERP provides a central place for all-important information to be stored and used when needed. It increases company communication, eliminates department silos and rids software users of the potential for duplicate data entry. This eliminates the potential for waste, provides accurate data and increases productivity, which is the goal for lean manufacturing.
- Production Improvements
Lean manufacturing is designed to eliminate waste and ERP can support that by predicting production trends, providing analytics and accurately project production spikes, machinery run times and needed inventory. Having ERP acts as a guide can get rid of the potential for waste across the board.
- Stronger Customer Service
At the heart of most businesses are its customers, who are often involved in the manufacturing process. ERP helps here with making customers happy while eliminating waste by doing the heavy lifting with details. Automating any information that customers need, like delivery dates and invoices are easily accessible. ERP helps to support lean initiatives by giving manufacturers the time to focus on and efficiently product their products at a high quality.