In business, even small enhancements in productivity and efficiency can have a big impact on your bottom line. Whether it is through reduced lead times, reduced waste, minimized downtime or improved quality, operations are looking for any advantage at every turn.
The Raymond Corporation can help you achieve all of the above with its version of the Lean Management System. Raymond Lean Management (RLM) procedures and techniques are based on the world-renowned Toyota Production System (TPS), which focuses on waste reduction through visualization, standardized work, target-based key performance indicators (KPIs) and continuous improvement activities to provide the best possible solutions. When applied correctly, RLM can effectively and efficiently produce processes of sound quality that fully satisfy customer demands.
Empowering Your Workforce to Identify and Solve for Waste
Lean management adds value to an organization by empowering employees to make improvements and take ownership of the tasks they accomplish on a daily basis. By teaching workers to spot inefficiencies, or potential errors in their work, lean management provides them with practical tools to share their ideas and develop impactful, long-term solutions. A key component of lean management is “kaizen” or “change for the better,” a strategy in which employees at all levels of a company work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements. Employees throughout an organization are taught to identify wastes in their processes and come up with solutions to address those wastes by submitting improvement suggestions (kaizens) to management. If a kaizen is found to be successful, it will then be implemented throughout the operation. This opportunity to impact organizational change creates a more engaged employee culture, resulting in higher morale and workforce retention.
Lean management methods are based on the philosophies of reduced waste in pursuit of the most efficient methods. This process begins with visualization. Visualization aims to make a situation easily understood merely by looking at it. The goal is to obtain as much relevant information as possible as efficiently as possible. This can be accomplished throughout a facility by:
1. Telematics: collecting data to allow for lean-based problem-solving methods to address process abnormalities.
2. Data displays: putting data such as production rate, quality defects and machine status on display on the shop floor via graphs, charts or computer screens.
3. Markings: marking and labeling locations on the shop floor. Using different colors, you can mark where items are located and label the places so these items maintain a home location.
4. Tool displays and shadow boards: allowing employees to see immediately which tool or part goes where and which is missing.
5. Facility layouts: displaying where your material is, how much more work there is and other details on your process.
Visualization helps ensure operations act upon the concepts of continuous improvement, quickly recognize current conditions and stabilize a process.
Embracing Standardized Processes
Standardization is the basis of continuous improvement. Once there is a standard in place, targets can be established and variances can drive continuous improvement activities toward target conditions. Much like visualization, standardization is a key philosophy of TPS and any successful lean culture.
An example of standardization is the 5S process, a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively and safely. This process focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which makes it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time.
The stages of 5S are:
• Determine what needs to be present in each workstation and what can be removed.
2. Set in Order
• Arrange remaining tools or materials in an order that creates the least waste.
• Shine is about maintaining good cleaning practices, which means sweeping, mopping, dusting, wiping down surfaces, putting tools and materials away, etc.
• Systematize the first three steps to turn one-time efforts into habits.
• Maintain standardized procedures and update them as necessary.
The final steps of “standardize” and “sustain” are perhaps the most crucial as an organization looks to instill long-term change in its culture. A key component in standardization is identifying waste by pinpointing the value-added and non-value-added steps of processes. Once this distinction is made, operations can begin to develop standardized work processes that create clearly defined customer expectations, leading to consistency of labor and materials. Through standardized processes, operations can eliminate waste, ensure processes are safe, identify root causes of defects and build in quality.
Instilling a Culture of Continuous Improvement
For any lean initiative to be sustainably effective, a culture of continuous improvement needs to be adopted throughout an organization. This includes top-level executives buying into lean philosophies and instilling creativity in their entire workforce to embrace their new roles and actively seek better solutions. This culture of continuous improvement can often extend beyond the warehouse floor and help identify wastes in other departments, including sales, marketing and human resources/training.
Raymond has the expertise and knowledge to help you identify the current areas of waste in your operation and educate your workforce. Contact us today for a free consultation that will help you better understand your current operations and how it can be enhanced to achieve greater operational efficiencies and keep your operation competitive and profitable.https://www.raymondcorp.com/optimization/lean-management