Lean management is often misunderstood and misapplied. What’s it all about? Why is it valuable to an organization? Contrary to some opinions, lean management isn’t just for manufacturing companies. It is applicable to every type of business and can improve the performance and efficiency of any unit within your business. Executed properly, a lean culture engages everyone within your organization and teaches them to become problem-solvers who make continuous improvements in the best interest of your company and your customers.
The Lean Strategy
Lean management systematically seeks to improve the efficiency and quality of the processes in a company by eliminating waste in both time and materials. Lean helps your team members identify inefficiencies and defects in your business and provides them with the tools they need to improve workflows and save you time and money. Lean doesn’t solve your problems. It teaches you to solve them yourself, empowering your team to find these opportunities for improvement each and every day.
Adapting Your Operations to the New Normal (and tomorrows new normal)
The pandemic has placed a significant strain on the supply chain, and we need an efficient, empowered workforce to respond to these challenges. The importance of optimization and automation in today’s fast-paced warehouse and distribution center climate cannot be understated. With the collective goal of increasing capacity, reducing errors and maximizing productivity, lean management is the tool that can optimize your operation for success and help you achieve your goals. Managing remote workforces? Reducing expenses? Employee retention and training challenges? Lean management can help you determine the best way to solve these problems we all face — and more.
Start by creating workflows of your current processes to determine if they add value to your business and eliminate those that don’t. Do you have documented standards for the processes that remain? What metrics do you use to determine if you are winning or losing? You simply can’t improve what you don’t measure. Lean management helps your team make targeted process improvements with measurable results!
Instilling a Culture of Continuous Improvement
A key element of lean management is a kaizen, or “change for the better.” A kaizen is a tool that provides everyone within your organization, regardless of title or responsibility, a way to submit their ideas to improve your business. Everyone in the organization is taught to identify waste and defects in the processes and to recommend solutions to improve them and affect long-lasting change. This opportunity to impact organizational change creates a more engaged and collaborative employee culture, resulting in higher morale and workforce retention. When lean becomes your culture, it harnesses an entire organization’s knowledge and efforts to provide better products and services to customers both internal and external.So, the question you should ask yourself is: Do your people come to your business each day to work or to think?