Skinny jeans, 100-calorie snacks, smart cars – everyone is focused on smaller and leaner. So why not manufacturing? Research has shown that almost all activities in manufacturing fail to add value to a product. Nielsen Research reports that a minute of downtime can cost a manufacturer more than $20,000! A MINUTE! Success lies in efficiencies. It’s about being lean.
Lean principles have been with us for a while in quality and manufacturing. You’re probably familiar with Six Sigma, TQM, Kaizan, etc. Lean is about getting the right things in the right place at the right time and always looking for continuous improvement. It can apply to processes throughout the value chain. (more…)