The Most Common Mistakes Companies Make in The Implementation of Lean Manufacturing

Toyota’s success with the implementation of tight manufacturing has inspired companies around the world to adopt this innovative process. Companies that want to reduce waste and improve quality can start following Lean manufacturing in their production processes.

It is important that the implementation is done without which the desired results cannot be achieved. To do this, companies need to know the common mistakes that are made during implementation. Knowing these mistakes guarantees that they will not be repeated.

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Error implementing Lean Manufacturing

1. Lack of support from leadership

The support and involvement of the management or top management of the company is essential for the successful implementation of lean manufacturing. Implementing process improvements will not be effective unless senior management is actively involved. They should guide and inspire the organization. Improvement should start from the top level so that it is easily adopted.

2. Untrained employees

Long before implementation begins, employees must receive appropriate training on adjusted manufacturing. This includes creating awareness and making people understand how to implement the practices. It is important for employees to be aware of the benefits they get from implementing adjusted manufacturing. Without this step, the implementation will be faulty.

3. Lack of proper strategy

Any implementation requires proper planning and strategy. If adjusted manufacturing is to be implemented, then the company must have a strategy.

The strategy should provide a clear roadmap for implementation with clear deadlines. In addition to deciding on deadlines, responsibilities must be outlined. The strategy must also have a plan B for implementation. Problems need to be anticipated during implementation and plans made to address them. Without this, the implementation process is likely to encounter obstacles.

4. Focusing only on cost reduction

Tight manufacturing will have a definite and positive impact on product quality and waste reduction. This would lead to cost reductions, which could ultimately result in improved profitability. But companies make the mistake of focusing only on cost reduction.

Many of the benefits of tight manufacturing are not immediately apparent. It takes time to achieve goals. If the company only focuses on reducing costs, they could be disappointed in the short term. This can lead to a lack of interest and a failure in implementation. This is a mistake that must be avoided.

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5. Focus on tools instead of principles

Tight manufacturing revolves around certain basic principles. The company must understand these principles and make sure that the implementation aims to achieve these principles.

There are many tools in the implementation of lean manufacturing such as 5S, Kaizen, etc. These tools are the means to an end, not the end. Focusing too much on tools can lead to a superficial implementation where principles are forgotten. The purpose of the tools should be to help you solve problems. For example, over-focusing on 5S can cause problems to be hidden due to cleanup and fix. This can cause other problems later.

6. Fear of failure

One of the obstacles in the implementation of tight manufacturing is the fear of failure. Fear of failure causes many executives to hesitate to implement strategies. What you need to know is that if you are lean, failure is really the springboard to success. Only when mistakes are made can there be an opportunity for corrective action and improvement.

Giving up the fear of making mistakes is important for proper implementation.

7. Rely too much on experts

Some companies create a lean office of experts to manage the entire implementation. This could be a problem as it leads to over-reliance on a few people. For Lean to succeed, each person must be involved.

The strategy should focus on co-opting everyone into the process and not relying on a few people to manage implementation.

8. Copy of others

One big mistake companies make is copying others. Just because Company X followed a certain strategy does not mean that this strategy works for everyone. Every company is different and has its own culture and its own set of problems.

A one-size-fits-all approach will not work. The implementation strategy must be unique to each company.

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