Lean manufacturing concepts in communication 3 – Longer channel lengths

We have been talking about the possibility of using lean manufacturing concepts to improve your communication process. We have already talked about two wastes occur in traditional communication channel, which are overloading and waiting. Today we will concentrate on the third. This is the long length of the communication channel. This is the equivalent of the higher transportation in lean manufacturing.

In most of the organizations one piece of information will be passed through many people without any processing of information. For an example a manager to his assistant and from the assistant to the clerk who is actually use this information in his work.

Every additional point in the communication channel adds unnecessary delays and creates the possibility of making errors. People don’t understand the fact that large amounts of information is passed through them because this is done mainly electronically. But this adds up to the lead time of the manufacturing since in every moment that information is waiting for the processing is adding up to the lead time. This also wastes people’s time since they have to process unnecessary information.


You will find this problem of information flow within your organization. You will also find problems like this between your organization and customers and suppliers. Think with lean manufacturing cap on. Draw a communication diagram and map your information channels. Find out unnecessary mid points and get read of them. Make your communication channels short and focused.

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