Lean Manufacturing to Lean Enterprise

Can you truly say that only investing in lean manufacturing principles on the production floor will result in an effective system? Of course not—in order for the system to be effective, you must implement lean principles throughout the organization. Lean enterprise focuses on the whole operation by changing how the business is run, eliminating waste in all areas of the business, both operations and manufacturing.

The lean enterprise system is a proven methodology, otherwise known as the Toyota Production Method to eliminate waste and continually improve all operations within an organization. The concept is built on the foundation of employee empowerment, mutual respect and customer satisfaction.

Some people may scoff at the concept since this is a shift in traditional management’s way of thinking or operating—however, this is necessary if you want to improve quality and functions through improvements in operations, sales, administration and production. By eliminating waste, you will shift the focus onto processes that add customer value. Eliminating waste also frees up valuable resources, such as capital, human, building and machine resources.

By implementing lean enterprise principles, you are able to incorporate:
  • A Continual improvement processes company-wide
  • A Production schedules that are customer driven, not forecasted
  • A Pricing based on the market rather than cost, giving the organization a higher competitive advantage
  • A Lowered operating costs company-wide
  • A Higher employee morale
When lean principles are implemented enterprise-wide using the value stream maps that have been developed, waste is eliminated across all departments within an organization. It is important to remember that to be truly “lean” and eliminate waste these principles must be implemented throughout the organization in order to experience lasting change. This requires focus on lean principles from the product and service area, suppliers, distributors, customers and the various departments in the organization.

Effectively implementing lean principles enterprise-wide requires your organization to combine leadership, change-management practices, and the computer systems/tools that all affect the transformation to lean principles throughout the organization.
To accomplish the strategic business goals and objectives, every person throughout your organization needs the tools that do the following:
  • A Make it possible to establish lean principles and practices that are predictable and repeatable throughout the organization;
  • A Work together to not only integrate the value stream mapping and the components associated, such as analysis, implementation, etc., but also to enhance all facets of the value stream maps;
  • A To create a system that will make communicating easier and more efficient across your organization to make continuous improvements and aid in the changing of the culture due to implementation of lean principles; and
  • A Everyone to grow within the new systems of operation.
To truly experience the great benefits of a lean organization and greater profits, your organization must be completely committed to the full implementation and execution of lean principles throughout the organization, eliminating waste and improving quality—regardless of the department.

This article was submitted by one of our contributors

Lean manufacturing beyond it’s boundaries – A journey towards lean enterprise

Lean manufacturing is explained as a great way of reducing wastes and improving the efficiencies in an organization. But as it sounds lean manufacturing is more focused towards the organization and improving its functionalities. But in the real world your customers, suppliers and also other parties who has some sort of connection with your organization can do much more than you think in improving your efficiencies.

Some researches have shown that around $250 to $400 Billion are wasted annually in North American industries alone due to the inefficiencies in supply chain. They estimate this amount would be as big as $1 trillion worldwide. (Source : Creating the Lean Enterprise By David Baum). So to exploit the real potential of your organization you must go beyond the boundaries of your premises.

Lean manufacturing concepts are now extending towards lean enterprise concepts. In a lean enterprise full supply chain is integrated. Lean manufacturing principles are used to achieve waste elimination objectives. Seamless integration of the activities along the supply chain will save huge amounts of money, time and effort.