Implementation of lean manufacturing is a step by step process. It should be well planned and well designed to suit the requirement of the organization. It is very important to understand the principles and concepts of lean manufacturing even before thinking about implementation. Not only the core teams, but also all the people in the organization must be well educated on lean manufacturing.
When you are well prepared implementation is a four step process. First we have to understand the fact that there are wastes to be removed. Then these wastes must be categorized and ranked according to the urgency of removal from the system. In this step we have to understand the root causes which cause these wastes. After understanding the root causes, they must be removed from the system. Finally after removing your root causes it is very important to analyze your result with the targets you set. If you are satisfied move to the next priority. Redo the circle again and again continuously.
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Lean manufacturing is not a do and forget kind of system. It is a cyclic and continuous process. Lean manufacturing depends on small and continuous improvement techniques, which are known as kaizen.
Lean manufacturing principles therefore calls for the continuous attention to the system all the time. Failing to do so, will make the system to perform badly and will ultimately to stop. In fact most of the success of the lean manufacturing comes form this thinking. Successful lean manufacturers are the people who have taken small steps continuously toward their success. This makes change manageable. People will not be de motivated and they are less likely to be resistant to small changes rather than big changes. Also this gives the ability to use the brains of the people in more productive ways. People will start enjoying the changes since there are actively participating in making these changes. Risk of failing will be minimal. If something goes wrong the system can recover very fast since the changes are in small scale.
It is very nice to have a big boom in the process. But even then, it has to be managed and continuo to get the best out of it. Although lean manufacturing is not against big innovations, lean manufacturing concepts are more geared towards small continuous sustainable changes and innovations.
OK, if you have read the article below, we had a question. Read it once more before you start reading this post.
Think about the garment you are wearing. What it has. It has fiber (or the leather as the case may be), and some sewing thread, buttons, a design and some motifs, few labels may be very few other items. Calculate the rough value of these items on the garment individually and add together and calculate the value of this. I am sure you will be shocked. It might be less than 10% of the amount you paid to buy your garment. Then why these big retailers are pricing them so high. They might be able to get a good market cover by selling these at lower price.
It is not that your retailers are making very high profits(although they earn very good money on the business). This is an inbuilt problem in garment making process. OK think now,
Do you really want to make a small strand of yarn from the cotton bale and again a even smaller yarn. These processed do not add value to your final product. Even do they need to produce yarn and then make them in to fabrics and then in to garments. I do to see a point in this if not for fashion reasons. The process has a inherent chain of wastes, which will take up most of the resources available in the process.
After going through all these wastes and making the fabric, somewhere around 20% of the fabric will be wasted as the cutting wastes in the apparel manufacturing. It is a waste on waste. This is how your garment price goes high.
I really want some of you to have a closer look in to this process so you will understand all the problems inherent to the system. All though I have done a good study I do not want to tell you all the information about this, since then you will loose the direction and surely will get confuse.
So think lean, and think about the process of apparel manufacturing. You will simply see the importance of lean manufacturing as a philosophy and as a system.
Lean Manufacturing is the system won the battle of time. It has passed the test of time comfortably and made itself a winner of all times.