Many companies launch their lean journey by implementing the tools of lean, often starting with 5S workplace organization. But for sustainable results, companies need to begin at the beginning: selection and design of the products they plan to manufacture or distribute.
Eliminate the Waste, or Eliminate the Product?
Lean is all about eliminating waste, but sometimes we find ourselves working to eliminate waste in processes or products that should themselves be eliminated. Product selection and design are of primary importance, and if a product is unnecessary, why spend time reducing the waste associated with it?
When I help my clients improve their supply chains and reduce inventory, we start with two questions:
1) Are we carrying too many products that are duplicates or obsolete?
2) What can we do with product design to utilize common parts, reduce complexity or use lower cost raw materials?
Simplify, Reduce, Remove
The leading place to look for breakthrough lean results is the basic makeup of your product portfolio. Simplifying design, reducing the number of parts and removing extra steps in handling or production can reduce cost and inventory…quickly.
© 2013 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved.