The Lean Benchmark Report
Industry Norm Steps to Success
Companies reporting average performance results also have an opportunity to create a culture of Lean and extend Lean techniques into other areas of manufacturing and out to supply chain partners.
1. Create a culture of Lean.
Eliminate functional barriers by creating customer-focused cross-functional teams that are accountable for entire processes both within and outside of manu- facturing. Grow leaders and teams who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.
Implement TPM (total productive maintenance) program. Achieving Lean results will require equipment that is dependable, effective, and available to support one-piece flow production. TPM is a comprehensive, team- based approach to ensure that every machine or process is always able to perform its required tasks.
Conduct Kaizen blitz workshops.
Kaizen workshops are cross-functional in nature, focused on continuous im- provement, and conducted over one to five days. The goal of the workshop is to rapidly refine solutions to highest priority issues; workshops can be focused on either value stream improvements or on the elimination of waste. Because this is a well documented and structured process, consider training an internal leader or hiring an external consultant. Organize and prioritize Kaizen improvement ef- forts along the value stream to ensure that focused improvement efforts deliver value to the highest impact business areas.
Best-in-Class Next Steps
Companies that have achieved competitive differentiation through operational excellence still have the opportunity to continue to improve and extend their lead even further.
Raise the Performance Bar with Lean Six Sigma If Six Sigma is either not explicit or core to your Lean program, consider it care- fully. Its disciplines are well documented and its focus on measures, precision, and continuous improvement will complement any Lean initiative and culture.
Balance long-term strategy and short-term results. Although TPS defines a game plan for Lean, many companies are at odds when managing expectations regarding short-term results. Although immediate results can be gained implementing rudimentary Lean techniques in manufacturing, more dramatic and positive change happens over time (multi-year commitment).
Improve supplier collaboration
Leverage technology to enable suppliers’ visibility into planned shipments, de- mand forecasts, and production schedules. Work collaboratively to ensure that full value is delivered without surprises to the mutual end-customer.
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