Good Essay About Lean
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Lean manufacturing is a process that has played a great role in helping organizations to eliminate all wastes hence enhancing efficiency in operation. The process also helps an organization in ensuring continuous improvement of its operations. This paper focuses on discussing issues common with Six Sigma manufacturing process that can be improved by changing the process to lean manufacturing. It also discusses some of the challenges that face the implementation of lean manufacturing.
Six Sigma manufacturing
Six Sigma manufacturing is a process that incorporates various techniques and tools whose aim is to improve the quality of production. The process design came to existence due efforts of Motorola back in 1986. The process leads to improvement of quality in production by identifying and eliminating errors and variability in manufacturing and other business processes. Although the processes play a very vital role in improving the quality of production, it currently suffers some challenges that lower its efficiency when it comes to production (Slack etal 2010).
Issues affecting the manufacturing process currently
Desai (2010) reveals that, Six Sigma process does not precisely help in reducing costs involved in production. Although improving production quality may play a great role in reducing defects and returned products. However, the process may not lead to cost saving at all. In most cases, improving the product quality can lead to increased capital costs and overhead costs. This is because an organization is forced to improve the quality of personnel.
In addition, Six Sigma wastes a lot of time as an organization focuses on enhancing quality of production. In order to foster quality various aspects of the organization are need to be integrated. Such integration needs a lot of attention hence spends a lot time. As a result, this also leads to waste of waiting time. This means that it leads to delay when one activity is being converted to the next. This time wasted in enhancing quality in production and converting one product or service step to the next affects the efficiency of the organization in promoting success.
Furthermore, Six Sigma is poor in controlling production due to minimal errors that occur because of delays in production systems. Delays caused in converting units from one form of production to the other leads to lag in production capacity. As a result, this affects the final productivity of the organization. When such issue arises in an organization, various costs are generated in the production process. For instance, delayed production of the final products leads to in low levels of satisfaction on the side of the customers. This further leads to increased opportunity costs that arise due to shift of customers from the organization to another organization that delivers its products as required. In addition, it leads to decreased sales of the product due to decreased customer base. As a fact, delays due to minimal errors lead to poor performance of a company in the end.
How lean will addresses the issues
Lean manufacturing will play a great role in helping an organization that uses Six Sigma in eliminating time wastage. Lean manufacturing streamlines delay in waiting time that arises as one form of a product is converted to the next. It perfects the transfer of information from one division to another hence helping to reduce delay time.
In addition, lean manufacturing process borrows much from Just in time production. Just in time production process calls for production of goods when order or when required by the customers. As a result, this system may play a vital role in helping an organization that that once used Six Sigma manufacturing process. This is because it assists in reducing the problem of underproduction following delays in production chain. Lean process will be important for an organization, as it would focus on producing under instruction from customers (Feld 2001).
Potential challenges with lean implementation
There are various challenges that affect the implementation of lean manufacturing process. First, lean manufacturing implementation is knowledge and information transfer. Lean manufacturing implementation requires the organization to train its employees and pass information among various divisions of the organization involved in production. The problem arises when the organization has poor information transfer issues. In addition, the implementation of lean manufacturing becomes a challenge if an organization fails to train its employees well. Lean manufacturing tool skills are very important for any organization that needs successful implementation.
In addition, lean implementation has challenges that arise from pressure inserted from the top management. Lean implementation has a challenge if the top management exerts a lot of pressure to other employees. Lean implementation requires a consensus among all the stakeholders of the organization. In addition, constant guidance and supervision of the employees involved in production section is very important in enhancing efficiency in lean implementation (Wilson 2010).
Furthermore, lean implement has a challenge in non-lean behavior. Poor implementation and lack of proper communication of the lean process enhances inefficiency in its implementation. As a result, the organization production may face problems such as increased wastage of resources and increased flow time something that leads to poor production.
Finally, employee resistance in the change may affect lean implementation negatively. A transition from the original manufacturing process to lean manufacturing may receive a lot of resistance from employees. This may occur if the employees were not involved in in making decisions concerning the change. Resistance of change in an organization lowers the productivity of employees since they usually demotivated hence fail to work hard. Low employee productivity leads to inefficiency in production hence rendering the lean implementation void.
In conclusion, lean manufacturing process offers solutions to organizations that have ineffective production processes. It does that by eliminating the wastage in the production process of the organization. Such wastages may include transportation, delay and overproduction that affect the performance of the organization. However, the implementation of lean manufacturing process requires good communication and involvement of all the stakeholders.
Antony, J., 2011. ‘Six Sigma vs Lean: Some perspectives from leading academics and practitioners’. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management 60 (2), 185 – 190
Desai, D., 2010. Six sigma. Mumbai [India: Himalaya Pub. House.
Feld, W., 2001. Lean manufacturing: Tools, techniques, and how to use them. Boca Raton, FL: St. Lucie Press ;.
Wilson, L., 2010. How to implement lean manufacturing. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Slack, N., Chambers, S., and Johnston, R., 2010. Operations Management. 6th edn. Harlow: Prentice Hall
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