Lean manufacturing, which is sometimes referred to as lean production, or more often shortened to ‘Lean’ offers businesses the chance to increase profits and sharpen working practices in order to target all resources effectively, trimming off any waste, so the result is that all resources are used for the purpose of adding value. All waste is eradicated and the company can successfully ensure that it is not wasting any of its resources and is using its resources effectively.

Lean thinking is very much based around methodically reviewing all activities and processes within a company and looking at how every little task is done, as well as the bigger tasks and then taking action to revise tasks, so that they are done in a more efficient way.

It is important to note that Lean is very much a generic process, it needs to be applied throughout an organisation in order to ensure that it is successful. No one is immune from Lean and it is often those who think that they are already highly efficient, that actually have the most to learn from Lean.

Lean Training

Since the concept of Lean has to be applied throughout an organisation it is important that everyone in an organisation understands the principles of Lean and why it can help everyone in a business become more efficient, which will lead to greater profits, which will make the business more successful.

Implementing Lean manufacturing principles without adequate training is almost a recipe for disaster. Unless everyone in a company understands it and is behind it, the resistance that it may face will render it not only unpopular, but also unworkable.

Roots And Branch Training

Training needs to be delivered not just to those who are on the ‘shop floor’ but also to management as well. Senior Management have a duty to ensure that the organisation is such that it is committed to Lean and they have to establish this culture with diplomacy and tact.

Middle managers also need to be able to manage the changes that will result from the adoption of Lean, so they too require training.

Key personnel from the organisation also need to be trained in ‘selling’ Lean to the workforce as a whole and to be the ‘Lean thinkers’ and change agents, who will implement it at a grass roots level.

Finally everyone requires training, so that they understand Lean and how they can support it. They need to be sold the concept, so that they buy into it!

Benefits

The benefits of Lean manufacturing training for any organisation, even those which do not manufacture are substantial. Lean will ensure that a business uses only the minimum of resources to deliver the goods or services that it is in business to produce or provide. This drives down the production costs and therefore ensures that companies are more sustainable. In short it makes your assembly line much more efficient!

There is also an environmental impact. More and more companies are being forced by Government to use resources sparingly; this is central to Lean thinking, as transport is kept to a minimum and any overuse of heating, lighting, storage etc is seen as wasteful and therefore eliminated from the process.

Yet without taking their staff with them on the journey towards Lean, it will simply not be possible to implement it effectively. This is training is so vital. Lean is a radical, dramatic way of doing business and unless everyone in an organisation is fully behind it, with their heart and soul it can be seen as yet another management imposition, instead of a way of reaching a peak competitive position and maximising efficiency on the assembly line.

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