- Published: October 31, 2021
- Updated: October 31, 2021
- University / College: Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)
- Level: Master's
- Language: English
- Downloads: 38
Lean manufacturing is a strategy of manufacturing which employs minimum inventory to generate a high level output. The company produces onlythe amount of product that would be instantly sold. This helps minimize the wastage and ensures the quality of product. This strategy requires careful planning and full time attention and efficiency of the employees working at the grass root level. Effective communication between the vendors, suppliers and clients is fundamental to the efficiency of the system.
Inventory, Management, and Scheduling
Lean manufacturing is also known as the just in time (JIT) system. In this system, rather than placing the inventory in the centralized warehouses, it is placed in small stockpiles conventionally referred to as kanban at strategic points along the assemble line. “Both [lean manufacturing and the Total Quality Management (TQM)] strategies empower workers on the assembly line, in the belief that those closest to production have the greatest knowledge of how the production system should work” (Blacharski, 2011). Example of the lean manufacturing system can be of a car manufacturing company that takes the order for making a certain type and number of tyres for a day, and the producers are required to deliver them within a limited time to a certain loading bay.
Companies benefit from the lean manufacturing because the use of kanban serves to cause a considerable reduction in the amount of waste along with bringing a manifold improvement in the overall productivity of the work. Lean manufacturing also ensures that the work is accomplished in accordance with the consumers’ expectations about the quality of the product. In order to achieve this, each part is analyzed for defects immediately after its creation. In case a defect is noticed, functioning of the production line comes to a halt in order to allow the analysts to determine the problem in its very initial stages.
Requirements for balancing JIT and lean systems include commitment of all departments of aligning with a unified goal that is acknowledged and approved by the top management so that planning can be done and resources can be arranged in time accordingly. Initial stages of implementation of lean system require a lot of financial commitment.
In order to achieve the required level of efficiency in the system, it is imperative that employees are adequately empowered. Production decisions should be allowed to be made at the lowest level in the hierarchy of the organization structure. Employees that are the most affected if a company decides to switch to a lean manufacturing system are the stock purchasers, store managers, order takers and suppliers. The most critical work is of the stock purchaser because he has to maintain a balance between the demand and supply all the time. This is difficult to achieve when orders are instant and there is little objective prediction involved.
The JIT or lean system is a “pull” production system. The time of manufacturing a product is dictated by the actual orders. The company is able to keep a minimum amount of the stock levels of components, raw materials and the completed products. Nevertheless, the process needs a prudently designed schedule along with an uninterrupted flow of raw materials. In order to frequently plan the instant productions, the contemporary companies make use of a unique production scheduling software. To ensure the accuracy of work, the producers interact with the customers as well as suppliers using the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
Blacharski, D. (2011). What is Lean Manufacturing? Retrieved from