12 pages/≈3300 words
Describe Background and Concept of Lean Systems (Research Paper Sample)
USE THE REFERENCED BOOK ALONE TO CITE THE RESEARCH ON LEAN SYSTEMS IN AN RGANIZATIONsource..
The current world economies are deeply dependent on businesses. Run by both governments and individuals. This means that these organizations or companies have to have themselves on toes and to maximize profits in all the aspects because profit isn’t just about the extra money that is earned on top of the money invested, it begins from other resources laid aside by the organization. These resources are all that the company has, and therefore, it has to protect them and ensure that no wastage occurs during the manufacturing or production of the products.
Background on Lean Systems
Poor planning on the side of the organization is always the major reason why there is no leanness in the organization. It’s the reason why many organizations around the world get low profits or none at all because the money/revenue they get is absorbed trying to clean up wastages that arise from time to time. It is very difficult for an organization to realize the big impact that a little day’s waste may cost when it recurs for six months or even for a whole year. It may seem like something that is small and that won’t have any ripple effect on the company’s revenue at the end of the financial year, but in the real sense, it does have a serious wave effect.
When consumers see the price tags of many clothes/goods in the retail stores, they feel impressed and even they would commend the store as one that is big enough and well stocked (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). The question that arises is this, does the company require all that merchandise at that particular time, or it’s just a complete wastage of time arranging them, cost purchasing them and space that would have been used for something more useful? It’s a complete waste! This calls for a company’s system to be made as lean as possible, ensuring that everything is at its place at the required time with the required person.
Concept of Lean Systems
Whenever companies adopt the lean systems, It shows how they make their orders, how they receive them and how they would see the received merchandise begin to be distributed to the right client/customer (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). Because the number of orders has reduced, it means that the frequency at which the company would be making the orders would tremendously increase and as a result promote the supply chain involvement in the business mix. Supply Chain is a very important aspect of a business that no company on earth can escape its grip at one point or another, all companies need something(s) from another business or individual, and therefore, it’s a system that should not be ignored.
Many companies have always taken it as a plus to manufacture or produce/process merchandise months before the clients take them, not even knowing if the clients will be there to buy then in the first place. This would make the merchandise be in the stores for a long time and would also cause the clients to get merchandise that does not match their requirements. To match these requirements, the company would have to redo the whole process thus making waste an inevitable factor in the company’s life (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). In the recent years, with the way consumers require their products customized, it means that companies have to be on their toes, doing things quickly, strategizing on how to shorten lead time, having quick customer/client communication (at any time of the day even at the wee hours of the night) in order to get the client’s endorsement and referrals. When companies do this, it signifies the birth of Lean production
Therefore, in a nutshell, lean production is the ability of a company, firm, corporation, organization or even an SME to do more with less. This would ensure that the firm reaches its targets and goals (including its vision and mission). It has to maximize production with fewer employees, less working hours/time, less inventory and less working space.
With the simple definition in the previous paragraph, Lean Production can be understood as a company having to deal with the right people in the right manner in order to get the desired result. Many companies in the past have laid down their employees and retrenched many because of their need to eliminate wastage of resources and to ensure continuous improvement of their operations (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.).
There are many companies that have employed Lean Systems and it has fetched them billions of dollars as annual profits, an example being the Toyota Company. It changed its strategy gradually for over one year and ensured that all their products are produced when there is a ready market already (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). This was a move to ensure that inventory was minimized and that there was an effectively smooth flow of materials to the clients and also from their suppliers. This is the system that was initially called the Just-in-time (JIT), and then after a while, the term Lean Production was born (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.).
Lean Retailing and Lean Systems in Toyota Company
Taiichi Ohno who was a shop manager and who also became the Vice President of the Toyota Company was the mind behind the concept of lean production. He is credited for this worldwide. Therefore, he explains that production of what one needs whenever s/he needs it is the best thing that individual can do because there is no room for any form of error to occur (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). There is an opportunity to learn better and to know what is needed more from the time a product is manufactured/produced any time it is needed. In order to ensure that Lean Production becomes a success in any organization or company, there are various factors that have to be taken into consideration and these are; ensuring that the resources available are flexible, having equipment that is reliable, having an efficient and reliable supplier who brings efficient supplies, being able to have an awesome setup, ensuring that all the employees are disciplined enough to maintain the new strategies laid down by the company’s management.
Types of Wastes
For leanness to be evidently implemented, the organization/company has to ensure that they know the types of wastes that they want to eliminate by having lean systems in their midst. There are seven types of wastes; they include overproduction, waiting, transporting, over-processing, inventory, movement and defects (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). Overproduction happens in an organization when it produces merchandise/items that it cannot use immediately, waiting is when one department or group(s) of employees in the organization have to delay production because they have not received parts, machines that they require in order for them to continue production/manufacturing (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). To add onto this, transportation is very good and important, but when it is done needlessly, it becomes a waste, over-processing is when a company takes numerous steps for producing a particular item but the steps don’t add value to the item being produced, inventory happens when there is storage, retrieval counting, and ensuring without taking into consideration whether the merchandise would find consumers anytime soon (it’s always a vicious cycle between the factory and the warehouse). Movement becomes a waste when the employees or people in the management are looking for tools, instructions, parts, approvals thus resulting into much wastage of time (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). This is always a sign of disorganization, and therefore, many people don’t know when and how they should do what and with whom?
The last type of waste is defects; it happens when the employees of the company don’t do a good work and they have to redo the whole process again. It is a tiring process and discourages even the employees themselves; the time wasted while redoing the process would have been used to do another commendable job that would bring the organization some more income in form of revenue. Therefore, there is much need for the organization to save money and processes, striving to eliminate all the wastes that exist within it (the company).
Elements of Lean Production
Waste elimination is one among the other elements of lean production. It is not always the only way that an organization can practice the essence of lean systems in its system. The other elements include Increased flexibility, smooth flow within and without the organization and continuous improvement (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). Increased flexibility has various components in it such as flexibility in resource management and cellular layouts. Smooth flow has various factors that contribute to it such as adopting the pull system, Kanbans, Small lots, quick set-ups and uniform production of the merchandise/products (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.). On the other hand, continuous improvement deals with factors such as quality at the source; where the quality of whatever is within the organization is checked and considered to be viable with what the customers or client needs. There is also total productive maintenance where the organization ensures that the equipment used during production is well checked and maintained and also that the staff is encouraged to move in accordance to how they are allocated to work (Russell, & Taylor, n.d.).
Flexible resources mean that there has to be a well-maintained concept where there are workers who are able to do many things and also machines that are able to perform various tasks, commonly known as the general purpose machines. This contributes to a major junk of the success of the lean production implementation in any company around the world. It is always unrecognized by various stakeholders as the first element that must be put into perspective any time that the ...
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