Lean Manufacturing:
How to Do More for Less

What is lean manufacturing? It is a strategic approach that allows companies to achieve more of their business strategy in less time and with fewer resources, reducing the time between order entry and cash received—and significantly improving the customer experience. It works by exposing waste, using simple, practical tools and techniques designed to enhance manufacturing quality, safety, cost, delivery and return on invested capital.

An experienced lean manufacturing consultant can help you plan and implement a focused, coordinated effort that will achieve new levels of efficiency and productivity, exploit competitive advantages and maintain sustainable profit and revenue growth. TBM Consulting Group's lean expertise comes from decades of experience in time-based strategies and the Toyota Production System.

The TBM LeanSigma® Approach

Lean Sigma® our revolutionary fusion of today's most powerful improvement tools, has helped thousands of manufacturers around the world build a strong foundation for a flexible customer-focused culture. As these companies become leaner inside their four walls, they are equipped to branch out into the extended Value Chain to work with customers and suppliers. Ultimately, lean organizations leverage their operational advantage and can utilize Lean Sigma as a strategy to differentiate, innovate, acquire and grow.

The Power of People
Lean initiatives often fail to gain traction or maintain momentum due to a lack of cultural change. Once fully realized, a lean organization is characterized by empowered and engaged employees at every level of the enterprise—and led by senior leaders with a total commitment to and knowledge of lean principles. This new lean culture can result in higher levels of flexibility and responsiveness, improved profitability and competitive advantage, freed-up resources to support growth, as well as increased market share and revenue.

The Three Stages of Lean
Lean principles aren't new; and lean success doesn't happen overnight. The average time required to achieve lean maturity is five years, with the most visible gains occurring in the final 36 months.

Stage 1: Tool DrivenStage 2: System DrivenStage 3: Principle Driven
  • Learned and accepted key lean principles and practices
  • Tool application inconsistent and/or not widespread
  • Results not yet clearly reflected in financial statements
  • Widespread lean manufacturing tool application and acceptance
  • Visible improvements in cost reduction and cash flow
  • Beginning to extend lean across all value streams
  • Business side philosophy and comprehensive business management system
  • Realizing significant value creation and competitive advantage
  • End-to-end alignment from customer through supplier

Breakthrough Objectives and Continuous Improvement. Closing The Gap.

Read the results of an exclusive survey that describes the benefits of lean manufacturing and identifies gaps between program outcomes and strategic goals. Conclusions of this important Industry Week research include:

  • Companies with continuous improvement programs are much more successful at increasing revenues,operating income and cash flow
  • The ability to grow increases as a company's continuous improvement program matures
  • To get more from their continuous improvement programs, leaders should improve communications, speed up problem solving, and have a better understanding of customer demand
  • Continuous improvement companies are more likely to use forward-looking planning tools than companies without a continuous improvement program

Even organizations that practice lean principles can fall short of desired outcomes and goals. The following checklist will help you determine your lean maturity level.

Is your manufacturing business:

  • Agile and connected to customer demand?
  • Empowered to proactively problem-solve?
  • Responsive to customer needs for new products and services?
  • Improving continuously to enhance stakeholder value?
  • Capable of sustaining improvements and profitable growth?

4-5 Checks: Advanced
2-3 Checks: Progressing
0-1 Checks: Beginner

What is a Kaizen Breakthrough Event?

The cornerstone of TBM's improvement approach, a kaizen breakthrough event is a five-day improvement project to help you to identify waste and reconfigure operations to achieve more streamlined, value-added processes. Kaizen teams are empowered to make immediate business process changes. At the end of a week, these teams typically achieve double-digit reductions in lead time, inventory, defects and floor space, and 25 to 50 percent increases in productivity.

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