Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

Best Practices of Lean Manufacturing Strategy

Lean manufacturing or lean production, also known as simply “lean,” is a system that helps businesses eliminate waste, save time, and reduce overhead costs. Companies around the world use lean practices to transform their supply chain management and improve overall performance in manufacturing and production.

But here’s the challenge with lean – do a quick search on “lean manufacturing” and you’ll see as many as 35 tools categorized as “essential”. That’s a lot of tools, and most growing businesses aren’t ready to take on the process of diving deep into lean manufacturing.

Any business, no matter how big or small, can take advantage of some of the philosophies of lean manufacturing. Let’s take a higher-level look at how lean manufacturing tactics can help to reduce waste, increase efficiency and deliver more value to your customers.

Eliminate waste

The primary lean principle to follow is eliminating waste at every point of your process. The more you eliminate, the more you save. If you don’t make an effort to reduce waste throughout the production process, even if you’re using the lean tools, you might not achieve the potential benefits of lean.

Identify D-O-W-N-T-I-M-E in your processes

One tool to share here is a convenient acronym to help you identify, prioritize and eliminate the top 8 wasteful processes:

Defects – Information, products, and services that are incomplete or inaccurate

Overproduction – Making more, or earlier or faster, than is needed

Waiting – Waiting for information, equipment, materials, parts, or people

Non-Utilized talent – Failure to take advantage of experience, skills, knowledge, or creativity

Transportation – Unnecessary movement of materials, information, or equipment

Inventory – Too many parts, too much information, software, etc,

Motion – Any movement by people that doesn’t add value to the customer

Extra-processing – Steps or requirements that don’t help a customer be more efficient

Making an effort to reduce waste will enable your business to improve in performance and efficiency – which can add up to significant cost-savings over time.

We’re here to help

At Ohio Valley Goodwill, our Industrial Services Division provides outsourced business services for businesses in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana. With decades of expertise in assembly, kitting, and fulfillment, we know how to streamline processes, reduce waste, and respond to changing customer needs using lean techniques. Contact us for an informative tour of our facilities, and let’s see how we can put some more “lean” in your business!