Why adopting Lean Principles can be your secret weapon in business
Glenn Gooding, managing consultant at Renault-Nissan Consulting discusses the benefits of using Lean principles for businesses.
Many business leaders and managers know there are always ways to reduce expenses by cutting services, or quickly boost sales with an ad campaign or promotion. But organisations can in fact create an efficient, streamlined and profitable company that endures in the long term with a sustained programme that involves every employee. All it takes is the implementation of the principles of Lean.
No matter the size of the business or the level of the Lean Six Sigma belts you aspire to obtain, the journey to ‘Lean’ will help your company thrive thanks to a formidable competitive advantage
You’ll achieve better productivity
One of the fundamental flaws of many ineffective businesses is they lack efficiency and operate year after year producing waste. This can include wasted human resources on projects that don’t need to be completed, wasted transportation time, or wasted product materials and other inventory. By implementing the principles of Lean, you and your business leaders will understand the steps required to evaluate the processes and procedures that need refining. The end result will be faster production of goods, lower costs as a result of a reduction in waste, and more streamlined systems.
You’ll benefit from better quality
What business doesn’t want to ensure better quality from its products? Higher standards and fewer defects lead to greater customer satisfaction. And that in turn, leads to repeat orders, recommendations and a boost to your revenue. But there are other less obvious benefits when it comes to product quality and they revolve around the cost to your business of processing defects, delivery complaints and returns.
Every customer enquiry, refund or phone call to re-schedule a drop-off, costs your organisation time and money. Remove the root cause of these flaws in products or systems using the principles of Lean and your business will reduce overheads, increase profit margins and gain a major competitive advantage.
You’ll gain more space
You undoubtedly already know that space comes at a premium in most places these days. When you’re leasing or buying a commercial property such as offices or manufacturing plants for your business, every last square foot matters on your P&L. With the principles of Lean instilled in your organisation, you and your team will learn to continually evaluate what is required and what isn’t when it comes to the space you need and the equipment you use.
But it’s not just a matter of positioning as much plant machinery into one warehouse as possible, to maximise the space. You win with Lean by reviewing the way people work, the flow of processes, the time it takes one employee to reach a particular piece of equipment or stock room, and fully understand the concept of Just in Time production.
You’ll deliver goods faster
When you or your team members are Lean practitioners, the whole business benefits. This even relates to the amount of time it takes to get your products off the production line and into the hands of your customers. Once you remove all non-value-adding activity, remove the wasted resources or space, and identify the root cause of your product defects, your products flow from conception to customer with impressive speed. Businesses have been known to reduce the time taken to fulfil orders from weeks or months to just days using Lean.
You’ll never suffer because of absent employees
In many organisations, production takes a serious hit and can be significantly slowed down if a key member of the team is unable to work. But the principles of Lean offer a four-stage solution for every important role in the production process. From level 1, which requires full training in another role to level 4, which means an employee is knowledgeable enough to train someone else.
When properly implemented, the principles of Lean will ensure your organisation is more efficient and profitable. Changes can be incremental rather than instant, but by galvanising your entire team to spot ways things can be done better, you will develop a culture of continuous improvement. With both greater efficiency and an improvement in customer satisfaction and experience as the cornerstones of this practice, your business will gain a stealth competitive advantage that’s long lasting.
To start your journey to a more Lean organisation or to find out more about our training or accreditations, contact one of our experienced consultants at RNC. info@RNConsulting.co.uk