Posts Tagged ‘lean manufacturing’

Lean Manufacturing Principles

According to Wikipedia, “lean is centered around creating more value with less work.” Lean manufacturing is basically creating a more streamlined process where we learn from our mistakes and reduce waste – whether physical waste or wasted time. It uses both innovation and problem solving to produce better results. The concept of “lean principles” comes from the Japanese manufacturing industry.

There are many different areas that lean manufacturing principles can be applied. They are all effective when applied to your business correctly. Some of the easiest lean manufacturing principles to implement are as follows.

Waste elimination allows you to continually keep a lookout on ways that you can reduce waste. For example, to eliminate wasted products, take the time to examine the products at various stages in the manufacturing process. This way, defects can be detected before reaching the final stages of production.

Organization of the work area can definitely be of great benefit in the lean manufacturing process. This helps prevent wasted time and makes things much easier to find. The 5S Program focuses on workplace organization.

Map your processes – write down every step involved in a process. Are all of the steps necessary? Can any of them be combined or modified to be more efficient?

So how can you implement lean manufacturing principles into your own manufacturing plant?

There is no set method that is guaranteed to work in every situation. The best way to start, however, is to take a really good look at how things currently happen at your business. Analyze what the problems may be, and how you can best solve these problems. Look at challenges and opportunities. Take a look at what can be easily eliminated, or modified to work better. These will determine what processes you should use to implement the changes that need to be made. Some possible programs include the 5S Program and Kaizen.

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Ontario Manufacturers and Exporters Can Receive Up to $50K in Smart Funding

Thanks to funding provided by the Government of Ontario, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has created the CME SMART Program to help small and medium-sized manufacturers in Ontario improve their productivity so they can compete more effectively in the global economy.

The program awards 50% funding for a project up to $50,000 for productivity improvements such as lean design, lean manufacturing, quality improvement, energy efficiency, IT best practices, and environmental impact reduction.

Ways to Increase Cashflow in Your Business outlines 50 ways to save money in your business.

Here are some of my ideas on how to increase your cashflow:

  • Call in your Account Receivables the moment they’re due. Waiting to collect your AR reduces your cash flow substantially.
  • Collect a portion of the payment up-front, prior to services being rendered.
  • Stretch out the amount of time you take to pay your Accounts Payables (AP).  Pay at the last moment possible to maximize your cashflow.
  • Review your AP records for overpayments and ensure that all sales taxes are fully recovered.
  • Empower your employees to develop cost-cutting operational efficiencies.
  • Strive for increased operational efficiencies in order to reduce inventory. Just In Time (JIT) or Lean manufacturing processes reduces inventory and increase cash flow.
  • Liquidate excess inventory. Excess inventory is a double-negative because it not only requires extra warehousing/overhead/insurance costs to storehouse, but it also ties up cash flow.
  • Take advantage of federal programs like IRAP and SRED.
  • Barter with companies to achieve trade efficiencies through small business bartering.

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