Deciding to go lean is very popular in today’s business climate. Eliminating overproduction and reducing excessive inventory (along with waste) is a must. If you’re a black-belt, you’re role may be central to the lean transformation (depending on the organization). Although there are many benefits to leaning-out operations, especially in a batch processing operation, there are also many growing pains that go with it. The important question to ask is weather or not your operation is ready for them.
Today I have been thinking about some of my past experiences with lean implementation. I will always remember my first day on the job as an operations supervisor in a stamping shop. Since I only worked in an MRP (scheduled) environment before that, I was impressed at the kanban areas and the visual min-max levels. I remember being somewhat perplexed that day though. The problem was that all of the kanban areas were empty! I remember thinking that I could schedule my way out of the issue without any problems. I was absolutely wrong, and the following months proved to be some of the most challenging yet rewarding in my career. Check back in a couple of days as I continue with this story, but for now, what are some of your experiences in implementing “lean”? Please feel free to share them!