How to start a Lean transformation

Jitendra Badiani

Choosing to start a lean transformation journey in your business is a big step. Our clients often ask what steps they should take once they have committed to a lean transformation. Here we detail 5 Lean Principles you need to take your business through in order to transform your business:

Specifying Value

The first step towards transformation is to define value from the point of view of your customer. To identify what produces value in the operations your company is currently undertaking is not only from a manufacturing perspective, it needs to be viewed throughout the organization including in R&D, human resources, marketing and finance. Any processes that do not directly add value from a customer’s point of view, are opportunities to tackle and eliminate waste, in other words, an opportunity to reduce costs and increase margins.

Map the Value-Stream

The second step on this journey is to create a value stream map to map out all the processes within the business and to question each operation in terms of the value being provided to the customer. It is important to analyze each step in the operation very carefully for the value being generated. Every step must be documented from the processes involved in making of the product, the information transferred between each operation, the physical movement of materials within the facility to category management, inventory control and supply chain systems.

Establish Flow

The third step is to establish the flow of information and material through the processes. This is where the kaizen events will be introduced to remove as much waste from the process as possible. These kaizen events can be in the form of “flow kaizen” or “process kaizen”.

Implement Pull

The fourth step is creating the relationship between upstream and downstream processes. How will the customer trigger the pull of products from the operation? This means transitioning from the “pushing products out” mentality to products getting “pulled” by the customer. This also means producing exactly what the customer wants when they want it.

Work to Perfection

The fifth step is to continuously improve the process by repeating the exercise to achieve zero waste levels in the process. With every cycle, the operation will have less waste, and will become easier to see improvements made to the process.

For more information on how to achieve a Lean transformation and to learn more about how Focused Improvement Consulting can guide you through this process, please send an email to info@focusedimprovement.ca.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *