THE LEAN is an approach based on thoroughly evaluating any design, manufacturing, distribution, and customer service processes to find what doing rightly and remove or modify steps that possibly generating waste. Waste is nothing but anything doesn’t add value to the product.
After covid-19, where efficiency is burning necessity, LEAN become more relevant than ever though it is not a new process anymore and a proven tool for continuous improvement. But still Bangladesh footwear, leather and allied industry not seen much implementation of lean tools. Footwear exchange team try to understand reason behind and here are some misconceptions they found.
Misconception # 1: Lean success relies on automation
When people hear about Lean they immediately connect it with automation, increase of computer aided machineries that increase cost of production. Ideally, Lean is far more than automation. Lean helps entrepreneur or managers to define where need removal or modification of process. It suggests which process bring more added values.
Misconception # 2: Buyer propose or push for Lean for their benefit, to reduce product cost
Lean manufacturing is about making the work easier and less frustrating so that time at work can be spent on what matters like serving customers and growing as a team. Lean is about value, a bigger and more inclusive concept than mere cost. Cost reductions will follow when the long-term strategy is about constantly improving and changing for the better.
Misconception # 3: Lean means less people, less job
Sometimes manager associate Lean with making employees robots. Lean isn’t about mindless conformity; it provides a baseline for people to improve upon. By adopting a more routine approach to process, employees can have more capacity to find further improvements.
Misconception # 4: Lean means implementing all related tool at a time
Lean is combination of different tool for sure, but it doesn’t mean that you need to implement all in same time and you don’t have any flexibility. These tools are great, but they need a strong structure and culture associated with them. So, there are flexibility to choose tools according your need. Off-course to get maximum benefit you need to adapt maximum. Without a lean management framework, the tools and people will fall short of their potential.
Misconception # 5: Lean doesn’t allow change or flexibility
Today’s manufacturing industry requires more flexibility. Everyday need to change and need to be changed. Customer demand change frequently than ever. Yes, true. But lean doesn’t have any conflict with flexibility. Lean and flexibility are like Yin and Yang, or two sides of the same coin.
Misconception # 6: Lean stands for production in a One-Piece Flow, big batch size (quantities) require
Many people think that you are only truly Lean when you produce in one-piece flow or big volume, since Lean means gearing production steps as closely to one another as possible, with short waiting times between them. Striving for an OPF should never become a dogma Lean. The true goal is to have batches as small as workable, and as a result to have the shortest possible lead times.
Misconception # 7: Our workers are not ready for lean
Lean is a process of totality. Awareness and willingness among workers depend on how management trained them, interpret about concept. Everybody wants maximum output with minimum input. And lean allows same.