The purpose of this memo is to recommend the adoption of a lean manufacturing system at this company. As you are aware, many problems have affected our production process. These include: Late deliveries to customers, underutilization of machines and equipment, increased waiting time as products to be assembled have to wait for long periods due to lack of materials, and delays in inventory. All these problems can be significantly reduced if the company adopted and used lean principles.
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Lean production system
Lean production is an operational strategy geared toward achieving the shortest possible cycle time and eliminating wastes. It is a systematic process of identifying and eliminating wastes through continuous improvement. Lean production improves the company’s profitability, customer satisfaction, and throughput time (Heizer & Render, 2011).
Implementation of lean at the company
For the company to implement lean principles, several steps must be followed. These are outlined here below:
- Leadership engagement: this is the first step during lean implementation. The management of the company must be ready to implement lean strategies. They must commit resources, people, and time (Kilpartrick, 2003).
- Training: the workers and management must be trained in ways of using lean effectively.
- Kaizen event process and evaluating daily performance: currently, the main areas that need improvement are late deliveries, delayed inventories, maintenance problems, procurement department. The employees and management will form four (4) teams that will continually work in the aforementioned departments. Their work will be to monitor these departments and develop solutions that will reduce wastes.
- Value stream mapping: the main lean solutions to reduce procurement delays are a selection of appropriate suppliers, maintaining safety stock, determining the minimum re-order quantity, proper scheduling of activities, and proper materials requirement planning (MRP).
- 5S and the visual workspace: the 5 s process calls for maintaining a clean, organized, optimized, and standardized workshop. The workshop will be cleaned every day, all the machining operations will be optimized and standardized. The process of ordering materials will also be standardized.
- Total Productive Maintenance (TPM): the principles of TPM will be applied. All the breakdowns will be identified and solutions formulated. The operation manager will develop a routine preventive maintenance program so that machines are maintained before a breakdown occurs (Wilson, 2009).
- Quality improvements and mistake-proofing: the quality manager will formulate the quality requirements and procedures to check quality. Statistical process control will be used to check products out of the quality standards
- Work cell balance: the workstation will be analyzed to ensure that materials flow smoothly from one machine to another and reduce space utilization
- Kanban processes. The company will use JIT (just in time) process where materials will be procured when they are required. This will reduce production costs.
Benefits of lean operations
By implementing the lean principles, the company will gain the following benefits:
- Reduction of all the late deliveries to customers as a lean process ensures that materials and processes are optimized
- Increased productivity at the workshop as materials will arrive on time and machines will be in good conditions
- The quality of the products will improve and these will eventually satisfy our customers and enable the company to remain competitive.
- Due to the better arrangement of the workshop, space will be utilized well.
I would recommend that the company uses lean strategies to reduce the production problems being experienced. Besides, lean will be beneficial to all the departments in the company.
Heizer,J. & Render, B. (2011). Operations Management Flexible Version with Lecture Guide & Activities Manual Package (10thed). New York: Prentice Hall.
Kilpartrick, J. (2003). Lean principles. Web.
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Wilson, L. (2009). How to Implement Lean Manufacturing. New jersey: McGraw Hill Professional.