Example Of A ‘Not Lean’ Operation And How To Make It Lean

Most organizations go through different types of wastes without realizing it. These are things that can be avoided at any point in time but most of them go unnoticed thus unresolved. First of all, we have to understand what really waste is. The most common way to describe waste is basically something that doesn’t add value at all. For example, if you went to a restaurant to have a meal then you receive a meal that was prepared in error. Would you be happy to pay for that meal? Most of us would not be happy to do that. An employer would as well not be happy to pay an employee who spends the whole day doing nothing. These are some of the wastes that are included in our bills. This will either reduce the profits that the company is set to make or as well cause inflation on the price of a product.

There are several types of wastes that an organization can undergo but in this case we can discuss a few of them. One of the wastes is waste of waiting. Many of us at work spend a lot of time waiting for a communication from another department in the organization or waiting for a supplier to supply a commodity or even waiting for an IT specialist to fix a computer. Most of us spend a lot of time waiting for several things in the working place. This is obviously a waste of time as well as resources.

The waste of waiting in most cases disrupts the flow and this is known to be one of the most serious of the wastes that organizations experience(Feld, 2000). My organization deals with the certification of seeds before they are sold. For example, in this organization, an extension of the germination room was to be made. This thus meant that the seeds that were arriving for testing had to be set aside for some time until the room was ready to continue its operations.

The seeds thus were stored in the best way they could so as to avoid exposure to moisture which could affect the end results. The problem came in when the engineers responsible for the work arrived one week later. The seeds had already piled up and this was not guarantee that the seeds will not be exposed to moisture. The seeds got spoiled within one week of storage. To make it worse, the engineers took a very long time to appear and start off their work.  The seeds that were stored thus were spoilt. The process of resampling was quite hectic and time wasting. It puts a lot of pressure to the working staff and wastes a lot of time for the merchant as they have to wait before they get the results for them to be able to sell the seeds. These are one of the effects of waiting that the organization faces.

Another scenario of the same type of waste is on the supply section. First of all, the organizational employees receive a supply of milk due to the chemical exposure that they face daily. They only have one milk supplier of which if he fails to deliver the milk, the organization will have no option other than to wait.

The issue here is divided into two. The milk supplier may at times go for days without delivering the milk for the reasons best known to him. This will thus mean that the employees who face the chemical exposure will not have any catalyst for several days which is harmful to their health.

On the other hand, the company is to blame for these delays. This is because they sometimes take a longer time before they pay the supplier. The supplier thus goes ahead to stop the supply of the product.

An employer pays for all the time that is spent by all of their employees while they arewaiting for something. Most often, the time that is spent waiting will normally be achieved during overtime hours. This is quite fair for the employees but not so good for the employer. There are several processes that may lead to the waste of waiting. One of these is the unbalanced processes within the organization(Feld, 2000). If one process of operation takes quite longer than the other, the operators will either be left their waiting or on the other hand they may be performing their duties in a very slow motion.

The second cause of waiting is the unreliable processes(Shah, & Ward, 2007). A next process can either be waiting for another process due to quality issues, breakdowns or loss of information. This may be slowing down another process.

There are other types of wastes which have a great impact on the waste of waiting. These include the waste of inventory or the waste of overproduction. A material may need to be transported from one point to another. The handling of the material in most cases is a limited resource and thus the processes are left waiting for example for a forklift to appear so that products can be moved to create space for more production and so on.Information or as well lack of it can lead to some waiting. This can be through missing or unclear information which can be needed to conduct an operation or as well waiting for information to guide which process is to be run next.

If I were in a position to lean out this type of waste, I would use several ways to ensure the waste of waiting is totally minimized. First of all, improving the machine quality as well as the reliability by use of Total Productive Maintenance as well the quality of the tools can be useful in increasing the efficiency of the process. Secondly, reduction of overproduction as well as inventory so as to minimize movement and transport within and between the cells can also be a way to minimize the waste of waiting.

Another beneficial way will be to implement the Standard Operating Procedures so as to ensure that the methods and standards are clear to the employees as well as the other operators(Feld, 2000).  Lastly, I would use visual methods of planning which can be combined with the daily cell meetings so as to ensure that everyone gets to understand clearly the requirements for the day(Shah, & Ward, 2007).

After this is done, my take is that the institution will be able to save on a lot of time as well as resources. The employees will not have the choice to request for overtime because they will spend less time waiting and thus undertake their tasks on time. The organization will thus spend less as they pay the workers for all the time they work rather than including the time they spend waiting. This is because as we know, work creates output and this output is what brings the company cash. This lean out will also lead to efficiency in the means of production in the organization and thus this will lead to the satisfaction of the clients due to better outputs and improved services.

Another type of waste that is common in most of the organization is the waste of overproduction. This is the waste of making too much too early(Shah, & Ward, 2007). This is basically because of working with long lead times, oversize batches, poor supplier relations as well as a host of many other reasons. Overproduction at most times leads to the high levels of inventory which in turn masks most of the problems in the company. The aim of many organizations is to make only that which is required and when it is required by the customers. The philosophy of Just in Time is thus applied here. It is quite unfortunate that most of the companies work on the principle of Just in Case. This type of waste is quite common in the manufacturing industries.

In my organization, our biggest client is a seed manufacturing company. This company in most cases is faced with the issue of over production as they may at times process seeds that are not bought by the customers. Customers as well keep changing the variety of seeds they plant almost every year. The company can thus make an estimation of the best-selling seed variety based on the previous year’s sales. They thus produce more of this and in many times end up having those seeds pilling up in their stores especially at the times when the clients change the seed variety. This is one of the reasons of overproduction for this company.

Overproduction is thus quite a waste on the company’s resources. This is because it normally leads to adding what is not required. It costs an organization money with regards to the materials used, the time of the staff as well as the wear on the equipment. These costs can sometimes amount to a considerable amount of money. It may also lead to reduction in the efficiency in the production of goods. This is because the operators that are over producing could be as well performing other value adding tasks which the customer will be more than glad to pay for.

Overproduction is mostly as a result of several things. One of these is that unclear standards as well as specifications may lead to overproduction(Feld, 2000). This is because most of the operators carry out procedures and they have no idea what benefit it will have. Thus, they will at the end spend a lot of time finishing and polishing components that will not benefit from it.

Secondly, the presence of non-standardized working practices leads to overproduction(Shah, & Ward, 2007). Unless the company has standardized working practices, they will eventually experience differences in the methods of production between different people as well as the different shifts. 0ne of the most common issues is design. The designers normally specify the tolerances that require precision machining. In reality, there are some looser tolerances that could be used and produced by lesser expensive methods.

There are several examples of overproduction practices. These include application of tolerances that are too tight. Over polishing an area that does not require polishing can lead to overproduction. Lastly, painting the areas that are most likely to never be seen as well as the areas that are affected by corrosion is also an example of overproduction (Feld, 2000).

There are several ways that this can be eliminated. This can includes the instigation of Standard Operating Procedure(Feld, 2000). This will be able to provide written instructions of the procedures taking place so that they could be clear for the employees. This ensures the standardization of the procedures across the personnel as well as the shifts. This will ensure that the quality of production is improved and overproduction is reduced. The SOPs when combined with the quality standards can be so beneficial with the provision of clarification of the specifications as well as the acceptance of standards.

A second way to avoid overproduction is to review the designs with the techniques such as value analysis and value engineering so as to identify the opportunities to remove the tolerances that are quite tight. Finally, examining the process routes is another way(Shah, & Ward, 2007). Sometimes organizations may use the most expensive methods while there are cheaper methods. It is thus quite advisable to review the processes and identify cheaper methods of production.

Once am done with the leaning out of this type of waste, I can expect to basically increase in the profits. This is because a product that adds no value to the organization is basically a cost on the organization. Thus, every cent that is saved from overproduction will thus lead to profit maximization. Another improvement that is expected is the improvement in the efficiency of production. This is because the extra time that will be taken to make things that are not needed will be used in making and improving the required products and processes.

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