Lean production can take many forms, from better designed racks and factory equipment to something as simple as moving a trash can. The overall goal is to streamline production processes and increase profits all while enhancing employee engagement.
This approach can be traced back to the Toyota Production System in Japan in the 1940s whose goal was to streamline processes, eliminate waste and grow profits. It is centered around engaging employees to solve problems that ultimately drive performance.
An example of success in lean production can be found in Watlow, a family-owned business in St. Louis that designs and manufactures industrial heaters, temperature sensors and other thermal systems. It wasn’t until 2006 that they decided to adopt lean production principles — and never looked back.
“A competitive environment forced us to figure out how to lower our costs while also better engaging our people.” Peter Desloge, the third-generation chief executive, said, adding, Watlow chose the lean route “because the approach doesn’t just reduce cost and drive productivity,” but also “increases value to our customers and engages everyone in the business to eliminate waste.”
While many view lean production as a process that requires major dedication, there are companies like item that can help implement impactful changes through flexible solutions.
Often, it is the employees themselves who show employers just how simple it can be to implement lean manufacturing in their everyday work lives. At Cambridge Engineering, a new entry-level line employee, Justin Meade, realized he was wasting valuable time each hour discarding trash. So, Meade began to experiment with an idea to attach a trash can to a chair. After six months of revision, he perfected a product that cut 70 minutes from a 90-minute task.
For companies looking to streamline their factory processes with sophisticated, solution-oriented equipment, item is here to help. You can view the item production line and other solutions HERE.