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Engineering Workplace

Workplace Decision Makers Can Learn from Lean Manufacturing


It’s no secret that lean manufacturing techniques can make a dramatic impact in helping companies streamline processes, minimize costs and increase productivity. However, many decision makers in office environments have yet to see that these concepts can also be beneficial within their own workplace.

Implementing the principles of lean manufacturing can increase efficiency and quality of work in the office in many ways. Here are just a few examples:

1. Eliminate Waste
Lean manufacturers understand that even the smallest amount of waste can lead to an increase in costs. In the principles of lean manufacturing, this can be found via transport, inventory, over-processing, overproduction and defects.

So how does this translate to an office environment? Trimming employees in your workforce who may not have enough work to do and outsource the work to freelancers is one example. You can also reduce the amount of paper files you print to keep in manual storage and instead scan them and archive them electronically.

2. Create a Continuous-improvement Culture
Lean manufacturing focuses on principles that constantly improve processes. In an office environment, this could realized by implementing new technological systems that help facilitate workflow and minimize disruption.

3. Mistake-proof Your Work
Another focus of lean manufacturing is to create systems that lead to mistake-proof work. In an office environment, implementing a system of checks and balances can catch mistakes early and correct them. This can be as complex as having in-house technology that helps reduce errors or as simple as having a colleague check the spreadsheet before it goes to a client.

In any office setting that is looking to implement lean principles into their workplace, the most important takeaway is for them to realize that a good business process is constantly changing and evolving. There is no one-size-fits-all — much like every lean solution. You must find a process that fits you and your budget, and helps increase employee satisfaction while reducing waste.

For companies that are needing help in lean production and increasing their productivity, item is here to help.

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