Lean manufacturing is the process of improving methods in a company in order to eliminate waste but companies do fail to become lean because they don’t have an environment that is suitable to maintain and implement lean (Cox & Blackstone,2004). Toyota Corporation invented and mastered Lean Philosophy which other manufacturing companies are trying to adopt. Lean on the other hand is culture enhanced in the company and not a set of tools which most people believe. Therefore it is difficult to implement Lean Philosophy when a company has issues with the general morale of employees, product quality, equipment uptime, employee turnover because it will be difficult to shift the employees to a new way of conducting business for they will be constant fire fighting mode (Cox & Blackstone, 2004).
For a company to be prepared for Lean it must be able to fix the obvious problems first and most times the employers will know exactly what the problems and solutions are. Most companies don’t have the time, incentive, or resources to problems for instance if an automobile is constantly breaking down because of a bad transmission (Cox & Blackstone, 2004). According to Toyota Corporation they do fix the problem by either repairing or making a replacement of the transmission. Therefore Lean Philosophy in the Toyota Corporation is not used to fix broken processes but rather as a way that will general improve the working processes that will eventually eliminate waste.
Toyota Corporation has developed a culture that first realizes that they have to value, nurture and develop their employees. Toyot...
a Corporation has built a culture of people wanting to continuously improve and this in return has made the employees to be more engaged in their jobs (Cox & Blackstone, 2004). This in return has made the employees to feel valued by the company because they are rewarded and noticed for their contributions. Hence a successful Lean environment in any company cannot be maintained by the high employee turnover.
On the other hand some companies view their employees as an expense rather that an asset and when this takes place it’s difficult to implement a long term Lean strategy. This makes employees of a company seek alternative employment and therefore for a company to sustain the long term lean philosophy require in their workforce they must make sure that they are engaged, loyal and consistent (Debusk , 2004).
Good managers are coaches, poor managers are dictators. A good manager will believe in the team concept where every member of the team is important and his/her opinions are valued (Bovarnick, 2007). A good manager will value his/her employees and realize that for him/her to be successful, the team has to be successful. A poor manger will dictate to his/her employees, which creates havoc! A good, efficient, business unit with high employee morale will fall apart within weeks if a poor manager has taken over.
Poor managers fail because they don’t have strong leadership skills. They lack people skills, communication skills, decision making skills, and delegation skills necessary to develop and maintain effective teams (Bovarnick, 2007). A strong leader must sell the Lean Strategy
and realize that ultimately the employees as a team are the ones to make it happen. To become Lean is to become World Class. When walking into a facility that has an unclean, unorganized work environment, one knows he/she haven’t walked into a World Class facility (Bovarnick, 2007). There is no need to look at the productivity numbers to determine whether or not the facility is World Class. If a plant is World Class, it looks World Class as soon as you walk into the door.
A Lean facility is thoroughly organized. Every process is clearly defined via standards. Production is operated via very clear Visual Management. A true World Class facility has the discipline to sustain organization. Outside auditors, potential customers and employees will be turned off if the work environment isn’t clean and organized (Debusk &Rangel, 2004). Keeping a work area clean and organized is simple; however, many companies overlook this simple task (Debusk &Rangel, 2004).
Many of the decisions carried out by the senior management are rather implemented without questioning despite the consequences that will follow later. Hence, most of the times decisions are made by senior management without them fully understanding the isues and process. This makes the Lower-level managers ultimately implement ideas and strategies that are not based politics rather than logic making them to implement ideas even if they themselves do not believe in them. Thus it has created numerous problems which have proved to be difficult in implementing Lean Strategies.
Decisions should be made throughout the organization through effective communication making it the mandate of the senior management to not only sell their ideas but to be open to questioning and suggestions from lower-level managers. Therefore the senior management must understand the issues at hand and processes taken through effective communication with the managers at the different levels because they should work as a team rather than individuals for the common good of the company.
1. Who are the “coordinators” referred to in the article? What role have they played in educating Toyota’s workforce in promoting the TPS (Toyota Production System) philosophy? Why are they so hard to replicate?
Toyota on the other hand is re-evaluating some of its fundamental operating strategies for instance it does not focus on machines or high speed information technology but rather its employees who are instrumental in making the company a manufacturing powerhouse during the past 25 years. When Toyota first began opening factories in the U.S. in the mid-1980s the Japanese managers were commonly known as coordinators. This led to kicking off its dramatic global expansion because most of the important people who were running the new plants weren’t top executives, but in midlevel (Womack & Jones, 2003). These coordinators were experts in Toyota’s Lean-manufacturing philosophies and techniques. Hence they were commonly referred to as the Toyota Production System, or TPS and the coordinators who usually had 20 or more years of experience, usually shunned classrooms. Thus the coordinators’ did train American shop-floor managers and the hourly associates by aggressively looking at the issues directly on the assembly line.
Over five decades is when the principles behind
- Lean Manufacturing
- New Product Development
- Production And Manufacturing
- Alarm clock
- Washing machine
- Automotive Industry
- Chemicals Industry
- Hospitality Industry
- Paper Industry
- Textile Industry
- Food Safety
- Food Security
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Grocery retailers
- Hazardous Waste
- Optical Fiber
- Melting Point
- Normative Ethics
- Food service
- Grocery stores
- Affirmative Action
- Child Labour
- Equal opportunity
- Hard Work