Lean Management - How We Can Help

CSA Consultants have the experience and skills to help guide organisations, from any business sector, who is looking to achieve better quality for their customers, reduce waste and increase profits.

Working with your staff, we help them to understand that going Lean doesn't mean being 'Mean'. The 2 underlying tenets of Lean Management is that the Customer always comes first and, Respect and Support your Staff. We work closely with the Lean Team to develop the current Value Stream Map (VSM) and then explore and map the ideal Value Stream Map. 

This helps find where the flow in the process, whether that be manufacturing, service provision, sales pipeline, customer care or any other segment of the organisation, is being choked. We identify those sub-process that do not add value to the overall process. These are known as Non-Value Added Activities (NVA). As consultants, we ask the questions that others wouldn't, we continuously guide the Lean Team to look at the VSM from different perspectives and remind them that we are looking at the VSM from the 'customers' point of view.

We help develop 'brain-storming sessions', known as Kaizen Bursts, to develop solutions to remove waste (muda), reduce the impact of NVA's and develop an action plan to implement the planned changes.

This is very similar to the ISO Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle (PDCA) and, like ISO 9001, it is there to develop and increase continuous improvement.

BENEFITS OF GOING LEAN:

The results your company can expect to see will differ from that of other organisations. It will depend on where you start and what you put into it. But with the right level of commitment and planning, you will start to see some of these benefits in a short period of time.

Here are some of the Short and Long Term Benefits:

Improved Quality - As quality issues arise, problem solving techniques are used to root cause the problem. From there, mistake proofing is put in place to strengthen the process and prevent recurrence. As a result, the quality of your product will be improved.

Improved Visual Management - If done correctly, your organisation will be set up so you can evaluate an entire area with a visual scan. Any abnormalities will stand out and be easy to identify as a problem.

Increased Efficiency - Line balancing will ensure each person in the process is working in the most efficient manner. Standardised work will ensure they are doing it correctly following the same method every time. This leads to repeat-ability and increased efficiencies.

Manpower Reductions - With standardised work and increased efficiencies, the ability to do the job with less people becomes a very real possibility. This does not mean you have to send these people to the unemployment line. The concept of lean would have these freed-up people utilised to perform further kaizen activity, training to enhance skill level, or maintenance of the system once it is implemented.

Easier to Manager - The work instructions and standardised work let people know what they have to do and when. This makes managing an area much easier.

Total Company Involvement - Lean is meant to involve the whole company. It is not intended to be put into action in only one area. It is a management philosophy which should include every part of your organisation. This helps promote the concept that everyone in the company is part of the team.

Problem Elimination - Lean manufacturing forces you to attack an issue and continue to investigate it until it has been eliminated. Root cause analysis and cross-functional teams are utilised to ensure a problem receives the level of attention it deserves to correct it.

Reduced Space - As part of the waste reduction process, space will be created.

Safer Work Environment - Visual management and 5S will help identify when things are out of place. When unnecessary elements are removed from the operation, the workplace becomes much more organized. And an organised work environment is a safe work environment.

Improved Employee Morale - This is a benefit that may not be realized during the initial stages of your implementation. But once the concept of lean starts to get accepted by the employees, you will see employee morale on the rise. Employee involvement and empowerment will make all members of your company feel like a contributing part of the team. And the reduction of uncertainty in the workplace, as a result of lean, will reduce stress in your team members and lead to improved employee morale.