By Bill Browne, Manex
More than 95% of all manufacturing companies in California have less than 50 employees. Small companies are facing stiffer competition and are chasing the same customers in many cases. You must be the best at what you do, or you will lose business.
Knowing your customers’ expectations is crucial. What do customers demand today? Customers are focused on three things:
Customers demand the lowest price possible. They demand perfection and expect products free of defects. They want it today or maybe tomorrow, but they certainly do not want to wait for something to be produced.
The challenge for small companies is how to do all three of these well? The solution is Lean Manufacturing. A bottom line improvement program, Lean Manufacturing is focused on removing non-value added costs. These costs drive up your price to the customer resulting in a loss of sales, as well as affect your bottom line net profit since costs that you cannot pass on to the customer add to the bottom line. By focusing on reducing non-value costs (waste) in your operations, you will see dramatic improvements in your business.
By reducing waste and errors, you will improve quality, which will reduce your lead time by not having to remake parts or redo expensive and time consuming work. These improvements will have a positive effect on your ability to ship when needed. As a bonus, your team is now more working efficiently.
Typical return on investment (ROI) for Lean Manufacturing initiatives are 8:1 – for every $1 invested, you generate $8 in savings.
If you can reduce costs, improve quality and have more satisfied customers, why wait to implement Lean Manufacturing?
Bill Browne, Director of Operations and Economic Development for Manex, has more than 37 years of extensive manufacturing experience and expertise in general management, manufacturing operations, quality systems, engineering, product development, and continuous improvement initiatives, including Lean Manufacturing. Browne has also achieved the Six Sigma Master Black Belt (SSMBB) and Certified Design for Six Sigma (CDFSS). He can be reached at 925.807.5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.