Top 7 Lean Manufacturing Training Tips
By Carl Wright
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Lean Manufacturing is being implemented in thousands of corporations today. Although the discipline has been in existence for over two decades, only the largest corporations have any long term use of the tools.
- Find a good training course. There are hundreds of lean manufacturing courses, ranging from consultants to universities. It is critical to learn from someone that has real world experience applying lean manufacturing principles.
- Pick your experts and train, train, train. After finding a good course or two and learning the basic principles of lean manufacturing, enable a few individuals to become experts.
- Train a critical mass of employees. Implementing lean manufacturing requires a large percentage of employees working together to find "waste" and non value activities.
- Learning takes place through the application of lean principles. Learn as much as possible about a concept, then begin to apply it. A good example is 5S. When 5S is implemented correctly, it not only provides order and improved housekeeping, it also enhances equipment and improves efficiency.
- Hire an expert. It is difficult to go directly from course training to successful implementation. An expert has seen the pitfall from failed implementation practices. They will be able to continue to train and help guide the team through the roadmap on the journey to a state of lean.
- Visit other successful lean implementations. It is easy to find companies that will allow you to see their lean implementation. The difficult part is finding a successful implementation. A good way to do this is find a company hiring lean manufacturing professionals. If the implementation wasn't successful, they wouldn't be hiring more professionals.
- Don't give up. There will be failures in a lean implementation. These are just the battles along the way to winning the war on waste.
Carl Wright is an industrial engineer, ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt, and Master Black Belt. A primer on lean manufacturing training and lean manufacturing certification is located at our lean manufacturing online course site.
Article Submitted On: September 30, 2007