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When is Organizational Change Required by Lean Manufacturing?

When is Organizational Change Required by Lean Manufacturing?


Lean manufacturing has become a very popular and widely adopted economic and corporate management philosophy. Companies around the world are starting to turn to it amid political and economic crises even in the most progressive all nations.


Yes, the hard times have extended from the third world countries to the fully developed or first world countries. It is because economies are now led and influenced by volatilities involving oil producers and companies.


Because all industries are practically run and powered by energy, companies seem to not get away from the problems hounding the energy sector.


For almost more than a year now, firms around the world have been suffering from crunches brought about by the increasing and soaring prices of oil in the world market.


A lot of companies have fallen and have weakened due to the rising oil prices. There are more and more companies now filing for bankruptcy protection not because their management messed up or some executives defrauded them, but because of the external environment posed by volatile oil prices.


That is why, lean manufacturing is getting more and more attention, and more and more companies are deciding to finally implement the principles of the strategy.


Lean manufacturing

 What exactly is lean manufacturing? The popular Web site Wikipedia defines lean manufacturing as a philosophy in management that concentrates and looks closely at the reduction and elimination of the seven wastes.


The seven wastes are the usual tasks, equipment and practices found in the modern day work place. The seven wastes are identified as factors that hinder productivity or significantly weakens it.


The seven wastes lean manufacturing tries to scrap are the following:


Over production—experts believe that over production is a total waste of energy, efforts and capital. That is because overproduction makes up for over supply and piling up of inventories, which in turn will lower or bring down prices for the manufactured goods.


Over production also drains capital from firms, with most of the excess products either put into the trash can or reaching expiration dates.


Over processing— Over processing is basically similar to over production, only that over processing commands additional and unnecessary processes.


Transportation and motion— Lean manufacturing aims to reduce unnecessary costs for transportation. Motion is the pace of action within the work places. If the work stations are too compressed and small, workers will not be able to move freely, affecting their productivity.


Inventory and waiting— As mentioned earlier, lean manufacturing eliminates piled up inventories. Waiting time in all aspects is abolished because of the streamlined structure and because productivity is accelerated.


Scrap and defects—Mostly, lean manufacturing aims to combat the manufacturing of commodities and merchandise with scrap and defects.


Goods and outputs with scraps and defects are undervalued in the market. What is worse is that the credibility and image of the companies producing them are tainted, resulting to poor sales, poor revenue, then eventually to loss, and further, to bankruptcy and business closure.


Organizational change


Not because lean manufacturing is a strategy that initially and principally targets the structure of companies is lean manufacturing always commanding and demanding for organizational change.


Yes, lean manufacturing aims to rationalize, streamline and accelerate corporate operations. But its does not mean organizational changes follow.


The organization is basically not altered or changed upon implementation of lean manufacturing principles. Lean manufacturing never targets organizational change, but instead hits changes in the organizations’ environment design and work practices.


Organizational changes, however, are recommended and implemented along with lean manufacturing only when the desired results and outcome from lean manufacturing practices are not attained.


Failure of lean manufacturing is always found to be related to the effectiveness and adherence to the real principles in the implementation of lean manufacturing principles and strategies.


That is the only time when organizational change along with lean manufacturing is implemented. The effects and gains from the implementation will offset all the troubles and costs incurred, so why hesitate anyway?

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