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Bringing the principles of lean to the concept and practice of manufacturing management offers a host of benefits when it’s done correctly. As previously discussed, a well-executed review of existing protocols, from which a concrete action plan can be created, will help a manufacturing company or other enterprise asset-dependent organization increase uptime, decrease operational expenses and set the stage for continuous improvement in unexpected ways.

“Managers should look past the tendency to see lean as a linear process.”

As explained by Industry Week contributor Steve Minter, the ideal results that managers and executives expect to see after adopting lean principles don’t always present themselves. That’s not an indictment of the lean system itself – rather, it’s a manifestation of a tendency to see lean management as linear, when it is in fact cyclical.

“Rooting out problems early and maintaining stable operations is not a formula for simply treading water,” Minter said to Industry Week. Rather, a top-tier lean management system will “[unlock] massive value because efforts are not wasted on pursuing the same problems without solving the underlying causes. It is a system that recognizes the ‘strange and bad’ issues and then fixes them quickly and efficiently.”

Committing to Success

When manufacturing managers can take the right steps to be proactive about those small fixes before they grow into serious problems, the benefits come more fully into view. By taking those same steps, and applying them to their maintenance workflow, the impact on eliminating maintenance craft losses can translate into significant improvements in both the maintenance and manufacturing processes. When we helped a pharmaceutical manufacturing client implement lean management principles from start to finish on their already-optimized maintenance workflow, they enjoyed significant growth in key performance indicators throughout their operations.

Comparing two consecutive years before lean workflows were adopted and after they were fully in place, the pharmaceutical manufacturer found vast improvements in vital measurements such as:

  • A 250 percent increase in the mean time between asset failure.

  • Emergency work reduced by more than 50 percent.

  • Overall equipment effectiveness increased by 13 percent.

  • Sustained store room service level reached 99 percent.

  • Store room inventory value was reduced by 40 percent.

This all made room for a maintenance budget reduction of 8.8 percent without sacrificing talent, uptime, repair responsiveness or operational excellence.

We’ve learned time and again that implementing lean management principles into enterprise asset management workflows pays dividends. Therefore, the only limiting factor on the success of a lean initiative is buy-in from executives and full commitment among staff members.

SEAM Group helps enterprise asset management become a tool for growth rather than a hindrance. Contact us to learn more, or sign up for a webinar on work management workflow optimization for even deeper insight.

Call 866.772.6770 for more information.

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