Lean Management: We are living in an absolutely exceptional and unprecedented moment, in which, after several months of confinement, it has been time to get back on track and make decisions, a path that must undoubtedly be marked by innovation as a key mechanism to reactivate business. .
Organizations must face their greatest challenge, that of adapting their strategies to this new situation, implementing solutions at all levels and implementing continuity plans to respond to the needs of employees, customers and stakeholders.
It is time to turn our attention to the future in search of that long-awaited and much-needed economic recovery, in a market full of threats, but also of new opportunities. What comes now, of course, will not be a return to business practices prior to Covid-19, but to face a new era marked by rapid changes in social and consumer behavior, where it is essential that companies work together continuously in order to anticipate, adapt and manage risks, in addition to evaluating whether its strategy responds adequately to the current environment.
In summary, today more than ever, given the enormous speed with which changes occur, the concept of continuous improvement must be an absolute priority in companies, not only in terms of implementation in them, but it must be understood as a attitude that infects the way of doing and thinking of each and every one of the employees. It is necessary to innovate and evolve in order to achieve excellence through continuous improvement.
Principles of Lean Management
Practicing Lean management principles requires a change in the company’s mindset. We can summarize them in:
Cost reduction, quality improvement, productivity increase and information sharing. Progress is made towards excellence based on continuous improvement.
Delivering the product or service with maximum value from the customer’s perspective.
It focuses on learning from the client, creating a management and decision-making model based on delivering the product and service that the client needs. The focus is on what the customer needs.
Examine and optimize processes:
Examine the different processes and optimize them, separating the activities that contribute from those that do not add value.
It focuses on eliminating waste and operations that do not add value to the processes. It supposes the elimination of all activities that do not give added value and the optimization of the use of scarce resources (capital, people and space).
The key to success is to correctly develop the Lean Organizational Structure as the basis of Continuous Improvement.
Involvement of all:
The methodology involves the entire organization towards the achievement of objectives by improving processes and developing standards, applying Lean Tools and Workshops.
Perfect quality from the start:
It focuses on the search for zero defects, detection and solution of problems at their source.
When the demand for the product determines how much to produce, so the movement of materials and products is adjusted at all times to the demand, not producing anything that is not really required.
Quickly produce different mixes of a wide variety of products, without sacrificing efficiency due to lower production volumes.
Building and maintaining a long-term relationship with suppliers by making agreements to share risk, costs and information.
Objectives of Lean Management
Lean Management meets a main goal in every company, which lies in managing the company’s organizational processes using the fewest resources possible and eliminating all activities that do not provide added value for the client, always generating according to market demand in the the right amount, the right time and the right price.
In order to meet these objectives, a cultural change is required in the organization oriented towards action and continuous improvement, and optimization in the organization. This improvement in the organization will be based, on the one hand, on involving all the people in the organization, enhancing the skills of the staff and helping them to improve their capacities, and on the other hand, on the application of new concepts, tools and methodologies that ensure efficiency. of the system.
During the cycle the main objectives will be:
- The first and most important will be to assume the need and urgency of the change process.
- That all the activities of the organization are aimed at adding value to customers.
- Improve each process in order to reduce the margins of error.
- Maintain order and operation of all technical means.
- Ensure the correct management of work methods.
Application of Lean Management
To apply the Lean Management methodology there is no manual or exact process, no two applications of Lean Management principles are carried out in the same way. It will seek to improve processes and products through gradual changes and that each leader will interpret and execute in their own way.
The steps to take into account to start the implementation of Lean Management are:
Know the needs of the client:
Knowing well the requirements of the clients, priorities and processes can be defined based on resolving and satisfying said requirements.
Study the value chain:
The value to be delivered must be identified, and any activity or process that does not add value to the final product should be considered waste.
Promote the fluidity of processes:
Unnecessary interruptions must be avoided, so that each of the activities carried out within the total process adds value to it. This mapping of the workflow includes, of course, all the actions and people involved in the process of delivering the final product to the client. From this point of view, it will be possible to identify the parts of the process that do not contribute any value in order to eliminate them.
Creating a continuous workflow:
Once identified, it is necessary to ensure the maintenance of the workflow of each team, avoiding interruptions. Dividing the work into smaller parts helps to visualize, and in this way to be able to detect and eliminate the inconveniences that arise.
Produce based on customer pull:
It is the way to ensure a stable workflow and a guarantee that teams can deliver work tasks much faster with less effort. All efforts are aimed at satisfying the market, from the quantity, which will allow to optimize the capacity of the resources and to deliver products / services only if there is a real need.
Continuous process improvement
In order to maintain the Lean management approach, processes must be evaluated on a recurring basis to improve them or make corrections in the event that problems arise. This process will involve teamwork and employee participation at all levels.
Innovation Lean Management
Lean innovation can be said to be applied innovation for ambidextrous companies and organizations , understanding by them those companies that are capable of exploiting their current business, at the same time that they are attentive to business opportunities, innovative opportunities that offer radical leaps in the improvement process. Companies that want to continually innovate need to run their core business model and innovate in parallel.
Lean innovation is absolutely applicable to innovation today, looking for a minimum development in a reasonable time that can be tested in the market and customer oriented.
In the current environment, it is necessary to be excellent in the generation of new products and services that allow us to face the future. Innovation and development of new products and services is key to ensuring long-term success. It is necessary to implement a culture of innovation, market orientation and continuous improvement in the company.
- Assumptions to work innovation
- We find ourselves in a complex society.
- Prioritize customer needs.
- The unprecedented increase in the speed of change.
- The need to continuously search for products that work in the market.
- The complexity of bringing the product to market.
- Time is more and more limited.
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