Monday, August 7, 2017

Why Lean Initiative Fail-Is It Resistance...? Let’s Start VSM

Why Lean Initiative Fail-Is It Resistance...? Let’s Start VSM

What is Lean
It is explained in various ways in various languages, ultimately deriving only one goal of removing waste in the production. This is nothing but a systematic and well-thought methodology for improvement of performance/productivity by removing wastes and reducing variation. This is a collaborative team effort for waste minimization without compromising the quality and productivity. In late 80s and early 90s, this concept was introduced to the world by Japanese manufacturing industry.

Lean and 5 Principles:
1. Identify Customer Value: Mahatma Gandhi once told “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises.” Lean begin with identifying customer needs. He pays only for the Value he is getting. If the requirements of the customer are not understood, it can lead to resource waste, reworking, time waste and ultimately the end goals are not achieved. This phase is to define the value of the product.

2. Make VSM (Value Stream Map): So, what is value stream map...? The most important step to achieve final goal of improvement in the process. The value ‘product’ is processed from raw stage to the product deliverable stage. There are multiple steps and process fragments involved which create a systematic process structure which can be termed as ‘stream’. Mapping all the steps and activities in the stream from customer demand till product delivery is called value stream mapping. This is carried out for every step including raw material collection to transportation, inventory generation to operations. 

All value added and non-value added activities are mapped with details regarding, time, number of stations where the activities are carried out and also time required to process unit product. This one-page map helps to analyze the complete process in one glance. As it contains all data of information flow, material flow and the operational data this phase enables to locate waste in the process.

3. Analyze Flow: After identifying value added and non-value added processes, wastes are removed, loop holes are eliminated. Process flow is analyzed and all the processes are arranged tightly to make sure that process has smooth flow. This reduces waiting times, gaps in the process and chances of errors. This phase achieves fluidity to the process by creating continues flow.

4. Create Pull: In current market pattern the customer demand increases suddenly. To meet the customer expectations for increased production with quality adherence, a pull is created. By following and inculcating first 3 principles now waste is removed and there is reduction in the production time. This production line can now cater the customer demands without any bottleneck at any point. In terms of customer, we start only produce when customer needed.

5. Seek Perfection: Pursuit of perfection is achieved through continuous improvement. This phase is nothing but a pause for analysis and to start over the lean cycle again. ‘Plan-do-check-act’. This results in Kaizen. Continuous improvement is carried out until stage of perfection is achieved and waste is eliminated.

Lean requires constant efforts and vigilance to get to the perfection.

Benefits of Application of Lean:
  1. The takt time calculation (time required for unit production) and improvement in this time by reducing the waste, increases the production.
  2.  The production cycle time is reduced.
  3. Operations are smooth.
  4. Reduce operation cost by reducing inventory, motion waste and overproduction cost.
  5. Gain more capabilities to handle increased customer demands and increase creditability.
  6. Overall impact on quality of the output. 

Lean Implementation Faces Resistance:
Despite of all the benefits lean implementation faces resistance from the industry. It is very difficult for many industry experts to change the set pathways. Resistance also comes from a fear of exposing process and problems. Many deny any scope of improvement or express time constraints, budget issues and resource unavailability. Unware of the scope of the lean VSM one may think that lean cannot be implemented to his process.
Reducing the resource for achieving productivity is not the approach. Systematic implementation of the lean principles and thereby reducing the waste can prevent expenses and increase profit.
Of course, complete mapping of the process and changing it accordingly can be a bold step, time consuming and may not give desired outcomes. Stepwise approach and systematic implementation of lean can be the solution for it.

Strategic Implementation of VSM Lean:
Value stream mapping can be practiced for a segment/department in the process initially.
Improvement can be assessed by eliminating wastes in only marked area to achieve perfection for the section.
Once this is achieved can be implemented to other processes/fragments slowly and systematically, which could finally cover the whole process and the goal of practicing lean culture for the whole process is achieved.

Scope of VSM:
It is very true ‘If you have a product, you have a value stream’. VSM can be applied to:
  1. Any manufacturing industry.
  2. Any work site situations
  3. Any office environment
  4. Any activity.
  5. Any job shop
  6. Any culture or work station.

Built on the principles of lean and following the VSM culture, ITCube BPO has always caters the customer satisfaction. This is achieved via continuous improvement in productivity and maintaining the quality standards.
To know more about VSM culture and principal you can mail us on or you can directly contact us on +1 (614) 434-2376

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