Waste #7: Overproduction—Part 8 of 8: Addressing the Seven Wastes in LEAN Manufacturing with Corporate Kiosk
Today, let’s take on the final “waste” in our series about the seven areas of waste identified in LEAN manufacturing. For a couple weeks now, we’ve been revisiting and updating that original post. It was very popular then. And since LEAN manufacturing maximizes efficiency ─ people are more interested than ever. So today, let’s focus on “overproduction.”
Many companies, especially in manufacturing, stockpile finished products as a source of comfort. They believe that with a quantity in reserve, they can meet unexpected demands or protect themselves from production interruptions or material shortfalls. But you can view those “buffer” products in other ways. They are:
- Aging/unsold inventory
- An investment with no current return
- “Dead” money you could be using for other things
LEAN Manufacturing Has a Better Idea
Every business dreads production interruptions and material shortfalls, of course. But rather than wasting time and resources overproducing to insulate against them, why not eliminate them instead? LEAN manufacturing principles suggest a whole different operational view.
Why not optimize your production system to produce “to order” rather than to create a stockpile? Several factors impacting production today provide strong support.
Better system-wide demand visibility
In today’s “big data” environment, you can access extensive information in virtually real time. You can track orders, inventory, demand trends and other variables. You can, as a result, adjust your production system accordingly, or install mechanisms that do so automatically. Surprises happen less often, so you don’t need to “hedge” against them.
Reduced cycle times
Every company today faces increasing pressure to make systems work as efficiently and effectively as possible. LEAN manufacturing certainly encourages it. As a result, today’s production processes move more quickly. This shortens lead and cycle times, making it easier for you to catch problems and correct them almost instantly. You can also take any corrective steps with less impact on overall output as a result.
Regardless of your field or industry, you face dramatically increased competition. Consequently, the pace of change is also accelerating. You must demonstrate agility in your manufacturing (and marketing) to be able to adapt to product and market changes almost instantaneously. That puts your “safety stock” of products at risk of outliving the demand, or sufficiently outdated to diminish its value significantly. Why take that risk if you don’t have to?
Corporate Kiosk™ Is Built Upon “Producing to Order”
Our advanced e-procurement technology—Corporate Kiosk—proves that LEAN manufacturing principles work for any size business. With “old school” thinking, you would order huge quantities of a printed piece to lower costs, then store them—incurring, instead, the cost of the space they occupy. The reasons for doing that have faded. You also should no longer take delivery of bulk shipments of promotional products, then wind up giving them away as virtual “white elephants” long after their intended utility has passed.
Your company can use Corporate Kiosk to pre-select approved business forms, catalogs, collateral materials, promotional items and place the approved versions of an online portal. Then, authorized employees in different departments or offices access them as needed for quick and accurate fulfillment. The materials are shipped right to where needed, in the quantities requested. No one has to store them, haul them, or deal with them.
How to Get Started—and Get Waste STOPPED
Our clients who use Corporate Kiosk no longer overproduce materials. And they are overjoyed with the results. I hope you’ve enjoyed—and more importantly, got some solid ideas from—this series over the last few weeks. As I said up front, LEAN manufacturing isn’t a trendy business-book idea for big companies. It’s just a smart foundation for running your business with a minimum of waste. You probably can’t use all these ideas. But chances are good you should use some of them.
We can help you figure out which ones, and exactly how to get it done. Contact Superior today if you’d like some help with that. Or just get in touch with one of our very talented print and promo sales reps. I’d like to hear from you if you have any comments on this series. But I’d like to help your company realize some real savings from it.
Check Out Other Posts in the Series