The paper 'Lean Manufacturing' is a great example of a Business Assignment. Different scholars, for instance, Liker (2004) and Womack (2003) among others have recognized the massive pressure to enhance productivity and quality concurrently with reduction of costs on modern organizations, obliging them to implement lean manufacturing. This has led major businesses to try and adopt LM aimed at remaining competitive in the market which is increasingly becoming global (Rajenthirakuma & Thyla, 2011, p. 1). This is based on diverse benefits entrenched in this system as outlined below. Firstly, lean manufacturing (LM) has been credited with decreasing the lead times for consumers (Melton, 2005, p.
663). In this case, lean manufacturing has been attributed to increasing the production velocity (the required time in processing a product from the initial raw material to delivery to the consumers). This is usually done through the elimination of process steps, wait for times, movement, and downtime (Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd, 2003, p. 8). In actual sense, scholars like Ferdousi and Ahmed (2009) among others have cited that lean manufacturing has the capacity of reducing the product lead times for consumers by 8%-50%. The second benefit of LM is that it culminates in less process waste (Melton, 2005, p.
663). This benefit is underpinned in the key objectives of LM which is aimed at compressing time by eliminating waste which eventually results in the improvement of the overall production process. In this case, waste can be perceived as all the elements in production which serve the purpose of increasing the cost without necessarily adding value which the consumer is willing to produce (Rameez & Inamdar, 2010, 585).
This has led different scholars like Taj (2005) to define LM as manufacturing without waste. The other benefit of LM is reduced inventory for manufacturers (Melton, 2005, p. 663). In this case, inventory can be described as the storage of products, raw materials, intermediates, and so on, all of which cost money in an organization (Melton, 2005, p. 666). Most of the above benefits and their percentages have been summarized by Latin and Mitchell (cited in Rose et. al., 2011, p. 872) who determined that manufacturers can project to minimize by 90% in lead times, 90% in the cost of quality, 90% in inventories as well as 50% increase of labor productivity as a result implementing LM. The last benefit of LM which will be explored in this analysis is related to the environment.
This is founded on the determination by Sobral (2013, p. 65) that organizations are increasingly concerned about the environmental aspect of their production activities. In this case, there has been an assertion that it is natural in the lean concept, its constant focus on systematic reduction of wastes and its intrinsic value-stream fits well with the wider strategy of environmental protection (Miller, et.
al. , 2010, p. 14). Other benefits of LM include enhanced knowledge management, less rework, financial savings, and elevated process understanding (Melton, 2005, p. 663). Most of the above benefits are captured in the subsequent framework. Figure 1.0: Benefits of ‘ lean’ Source: Melton (2005, p. 663) Lean failures Despite the diverse benefits of LM outlined in the preceding section, this system has some apparent failures. This is evidenced by diverse scholars, for instance, Bhasin et al. (2006) who revealed that only some 10% or less of companies in the United Kingdom succeed in the process of implementing TPM and other LM practices.
Some of these failures are outlined in the subsequent analysis.
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