Duramark Technologies strives to assist their customers in achieving a lean manufacturing process with our durable label solutions. With the value DuraMark sees in lean processes, the entire company has recently began an effort to make the entire building lean. To accomplish this goal, the employees at the Westfield location have been divided into 3 teams that are working to improve lean processes in production, the kitchen and the restrooms. Each team is competing to see which can create the best process. After each team has completed their plan, they are to execute it for a month. At the end of that month, the teams that created plans for other areas of the building will switch areas they are responsible for and test the process of the team before them and make any improvements they think will help improve the process.
Lean is frequently talked about among manufacturing companies. However, DuraMark thought it was beneficial to include the entire company instead of just production for the following reasons.
Lean processes can:
Lower levels of inventory
By having a process for every area in your company, it reduces the need to have excess materials on hand. When the materials have an assigned place, it is easy to take inventory on what is currently in stock and all employees are aware of the steps that need to be taken to ensure inventory is kept at a level required by the area and material being stored. This could be something as simple as toilet paper in the restroom. When employees notice the toilet paper has reached a specified minimum, they are aware of what steps need to be taken to ensure that the toilet paper is replenished.
Require less space
When processes are evaluated and improved, this results in a more organized area requiring less space. Every item has a place it is assigned to sit and in a convenient location for easy use. For example, the kitchen might include a caddy under the sink that includes all cleaning supplies for that area. When it is time to clean up, the supplies are in one contained area that is consitently stocked with the needed cleaning supplies.
By having a process in place and directions posted on how to carry out these tasks, confusion associated with what is expected and how to execute certain jobs is eliminated. With directions in place, there is no question on how to do the tasks being asked of employees in each area and where to find the supplies to do so.
Improve employee morale and involvement
Having a process to follow to keep areas in good condition provides a sense of pride among the company. Everyone learns to value the spaces they use and the importance of taking care of it. When everyone feels responsible for an area, there isn't the pressed feeling on one person that they are always the one cleaning up or even the feeling that areas within the company are dirty. Everyone makes the effort to keep the areas in good condition.
Improved performance When an area is clean and free of distractions and clutter, this can improve the focus of employees. The time it takes to do things can also be reduced through the lean processes put in place resulting in improved efficiency and quality of work and products produced.
Lean is not just a term for manufacturing, but can be used throughout a company in every area. The more your employees are involved and know what needs to be done, the better and more efficient your company can become!