Lean Manufacturing Assessment
Want to Take Your Lean Program to the “Next Level”?
In order to survive in today’s hypercompetitive environment many companies are adopting lean techniques; the goal is to delight the customers and make a profit through the relentless elimination of waste from the operations. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Few companies have achieved the kind of sustained success that Toyota has from its legendary lean production system. While many companies have implemented “islands of lean,” what’s often lacking is a comprehensive system. In other words you may have the best field goal kicker in the league, but if your offense can’t move the ball then it’s difficult to score points and ultimately win games.
So where do you get started if you want to take your lean program to that “next level?” The first step is to conduct a lean assessment of your plant to determine the current status and relative “leanness” of your operation. Once you have determined your current state, you can properly plan your future and prioritize improvement opportunities so that your targets are realized within the shortest lead time possible.
What The Lean Assessment Does For You:
Whether you’re a mature lean organization or just getting started on your lean journey, PES can help you:
- Understand the state of your operation along a lean transformation path
- Measure your lean index and track its progress
- Determine gaps that must be closed to improve your “leanness”
- Identify and prioritize improvement opportunities
- Provide quick information on strengths and weaknesses when evaluating a supplier
- Establish benchmarks for performance improvement
- Learn and apply best practices
If your company has developed its own performance improvement system, PES can tailor an assessment tool to your criteria and terminology as well.
How to Determine if Your Factory is Truly Lean:
PES applies the Rapid Plant Assessment (RPA) method for quickly evaluating production facilities and identifying improvement opportunities during a plant tour. To the trained eye, a plant tour can reveal a great deal about a company (e.g., lean operations look lean and non-lean operations don’t). RPA is based on lessons learned from numerous successful applications of the Toyota Production System (TPS) in North America and European operations and it’s been shown to be a reliable indicator of a plant’s strengths and weaknesses.
The RPA process includes two tools for performing the assessment: the RPA rating sheet which groups over 200 lean operations attributes into 11 categories for assessing the “leanness” of a plant and the RPA questionnaire which provides 20 associated yes-or-no questions to determine if the plant uses best practices in these categories. Prior to the assessment, the rater(s) become(s) familiar with the general background of the plant by reviewing the company website and/or brochure, annual reports, any analyst reports, etc. The next step is to tour the plant to “see” various aspects of the plant operation, talking to operators and managers, and looking for evidence that the plant adheres to best practices. Immediately after the tour observations and impressions are recorded and worksheets are completed assessing the plants “leanness.” The assessment is followed with a report that includes the completed scorecard and charts indicating the current “leanness” of the plant. The report also contains key improvement opportunities and best practices needed to further integrate lean into the organization. The assessment results and recommendations are then presented to management for review and approval.
Established in 1991, Productivity Engineering Services LLC is an independent Industrial Engineering and Operations Management services firm specializing in the planning, design and implementation of lean manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain operations.
Providing high-quality lean assessments demanded that PES obtain the finest lean education available. The pursuit of excellence led PES to seek their specialized lean education directly from the pioneer in RPA at the prestigious University of Michigan Center for Professional Development.
The Next Step!
If you need reliable answers fast, contact PES at (734) 425-3904 today!!
Productivity Engineering Services LLC
Livonia, MI 48152
Phone (734) 425-3904
FAX (734) 425-3751