This thesis expounds on Lean thinking processes and methods in manufacturing industries. It goes on to correlate process management with Lean thinking methods. Lean Thinking Methods – Direct Relationship to Process Management Developed from the Toyota Production System with a clear focus upon removing waste from a system, the lean operations strategy uses less of everything half the human effort in the factory, half the manufacturing space, half the investment in tools, half the engineering hours to develop a new product in half the time. Also, it requires keeping far less than half the inventory on site, and results in many fewer defects, and produces a greater and ever growing variety of products. Its supporters suggest that it can be applied equally in every industry across the globe (Womack et al. 1996) as a universal best practice. Unfortunately, such naivety has attracted many critics who point to its failure to recognize the contingency or context-specific factors of each organizational situation, its linear assumptions, and generalized, stereotypical, homogeneous ideas. Nevertheless, the approach does have its advantages in high volume, mass production markets.
Its utility for more complex, flexible and fast moving markets populated by SMEs has to be. The rise of ‘globalization’ and the accelerated integration of national economies resulting from the increased mobility of financial and physical capital, it is argued, mean that there are fewer and fewer protective cushions for firms to hide behind. Firms must meet global standards or pay the penalty. Nowhere have these arguments been more strongly made than in relation to the rise of ‘lean production’ in the international automobile industry. The leading protagonists of this view, for example, have claimed that in the end lean production will supplant both mass production and the remaining outposts of craft production in all areas of industrial endeavor to become the standard global production system of the twenty-first century. The value that is added by both operations management and operations strategy is fundamental to most organizations.
Critical thinking often involves the creation of alternative plans, solutions, approaches, etc. , then comparing original with the alternatives. Creative thinking requires some critical evaluation during and after the creative phase. Critical thinking depends upon that little known and seldom discussed characteristic of the human nervous system—self-reflexiveness. Usually it also depends upon that ...
Operational activities are central to the provision of services and/or goods. Every organization provides a product and service combination. A meal in a restaurant, a visit to the hospital, buying a pair of Levi 501s, making a pair of Levi 501s, Woodstock Festival, insuring an automobile, staying in an hotel, going to the cinema, even the workings of a prison; all have operations activities and their management is central to the successful provision of goods and services. Even Government departments can draw heavily upon operational initiatives and strategies when they talk about supply chain management, lean supply, just in time and total quality management. Operations management has its origins in the study of production or manufacturing management. These terms still very much apply to manufacturing organizations that will have distinct operational activities that convert say, beans and rich tomato sauce into cans of baked beans to be sold by a retailer.
Thus, we can initially think of operations management as being part of a distinct function producing a product and service combination, just as we have marketing and accounting functions in many organizations. Our first definition of operations management is therefore the design, operation and improvement of the systems that create and deliver the firms primary product and service combinations. We have seen a move from craft production to the mass production of the Fordist era, this much is agreed. Less clear is our current status. Recent events have seen the rise, and decline, of lean production (Womack et al., 1996) and a move towards flexible specialization and mass customization with an emphasis upon satisfying an increasingly fragmented, volatile and ephemeral demand for customized and unique goods and services. Currently a debate rages between the need for agility emphasizing the ability to switch frequently from one market-driven objective to another, and the proponents of the neo-Fordist, lean production with a reduction of waste in all its forms. Others, possibly more correctly, stress that there is room for both strategies in the modern, globalized economies.
Why is operations management important in CDS? Operations management is important in CDS if they are to continue being one of Europe’s most profitable home ware businesses. As with any other company, CDS objective is to add value to their final product while using its resources effectively and efficiently through its internal processes. The company has successfully been able to apply the ...
The differences in emphasis do not imply that leanness is dead and that agility is the latest craze. What they do imply is that choices must be made in developing an [operations] strategy, and that you cannot have everything. We are not witnessing a paradigm shift from one competing approach to another. We are now starting to understand that believing an organization must choose between competing operations strategies is in fact erroneous: life is more complex! As mentioned earlier, research now suggests that there are in fact many operations strategies, constantly changing; some overlapping, and often a firm will have more than one this is the picture of requisite complexity. Lean manufacturing gets a lot of attention by proponents, and rightfully so. Applying its principles using a range of techniques drives waste off the manufacturing floor. Experts say the same principles can be applied to design organizations.
Waste in the engineering department is anything that does not add value to designs taking shape. So waste can be a long walk to a printer, documents that need attention yet sit in in-baskets for days, and bells and whistles on products that customers did not ask for. Lean design is actually an umbrella that covers a lot of techniques, such as finding the voice of the customer, design for assembly and manufacturing, and project boards. Capturing the voice of the customer, for example, might be done by sending designers to client shops and offices to see how they use products. One factor that contributes to the lower level of complexity of lean organization systems is their emphasis on “leanness,” or no waste. Though a few studies suggest that Japanese managers and workers actually prefer firms with high vertical and low horizontal differentiation, it is found that such differentiation is often non-functional and that lean producers, in their search to incorporate employee information and opinion into the operation and decision making process, seek to reduce both the vertical and horizontal complexities of an organization.
... errors during the process). Lean systems have an extremely effective production method. Schedules must be communicated inside and outside the organization and Better scheduling ... several machines), cost accounting, and leadership/project management( a two-way communication process between managers and workers). Manufacturing planning and control: The last building ...
Thus, in general, people observe that lean organizations have more participative-like management, and employee input is required and valued explicitly by upper management. Some argue that, even with the many functional titles in lean organizations in Japan, lean transplants in the U.S. are striving for leaner overall structures. For example, Wakabayashi and Graen (1991) find that in quite a few lean transplants there are only two basic status categories: Manager and associate. Mass organization systems, on the other hand, represent more complex organizations that involve more hierarchical levels and more redundant communications among more differentiated divisions. As Womack et al. (1990, p.
140) have observed, “mass production is designed with buffers everywhere extra inventory, extra space, extra workers in order to make it function.” ‘High-commitment’ HR practices and ‘team-based work systems’ are central to the argument that ‘flexible production’ plants consistently outperform ‘mass production’ plants. Research done by the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP) initially led to the publication of the most influential manufacturing management book of the early 1990s The Machine that Changed the World (Womack et al. 1996).
The arguments that stem from the same school of thought are consistent with the lean production model of Womack et al. but seek to emphasize the integrated nature of HR practices within the production system and to demonstrate the interrelated and mutually reinforcing ‘organizational logic’ of low buffers, team working, and high commitment HRM. ‘Lean’ production or ‘flexible’ production is readily recognizable as the Toyota production system outlined by Ohno and others.
The Industrial Revolution began in the 1770s in England and spread to the rest of Europe and to North America during the nineteenth century. A number of innovations changed the face of production forever by substituting machine power for human power. Perhaps the most significant of these was the steam engine, made practical by James Watt around 1764, because it provided a source of power to ...
A flexible production plant reduces inventory levels and other “buffers”, increasing interdependence in the production process. Lean production proponents argue that this system successfully combines the social and technical aspects of efficient manufacturing to provide a universal model of best practice. While lean production is resonant of sociotechnical systems research of the 1950s in the emphasis on the relationship between the social system and the technical features of production. Conclusion While some have argued that the new productive systems are really a much less radical break from traditional mass production, and that their success has been the result as much of broad economic structural forces as of internal systemic efficiencies. Others have argued that they rely centrally on intensified exploitation of workers or ‘management by stress’, or that successful transfer of Japanese methods relies more on the successful establishment of managerial prerogative than on amenable societal cultures. In parallel, other work has shown the tenacity of more traditional production methods where prerogatives and worker ‘involvement’ can be achieved by other routes or the persistent gaps between the rhetoric and reality in the implementation of lean production systems.
Works Cited Ahlstrom P. (1998) Sequences in the Implementation of Lean Production, European Management Journal 16, 3, 327-34. Wakabayashi, M. & G. Graen. 1991. Cross-cultural human resource development: Japanese manufacturing firms in central Japan and central United States. International business and the management of change.
Brookfield, VT: Avebury, pp. 147-69. Womack, James P., and Daniel T. Jones, Lean Thinking, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996..