For Lean to be a success in your company, training is critical. Here are four areas to consider for your current training program to help you build a Lean-enabled workforce.
Increased Customer Value
One of the primary principles of Lean manufacturing is increased customer value. Employees involved in training should be taught who your customers are and what they expect; that way, the employees will understand how their jobs relate to customers. By keeping a focus on customer needs (price, delivery, service, quality, etc.), your people will stay in line with company goals, leading to the best possible results.
One of the most common ways Lean manufacturers provide additional value for their customers is by identifying and reducing waste within business processes. Trainers can assist with this by teaching well-known Lean tools such as value stream mapping. A value stream mapping exercise identifies and targets wasteful activities for elimination. In addition, waste reduction is consistent with customer value (above).
Lean encourages employees to eliminate waste and provide suggestions to increase efficiency, allowing them to be active participants and take ownership. It’s important for trainers to involve workers; things like Kaizen events are great vehicles to achieve this. Training sessions should include question/answer sessions, practice examples, and content requests. The more actively involved your employees are in their training, the more effective your results will be.
Continuous improvement is fundamental to Lean. It involves ongoing analysis and seeking employee insight to further reduce waste; this will lead to better processes and more customer satisfaction. Training programs should introduce measurement tools to track improvements between the old way and the new way. Examples of KPIs (key performance indicators) are lead times, reject rates, inventory turns, number of process steps, and percentage of value-adding activities. This information can be extracted from the right ERP system.
Forward-thinking companies recognize that better training results in happier employees who take pride in their work. These employees, when armed with Lean knowledge, will begin to incorporate beneficial – and more importantly, measurable – improvements into their everyday work habits. An ERP system that provides relevant data for improvement tracking is critical.
Is your business looking for a better ERP system that supports Lean and empowers your people? If so, let the experts at Acuity help you get started! Contact us today for more information.