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Lean manufacturing is a production method that seeks to revolutionize a company’s manufacturing process. The ultimate goal of lean manufacturing is the reduction of waste within an entire production process. Different types of waste in the manufacturing process include labor, raw material use, producing too many goods, and requiring too much space to produce goods. The benefits of lean manufacturing are not the same for all companies; the benefits gleaned come from the attributes that initially surround the production process. In short, improved product quality, lower costs, and fewer production defects should be the end result.
All manufacturing firms have some type of waste, overproduction, or excess costs involved in various production processes. It is simply impossible to completely eliminate these problems as human error is something to overcome rather than despise. Lean manufacturing presents a logical approach to identifying and correcting the issues that most likely affect a production process in a negative manner. The benefits of lean manufacturing then come out as a company continues to find ways and means to constantly improve without introducing more problems or errors to the manufacturing system. Owners and managers are the individuals most responsible for identifying the items that restrict a company’s production process.
Product quality is often a main goal of lean manufacturing. The benefits of lean manufacturing in terms of product quality is to outsell competitors by offering a similar product that uses higher-quality inputs. In other cases, the refinement of current materials used can also result in better product quality. Either way, lean manufacturing offers different methods by which a company can achieve its sales goals through product quality improvements in the manufacturing method applied to goods. It may turn out that refinement of materials adds costs to the process; however, a company most often looks to recoup these costs through higher sales prices.
Reduced manufacturing costs may also be major benefits of lean manufacturing. For example, individual costs for purchasing quality raw materials or refining current materials may increase. Lean manufacturing, however, looks to drive down costs through reduced labor usage, which is the result of reducing unnecessary activities or motions from worker tasks. Additionally, reducing the amount of space used to manufacture items can also decrease manufacturing costs in the aggregate. Benefits of lean manufacturing may also result in a just-in-time manufacturing system, which reduces the amount of inventories needed.