Businesses can now see how they rate in terms of strengths and weaknesses through an online self-assessment tool that they can complete in just 10 minutes.
The Better through Lean assessment tool, which was developed by QMI Solutions and launched on Tuesday at Austech, is based upon the principle of LEAN manufacturing, the core idea which means to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.
QMI Solutions is a company that helps manufacturing-related industries meet demand and opportunity by offering services which include helping organizations develop skilled workforce, improve productivity, reduce waste and apply innovation.
“A lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste,” according to Lean.org.
“To accomplish this, lean thinking changes the focus of management from optimizing separate technologies, assets, and vertical departments to optimizing the flow of products and services through entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies, assets, and departments to customers.”
The flow of information becomes more manageable and accurate when the LEAN principle is applied to an organization. Instead of eliminating waste at isolated points, directing the effort at entire value streams will create processes that will need less human effort, space, capital and less production time for goods and services at lesser costs, with fewer defects.
QMI Solutions’ CEO David Harrison says the self-assessment tool will help businesses get an idea of how they ‘stack-up’ in terms of achieving lean goals.
“It gives a snapshot of the company’s LEAN strengths and indicates areas requiring attention, which provides the impetus for businesses to take the first step towards increasing customer value, and doing that by eliminating waste and improving performance,” says Harrison.
According to QMI Solutions, sports equipment manufacturer, Play Hard Sports increased on-time delivery by 80%, sales by 20% and production capacity by 30%; lead times were reduced by 50% and defects were reduced by 75% when it applied LEAN practices.
Although a common misconception is that LEAN is suited only for manufacturing, businesses and processes from other industries, including healthcare and governments, could benefit from the application of the LEAN principle.
“LEAN applies to every business and process; it is not a short form tactic or cost-reduction program, but a way of thinking and acting continuously for an organisation,” adds Harrison.
The Austech Expo is now happening at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre alongside National Manufacturing Week 2013 until May 10.