If you are a manufacturing company, implementing lean can help you tighten processes, eliminate waste and steer your bottom lines to robustness. Lean techniques came to the forefront with the enormous success of Toyota’s implementation of the same in the 80s. Since then globally organizations have taken to implementing lean with gusto!
A lean manufacturing adviser can play a crucial role for you. Hiring an expert will steer your way through problems and challenges. However, you must choose your lean consultants wisely. Keep in mind the following factors while selecting your consultants.
• They must be knowledgeable about lean production processes and strategies.
• They must be well versed in lean techniques.
• They must be able to help modify systems and processes that can produce products and services to deliver better value to the customer.
• Any lean professional on board must have years of experience across different industries to identify and handle teething problems and other challenges that may crop up.
• Your lean expert must be a people’s person who can ensure that everyone is amenable to changing what currently prevails including methods of functioning, systems and processes.
• You may also wish to recruit one who can patiently take you through the systems and processes in great detail.
Moreover, a lean manufacturing adviser must preferably have technical expertise about manufacturing. Or if possible there must be a few technical experts on board of the lean consulting firm to guide through technical issues. Creativity and innovation are also of importance in this strategic role.
Lean consultants should not only interact regularly with the top brass of the organization but also with employees at all levels. Training and engaging employees are a very important step in implementing lean. If done well, your lean consultant can guide your employees to better tap their hidden talents and update their skills as well.
Additionally, good lean consultants must also have a good understanding of your suppliers and clients. You need to have all of them working in sync with you to deliver the final goods to your customer with greater value.
There is no doubt then that a good candidate will help you acquire competitive edge and show you how to retain it in the long run. The gist of this is that good lean consultants must be able to adapt lean manufacturing concepts to suit your specific needs because every organization is unique. A lean consultant must be able to not only support you during implementation but be there for any future inputs as well.