What is lean manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing is a series of methods designed to reduce or minimize the waste of labour and material resources while maintaining or increasing levels of production and maximizing profits. Lean manufacturing offers a lot of benefits to woodworking shops. It ensures that activities like over-production, over-processing, motion, transportation, waiting, inventory, and scraps and defects are drastically reduced.

Read more about the principles of lean manufacturing in Introduction to Lean Manufacturing.

How does lean manufacturing increases profitability in woodworking shops?

Below are 6 areas where Lean manufacturing reduces operational costs and boosts the effectiveness and efficiency of a woodworking shop.

1. Reduction of manufacturing time

Lean manufacturing reduces the time required to complete tasks in the shop. This can help cut down operational costs like energy, utilities, and labour.

2. Reduction of workspace

Effective lean manufacturing techniques can reduce work floor space requirement by as much as 30% by reducing work in progress inventory and minimizing transportation and waiting of materials.

3. Increase in manufacturing productivity

Work becomes easier by eliminating unnecessary production practices and behaviours, Studies have revealed that companies that implement lean manufacturing practices are able to increase and boost their manufacturing productivity by 75% to 125%.

4. Increase in earnings and profits

Reducing or eliminating low-value production activities, steps, tasks, and behaviours in the workplace will help the shop focus on higher value demands and requests of customers, gradually and eventually boosting total earnings and profits. In addition, savings from lower production costs help maintain and increase incomes for wood shops.

5. Increase in product quality

Lean manufacturing improves efficiency which frees up employees and resources for innovation and quality control that would have previously been wasted. Thus, it ensures that the products produced in the shop are of top quality.

6. Improves customer-client relationship

Improving products and services is the best way to establish a good relationship with customers. Eliminating excess and unwanted job positions and tasks in the shop through lean manufacturing can help to increase specialization and enable you to accurately attend to customers’ requests.

Bottom line

Lean manufacturing helps to reduce or eliminate the unproductive tasks and activities from a woodworking shop. This brings about a general improvement in the productivity and profitability of the company. Lean manufacturing helps to reduce the production time and workspace, increase earnings, and establish a cordial client-customer relationship. When customers are satisfied with the products or services delivered, they come back and give out referrals.


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