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Record: 1

Are You Getting The Most From Lean Implementation?


Chaneski, Wayne S.1


Modern Machine Shop; Oct2004, Vol. 77 Issue 5, p42-44, 2p

Document Type:


Subject Terms:

*EMPLOYEES -- Training of
*EMPLOYEE empowerment
*MACHINERY industry

Geographic Terms:


NAICS/Industry Codes: NAICS/Industry Codes 611430 Professional and Management Development
333319 Other Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing
333999 All Other Miscellaneous General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing
333298 All Other Industrial Machinery Manufacturing
334513 Instruments and Related Products Manufacturing for Measuring,
Displaying, and Controlling Industrial Process Variables
333994 Industrial Process Furnace and Oven Manufacturing

Focuses on the factors to consider in examining the effectiveness of lean
manufacturing approach in the machinery industry in the U.S. Employee
training; Employee buy-ins; Implementation time frame.

Author Affiliations:


Center for Manufacturing Systems, New Jersey Institute of Technology,

Newark, NJ 07102-1982
Full Text Word Count: 797


Accession Number:


Business Source Complete

Are You Getting The Most From Lean Implementation?
So you have learned about the benefits of lean manufacturing, trained many of your employees
on lean concepts and rolled out some process improvement events in you operation. Yet you
have not, thus far, seen the benefits you had hoped for. You wonder if this "lean stuff" is really
just another flavor of the month that is destined to go the way of so many of your company's
prior initiatives. Before you give up, ask yourself whether you are really driving the lean
implementation or simply "wishing for success."
There are too many companies in the United States and around the world that have had
success implementing lean manufacturing techniques to think they are just a fad. The
Toyotas, Harley Davidsons, General Electrics and thousands of others who have had success
would argue that anyone can do it, but it does require discipline and the desire for success.


either. …aucegypt. In such a culture. was a target percentage time reduction established? Were the concepts that were discussed in the training. First. rather than expecting everyone to do more in the same (or less time)? Were the concerns expressed by stakeholders listened to. Once you completed the training. In fact. such as off-line preparation of parts. If you are training on the 5S system of workplace organization. hands-on training works best. there is a culture of the status quo. just as important is the need for learning. there is the training itself. it is not uncommon for employees to procrastinate unless they are asked to do something twice (figuring if it is really important. However. it is likely that if prior improvement efforts failed in your company. Simply asking about the status of an effort conveys a sense of importance and urgency. Ideally. employees don't see any reason to improve. For most companies. It is through real-life experience that many people learn new concepts most effectively. I can assure you that there are two things to consider. you can point to the same reasons. interactive. then everyone attending should work on a 5S implementation effort in a specific area. Training is a two-way street. tools and equipment. were expectations clearly communicated in a timely manner? In the case of a quick change-over effort. To put someone in a classroom for half of a day and then expect them to implement significant change is unrealistic. was your implementation time frame reasonable? Was time allowed to complete all tasks? Were other duties reassigned or temporarily suspended to accommodate the time required to implement the changes? Did one or two key people end up with a majority of the work and quickly feel overwhelmed? Were there just too many things going on at the time to expect a successful outcome? Finally.1/16/2011 EBSCOhost Where does your implementation stand? Is everyone trained? Does communication run rampant? Does everyone really understand what is expected? Is there true employee buy-in? Is the implementation timetable reasonable. considering the fact that you still have to run a business? Does anyone follow up to see if there are problems that need resolution? If the answer to any of these questions is no. did anyone follow up with the people responsible for implementing the change to see if it was done? In many organizations. and perhaps most importantly. was the improvement described in such a way as to make things easier for everyone. then the failure of the implementation rests squarely on the shoulders of your organization. As someone who does a great deal of training. In such a culture. training should be immediately followed by some form of application of the training. or did the effort get steamrolled? If you wanted to change the way the work was scheduled from a computerized dispatch list to a pull system based on… 2/3 . someone will follow up with them). put into place? Were the procedural changes that were deemed necessary supported by management or other departments? Was there ever a planning meeting to determine when the quick change-over effort would begin? Regarding employee buy-in. which must be well organized and provided by someone with vast experience with the topic. did employees really understand and feel comfortable with the new process? Did everyone believe the system would work? Next. Let's start with the first concern: training.

or email articles for individual …aucegypt.… 3/3 . Internet: cms.njit. It may not be too late to reverse the course and get your lean manufacturing implementation back on track. Chaneski. Newark.mmsonline. download. Ask This Expert See Wayne S. users may print.html Copyright of Modern Machine Shop is the property of Gardner Publications. New Jersey Institute of Technology. NJ 07102-1982 E-mail: and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written Center for Manufacturing Systems.html ~~~~~~~~ By Wayne S.1/16/2011 EBSCOhost Ask yourself the above questions and see if your results have stemmed from self-imposed deficiencies in your organization. Inc. Chaneski on MODERN MACHINE SHOP Online at www.