Lean Manufacturing Advantages and Disadvantages

6/10/21 12:00 AM

In modern manufacturing, it is vital to find a production strategy that will help you maintain a competitive advantage in the industry. As manufacturers are trying to identify the most beneficial production system, many are concluding that lean manufacturing is the way to go.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Lean Manufacturing Originating from the Japanese automotive industry, lean manufacturing aims to minimize waste and all activities that are not valuable from the production process. This method has made a name for itself and has revolutionized manufacturing around the world.

This method of manufacturing is able to efficiently optimize production within your facility through waste reduction and production time reduction. Removing waste from the system can also improve the quality of the products and reduce the overall costs. These techniques are especially useful to alleviate the more static elements in production such as materials staging and inventory warehousing.

Before implementing lean manufacturing techniques within your production facility, it is important to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the system. 

Advantages of Lean Manufacturing

1. Waste Minimization

Lean manufacturing can efficiently minimize waste within a production facility. This is arguably the most significant benefit of lean manufacturing. Waste is defined by any activity that does not add value to the process. Common waste areas include: motion, inventory, waiting, overproduction, defects, transportation, and over-processing. As companies sit on large amounts of inventory and waste, this process eliminates outdated or aged inventory. In addition, this process reduces the costs within the operation.

2. Enhanced Customer Relationships

Lean focuses on loyal customers' concerns and suggestions to cut some wasteful processes. Rather than focusing on the needs of all customers, companies are able to focus on their loyal customers to build strong and reliable relationship. This way, your customer interactions will improve and the relationships with your trusted customers will offer a steady flow of revenue coming in.

3. Lean Infrastructure

A lean infrastructure means that you are only dealing with a few components: building, tools, supplies, equipment, and labor to fulfill near-term inventory demand. The facility does not waste space within the operation and enables the facility to come as close as it can to production efficiency. 


Disadvantages of Lean Manufacturing

1. Equipment Failure

Lean has very little room for error. Equipment or labor failure can lead to major inconsistencies and can make the entire operation fall behind. In other mass production facilities, employees could move from one machine to another in the event of a breakdown. In lean, there are not many other places for employees to move to because everything within the operation is being utilized. In addition, the breakdown of a machine must be fixed immediately as there are usually no alternative resources that can do the work. This is why it is important to stay on top of all machine maintenance and inspections. 

2. Delivery Inconsistencies

In correlation with equipment failure, lean manufacturing can lead to delivery inconsistencies. Using lean techniques means that you have a smaller error margin. If your supply deliveries are late, you may not have enough raw materials to meet your customer demands, leading to late deliveries. This disadvantage can hinder customer relationships, push customers towards your competitors, and cost you revenue.

3. Employee Dissatisfaction

Adopting lean manufacturing processes requires change among employees to more efficient production processes to ensure that quality products are being made. This can be risky if employees reject the new methods. Having good managers that can help support and persuade the change from one technique to another can be helpful.

advantages and disadvantages of using lean manufacturing techniques


Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) with Lean Manufacturing

Advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software can be implemented with a lean manufacturing operation. These softwares have become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations as customer demand for fast delivery and downward cost pressures become prevalent.

Through various capabilities and benefits, PlanetTogether's APS system can efficiently optimize your lean manufacturing production facility and help eliminate common waste. 

These systems help planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans. APS Systems can be quickly integrated with an ERP/MRP software to fill the gaps where these systems lack planning and scheduling flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency.

With PlanetTogether APS you can:

  • Create optimized schedules that balance production efficiency and delivery performance
  • Maximize throughput on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
  • Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
  • Provide company-wide visibility to resource capacity
  • Enable scenario data-driven decision making

The implementation of an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency by taking advantage of the operational data you already possess in your ERP system. APS is a step in the right direction of efficiency and lean manufacturing production enhancement. Try out a free trial or demo!

Related Lean Manufacturing Video

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Topics: Advanced Planning and Scheduling, manufacturing, Lean Manufacturing, Implementation, APS, APS, implementation speed, manufacturing technology, APS benefits, production management, supply chain management software, operations planning


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