It’s becoming common for businesses to follow the lead of the manufacturing industry and integrate lean management principles into the workplace. The philosophy behind “lean” is that customers experience more value with fewer resources, so using technology for lean management – often with a high investment cost – may seem to conflict with that ethos. However, by choosing the right technology you can increase productivity, reduce costs and waste and improve staff morale.
What is lean management?
The basic principle of “lean” is that businesses increase their effectiveness and decrease wastage through reducing spend on anything not directly related to the end product and the value the customer receives. In the manufacturing industry this often means production is adapted so that completion of one process triggers the start of the next process in the supply chain, ensuring there are no wasted resources along the way. In other scenarios lean can mean the streamlining of processes across products and services so they are used to their full extent rather than in isolation – and this is where the right technology can play a key part.
Using technology for lean management
In order to achieve maximum efficiency through lean management, you need to utilise the skills and experience of the entire workforce. Technology and applications that enable collaborative working mean more and better collaboration can occur, giving everyone an equal voice. Interactive white boards, such as SMART Boards, enable teams to work together on projects both locally and remotely, using industry-specific software. Data can be recorded and shared instantly, reducing the need for note taking, and having a shared set of data reduces the risk of errors occurring. Video conferencing reduces the need for travel, making staff more productive and decreasing costs. Collaborative project management software such as iObeya enables you to see at a glance schedules for all your projects so you can coordinate efforts across all streams and ensure bottlenecks are easy to spot and resolve. Digital displays make up-to-the-minute sales data available at all times, assisting in Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing.
If you would like to increase productivity, decrease waste and improve staff morale then give us a call on 0118 336 0010. We can arrange a free demonstration of some of the technologies that can help you implement the principles of lean management in your business.