SunDance recently welcomed a business advisor from the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (MACF) for a ‘lean’ training session that was given to employees from across all departments to increase efficiency and enhance the customer’s experience. MACF is part of the FloridaMakes network, an industry-led initiative operated by Florida’s regional manufacturers associations, provides services to manufacturers focused on three principle value streams: technology adoption, talent development, and business growth. See what it means to be lean and how the FloridaMakes network helped SunDance employees get in the lean mindset with a popular children’s toy.
Lean Manufacturing Principles
Lean manufacturing has roots from over 100 years ago starting from Henry Ford’s continuous assembly lines for the Ford Model T all the way to the Toyota Production System. These concepts and many others have come together to become lean as we know it today. The term “lean” and its principles were first introduced in the book The Machine That Changed the World (1991) by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos which is based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's five-year study on the automobile’s future.
Lean manufacturing’s 5 basic principles:
1: Identify value: Define value from the customer’s standpoint and express value in terms of a specific product or service.
2: Map the value stream: Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product or service and eliminate steps that don’t create value.
3: Create flow: Make the value-creating steps occur in a tight sequence to provide as much value to the customer as quickly as possible.
4: Establish pull: With value now flowing through the value chain, let customers pull value at the time when they need it rather than you pushing it on to them.
5: Seek perfection: Strive for perfection through continuous improvement, eliminating waste, documenting process, etc.
Now that you have a clearer picture of lean manufacturing principles, see how it can benefit businesses while making customers happier.
Benefits of Lean in Business
Lean processes can help a business in a variety of ways like cost and waste reductions, but it’s beneficial for employees too because it keeps them engaged by encouraging them to improve the way they work. Customers also win because they get a better product or service. Benefits of lean processes include:
- Improving quality
- Reducing time
- Eliminating waste
- Increasing profitability
- Promoting efficiency and productivity
- Reducing overall costs
- Improving responsiveness to customer needs
- Creating a mindset and culture of continuous improvement
While it’s easy to see the benefits of lean, it can be harder to visualize how it actually works. That’s where LEGO bricks came in handy at SunDance’s training session.
LEGO Bricks Simulation Exercise
Dan Sutter, the FloridaMakes Business Advisor at the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida, helped our employees get in the lean mindset by using LEGO bricks for a hands-on learning experience. Our employees were able to apply lean principles to an actual simulation of a production line. The simulation was very interactive and allowed employees to see how they and others work. Not only were they doing production, but they also played different roles where they were supervising and supporting the production line.
In addition to seeing lean principles in action, the simulation revealed that their default for planning work is focused just on their own work. By the end of the exercise, they end up looking at the bigger picture and understanding how what they do affects everyone else. Thanks to the FloridaMakes’ training, SunDance is becoming more and more lean each day.
Lean Printing For Marketing & Interior Design
As a multi-channel print company, being lean allows us to find more ways to say “yes” to customers, even if it’s something we haven’t done before. Whether you need marketing materials for a big campaign or want to enhance a retail space with experiential design, SunDance has helped local and national brands achieve their goals with innovative solutions.
Call us at 407-734-7444 or fill out our contact form to see how SunDance’s lean printing team can give your business a competitive edge.
Interested in learning how MACF and the FloridaMakes network can help your business?
Visit www.macf.biz to learn more about what MACF has to offer.
Discover more about the FloridaMakes network at www.floridamakes.com.