The lean manufacturing methodology ranks among the most effective production approaches. Toyota Motor Corporation, which introduced and formalized lean manufacturing, used the strategy to ascend the industrial ranks in the decades following World War II. An estimated 66% of manufacturers worldwide adhere to this shop-floor style today, per analysis from LNS Research, maintaining sophisticated yet responsive workflows that minimize waste and boost productivity. A good number of the firms that have yet to embrace lean manufacturing surely desire to do so but cannot support the requisite continuous improvement functionalities, The New York Times reported. However, manufacturers looking on the outside in as competitors chase Toyota-level success are not doomed to die out. There is a resource that can ease lean manufacturing implementation: the enterprise resource planning platform.
This software allows production teams harness their production processes and facilitate continuous improvement, and thereby lay the foundation for lean manufacturing success. Here is how:
Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda and his colleague Taiichi Ohno created the Toyota Production System, the first lean manufacturing workflow, with the expressed purpose of reducing waste in all forms. Inventory waste, transport waste, kinesiological waste — these are the main production impediments Kiichiro and Taiichi sought to address when they developed the lean manufacturing methodology. ERP software is designed to do the same, lending manufacturers the monitoring tools they need to pinpoint and reduce waste of all kinds, from unused inventory or inefficient machinery.
Product quality and marketplace prosperity typically go hand-in-hand — Toyoda and Ohno understood this and made periodic process review and enhancement an essential component of the TPS and the larger lean manufacturing approach. This continuous reassessment and improvement is achieved through Kaizen, which encompasses an exhaustive set of tools and techniques that empower stakeholders at every level, from the corner office to the equipment maintenance shop, to make positive shop floor change and bolster product quality. ERP platforms facilitate Kaizen via the collection and distribution of definitive product quality metrics.
Strong supplier-manufacturer relationships are key to lean manufacturing success. Without willing external collaborators that offer quality components and responsive services, the methodology simply does not work. This is why Toyoda and Ohno emphasized the supplier-manufacturer partnership model, wherein the two parties work together using a shared source of truth rather than engaging in deal-making brinksmanship. ERP software supports this approach by giving manufacturing firms and external vendors the data and communication channels they need to cultivate and maintain sustainable partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
Is your manufacturing organization looking to implement an ERP platform capable of supporting lean functionalities? Think about connecting with Accent Software. As a certified Microsoft Business Solutions partner, we provide vendor-vetted Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation services, giving manufacturers of all sizes the opportunity to adopt an impactful ERP solution that can facilitate continuous improvement through numerous cutting-edge platform features.
Contact us today to learn more about our proven products and services.