5 Signs Your Manufacturing Facility Needs a Lean Evaluation 

Close-up of people at a meeting at a wooden table. They are holding pens and notebooks.

No matter how long you’ve been operating under a Lean model, there’s always room for improvement.

Customer demands, industry standards, and financial goals are ever changing.

A flexible Lean operation remains scalable, meeting these new challenges with ease.  

Campbell Corporation’s Lean evaluation assesses your Lean manufacturing posture, so you can identify areas for improvement.  

But how do you know you need a Lean evaluation? 

Here are some key signs that it’s time for a Lean operational review and assessment.  

Time for a Lean Evaluation? Watch for These Problems

As Lean manufacturing consultants, we always emphasize that every client has unique needs. Your pain points likely look different from your competition’s. If you experience one of the following challenges, among others, we’ll take a tailored approach to your Lean evaluation and solutions.

Slow Lead Time 

Lead time measures how long it takes a customer to receive an item after placing an order. In other words, the time your manufacturing and fulfillment processes take. It’s no secret that quick lead times boost customer satisfaction and increase sales.  

So, if your lead time isn’t where you want it to be, you’re in luck:  

There’s a prime opportunity waiting available for manufactures. 

An experienced Lean manufacturing consultant will point out which areas of waste might be slowing down your business’ lead time. The goal is to get your products through production as quickly as possible, and this starts with a thorough Lean evaluation.  

Uneven Ship Cadence 

If you’re shipping more products at the end of the month and/or the end of the quarter, you likely need Lean. Shipping at the end of month and/or end of quarter to improve period sales figures means manufacturing is discretionary, and you’re focusing work content on metrics rather than manufacturing performance.  

Lean levels manufacturing work content to a healthy, even rate of production. 

Piles of Inventory 

The goal of Lean manufacturing is to reduce waste, and excess inventory is a common waste of Lean. Stockpiling excess inventory increases expenses, which cuts into profit. You might also notice more faulty products and damaged raw materials.  

Fortunately, a Lean evaluation will quantify how much inventory you actually need to sustain output. Your consultant will then recommend ways to manage current inventory, so you can move forward with a leaner operation. 

Low Employee Morale 

Employees working within a Lean model are productive and fulfilled. Campbell Corporation has been fortunate to perform our Lean consulting services globally, and we’ve learned much from our international experience. 

We noticed that everyone wants to go to work and provide value for their employer. They want to leave work with a sense of accomplishment.  

When you cut out activities that don’t add value–like seeking clarifications on a drawing, looking for a tool, hunting down raw material, waiting on maintenance, or any activity which prevents your operators from actively transforming raw materials to finished goods–you’re increasing your employees’ satisfaction without overworking them.  

If you notice that your employees are unproductive, frustrated, unfulfilled, or bored at work, it might be time to reassess your Lean operation. 

Remember, employee involvement is a key part of Lean manufacturing. When you eliminate waste, each employee’s work becomes a critical part of the production process. They trade busy work for purpose. A Lean evaluation will show whether you’re allowing your workers to fulfil their potential. 

Excessive Downtime 

Downtime is another common, but often overlooked, waste of Lean. Are your machines sitting idle for hours at a time? Is your staff waiting between production steps? The reality is that downtime disrupts the flow of your manufacturing processes, slowing down lead time.  

Take a walk on your factory floor and count how many employees are engaged in activities your customers are willing to pay for. 

If you’re noticing excessive downtime in your manufacturing operation, there’s room to tighten your Lean methodologies. Your Lean consultant will identify the causes of downtime and recommend solutions. 

Late Deliveries 

Customer service is all about fulfilling your promises. If your products are consistently arriving late, it’s time to evaluate your Lean processes. Otherwise, you could face some unhappy clients.  

Which steps in your manufacturing processes are slowing down delivery? What efficiencies are you overlooking? A Lean manufacturing consultant will trace your products through the production line and determine what’s causing the delay.  

Too Many Meetings 

While collaboration and daily huddles are imperative to coordinated manufacturing, manufacturers often host meeting after meeting to plan production and put out operational fires.  

Time spent in meetings drains personnel resources and often adds little value to your product or service. In other words, your customers aren’t paying for you to excessively plan to produce their product, nor troubleshoot any problems that may arise.  

Lean streamlines production and frees up your leads, superintendents, and management to do what they should be doing: improving the manufacturing metrics. 

Interested in a Lean Evaluation? 

When running a Lean operation, it’s easy to overlook your own shortcomings. This is why it’s essential to have an experienced Lean manufacturing consulting firm in your corner. 

Ready to boost profit in 2022? Contact the experts at Campbell Corp. to discuss our Lean operational assessment services. You can also give us a call directly at (414) 421-7601.

profitability starts with a lean evaluation