Lean Production

LeanProduction

LeanProduction

Companiesuse different frameworks and concepts with the objective of enhancingtheir competitive advantage over other players in the global market.Learn production is among the most popular concepts that are used bymultinational corporations in order to reduce their operating cost byreducing wastage. Although other organizations had applied somemeasures to control waste, which is among the key principles of leanproduction, the application of the concept by Toyota in early 20thcentury enhanced its popularity (Sun, 2011). This paper will analyzethe concept of learn production by explaining the concept in detail,comparing the current research with the module, summarizing aselected article, biblical integration of the concept, andapplication of the concept in the real world, especially in thestate-owned enterprises.

Explainingthe concept

Theconcept of lean production is mainly associated with Toyota Company,which has managed to apply it in minimizing wastage, reduce the costof production, and enhance the company’s competitive advantage inthe automotive industry. According to Sun (2011) the term leanproduction can be defined as a production approach that ischaracterized by the integration of activities that are designed withthe objective of achieving a high volume production while using theleast amount of inventory, work-in-progress, and finished products.This concept is founded on the notion that a company should notproduce any product unless that item is needed. Some of the keytechniques that lead to successful lean production include pullingscheduling, minimizing the setup time, ensuring the quality right atthe source, group technology, continuous improvement, and focusedfactories (Sun, 2011). The decision to study the concept of leanproduction is based on the interest in understanding how the conceptcan be used to reform the Chinese State owned enterprises (SOEs) andmake them more productive, profitable, and competitive at the globalmarket.

Comparingthe present research with the module

Thepresent research has a direct relationship to the module’s topic ofprocess improvement, which is achieved through a reduction in wasteusing the lean production approach. The lean production approachhelps organizations reduce waste by minimizing customer, supplier,and internal variability (Camacho-Minano, Moyano-Fuentes &ampSancristan-Diaz, 2011). Although the course module held that leanproduction is more effective than traditional approaches, the currentresearch indicates that the success of lean production is notguaranteed. For example, Oudhuis &amp Tengblad (2013) identifiedthat the implementation of lean production should be combined withother concepts (such as standardization, self-management, contextualsensitivity, work enrichment, and a feeling of ownership of theapproach among the production personnel.

Themodule provided valuable lessons on how organizations can specify thevalue that they want to achieve after adopting the lean productionapproach. However, the course model makes it appear to be too simpleto pull value through the organization’s value stream or across itsset of activities that are jointly involved in the process ofdelivering services or products. Research shows that there are someelements of traditional production that tend to remain even after anorganization adopts lean production in its operation, and they limitthe capacity of the organization to leap the benefits of leanproduction from its value stream. According to Oudhuis &amp Tengblad(2013) adoption of lean change people’s view of control, whileothers retain some laments of traditional system of control, whichfrustrates the entire process of transformation. In addition, thestrategy used to teach employees on how lean production works and itsbenefits determine the success of its implementation (Medina-Lopez,Alfalla-Luque, &amp Arenas-Marquez, 2010). Therefore, value creationthrough lean production is realistic, but there is more to be donefor its successful adoption by the organ than just instructingemployees to implement its provisions. The present research shouldexpand the lessons provided by the module by investigating thefactors that might limit the organization’s capacity to integratetechniques of lean production in its value stream.

Articlesummary

Thearticle “The strategic role of lean production in SOE’sdevelopment” was written by Shili Sun and published in theInternational Journal of Business and Management in 2011. Sun’spurpose was to investigate how the lean production concept could beapplied in the state owned enterprises in China. The idea of focusingon China’s SOEs was based on the fact that China’s publicenterprises have been using traditional methods of providing servicesand products, while companies in many countries (including thedeveloped world) have already adopted the concept of lean production.Sun gives a comprehensive background of the lean production approachby explaining how it was integrated into the Toyota ProductionSystem, which was also referred to as just-in-time production. Asuccessfully implemented is characterized by client satisfaction,lean operations in the entire system, and a tight integration of anetwork of resources.

Byfailing to adopt lean production, China’s SOEs are missing severalbenefits. Some of the key benefits that organizations can get fromlean production include shortening of lead time, a decline in therate of defects, less inventory, reduced work-in-progress, flexibleworkforce, and less inventory of finished products. Sun noted thatSOEs can leap more benefits from lean production in the areas ofresearch, development, data management, manufacturing, and customerservice. According to Sun, the main difference between the China’sSOEs and organizations operating in other countries is based onoperation management as well as the manufacturing systems, and not onthe type of manufacturing equipment.

Biblicalintegration

Thereare three major Bible verses that have a direct correlation with theconcept of lean production. First, Mathew 5:29 instruct Christians toeliminate any body part that might hinder them or prevent them fromgetting to heaven. This is consistent with the principle ofeliminating waste in lean production. Lean production focuses onelimination of inconsistencies, waste, and unreasonable inventorieson product line (Sun, 2011). Similarly, lean Christianity requirespeople to avoid or eliminate unnecessary things that might affecttheir relationship with Jesus.

Secondly,St. Paul states that he is pressing on to win a prize that God haskept for him in heaven in Philippians 3:14. This is consistent withthe principle of continuous improvement that is applied in leanpractices (Sun, 2011). The principle of continuous improvement inboth christen and production contexts implies that people have tokeep on learning from their mistakes and working hard to for a betterperformance in the future.

Third,the book of Heb 10:24 ask Christians to spur one another in doingwhat is good and in loving one another. This is a challenge andpressure for Christians to keep growing and make improvements intheir faith. This is in line with the idea of supporting valueaddition, which is widely applied in lean production (Sun, 2011).Therefore, in both contexts (Christian and manufacturing), peopleshould consider the value addition as part of their normal life.

Application

Theprinciple of lean production can be applied in nearly all industries.Basically, lean production focus on helping organizations deliversservices or products using the least amount of resources possible.However, lean production is mainly practiced in the manufacturingsector, where investor aim at manufacturing different products usingthe least amount of raw materials, labor, and other resources inorder to maximize profits per unit of product (Camacho-Minano,Moyano-Fuentes &amp Sancristan-Diaz, 2011). In addition, leanproduction is applied by organizations that intend to enhancecustomer value. One of the key components of lean production is totalquality management, which means that lean production emphasize onproducing services and products that meet the level of quality thatis desired by customers (Tillema &amp Steen, 2015). In the case ofSOEs, lean production can be applied to help these enterprisesincreases the quality of their respective products in order tocompete with the privately held enterprises. SOEs can also apply theidea of lean production to minimize wastage, which is a fundamentalapproach that is used to lower the cost of production, increaseprofitability, and enhance the competitive advantage of anenterprise.

Conclusion

Theconcept of lean production has gained popularity and remained popularfor decades following its capacity to help organizations reducewastage and maximize returns using the least amount of inventorypossible. In most cases, organizations utilize the idea of leanproduction by requiring suppliers to deliver quality raw materials intime, procuring only the amount of inventory that is required at agiven time, and producing the quantity that is needed in the market.It is important to investigate the possibility of enhancingefficiency of the state-owned enterprises in Chinas using the leanproduction concept to determine if it can have similar outcomes tothose that are enjoyed by multinational corporations and stateagencies in other countries.

Annotatedbibliography

Camacho-Minano,M., Moyano-Fuentes, J. &amp Sancristan-Diaz, M. (2011). What can welearn from the evolution of research on lean management assessment?InternationalJournal of Production Research,51 (4), 1098-1116.

Thepurpose of this article was to assess the impact of different leanproduction on the financial performance of organizations. The need topursue the research on the impact of lean production was based on thegeneral assumption that lean production is an effective tool thathelps all organizations that adopt it to enhance their financialperformance. The authors conducted a literature review that helpedthem identify that the effective implementation of lean productionhas a positive impact on the financial performance of companies.However, the conclusion about the relationship between financialperformance and lean production depends on the nature of the keyindicators used to conduct the evaluation. The article is a usefulsource that will be used to inform the idea that lean production canhelp SOEs enhance their financial performance, but depending on theenvironment of each SOE.

Medina-Lopez,C., Alfalla-Luque, R. Arenas-Marquez, F. (2010). Active learning inoperations management: Interactive multimedia software for teachingJIT/Lean production. Journalof Industrial Engineering and Management,4 (1), 31-80.

Theaim of the three authors was to design and assess the effectivenessof teaching methodology that is based on multimedia technology. Theauthors were motivated by the idea that the current world needsinstruments and methods that will facilitate continuous, quality, andflexible training, all of which traditional teaching methods havefailed to deliver. The authors reported that the use of multimediatechnology together with a constructivist approach enhances learning.This is because multimedia software facilitates interactive learningand an opportunity for the teaching process to address the needs ofindividual learners. The interactive nature of the multimediasoftware increases the students’ willingness to learn,understanding, and satisfaction. The article provides usefulinformation that will be used to emphasize on and explain thesignificance of using effective methods to train employees before andduring the process of implementing lean practices.

Oudhuis,M. &amp Tengblad, S. (2013). Experiences from implementation of leanproduction and standardization versus self-management: A Swedish CaseStudy. NordicJournal of Working Life Studies,3 (1), 31-48.

Theaim of this article was to investigate problems that result from therelationship between standardization and self-management in thecontext of lean production. The authors conducted a case studyanalysis of three organizations in Sweden and found out thatorganizations can maximize the benefits of lean production bycombining it with the basic principles of self-management andstandardization. However, the combination becomes successful whencertain prerequisites (such as contextual sensitivity, the sense ofownership among employees, and the balance between work enrichmentand the use of standards) should be met first. In addition, practicesthat are developed by organizations should be suited for thecompetence of each operator, production, available technology, andconsumer needs. The article is a useful source because it providessignificant information about the key prerequisites that SOEs need toconsider before they can successfully implement lean production.

Sun,S. (2011). The strategic role of lean production in SOE’sdevelopment. InternationalJournal of Business and Management,6 (2), 160-168.

Theaim of the article was to assess the potential impact of applying theidea of lean production in the state owned enterprises, with a focuson China’s SOEs. Sun holds that the purpose of lean production isto help organizations increase the volume of their production whilekeeping the levels of inventory. According to lean, the objectives oflean production are accomplished using a combination of multipletechniques that include pulling scheduling, reduced set-up time,ensuring the quality right at the source of inventory, continuousimprovement, focused factories, and group technology. The article isa credible source that will be relied upon in studying the possiblebenefits that SOEs can get by adopting lean production. The articleoutlines the specific techniques that SOEs can use when implementinglean production.

Tillema,S. &amp Steen, M. (2015). C0-existing concepts of managementcontrol: The containment of tensions due to the implementation oflean production. ManagementAccounting Research,27, 67-83.

Theaim of this article was to evaluate the impact of different elementsof conventional system in the process of implementing leanproduction. Tillema and Steen accomplished this purpose by conductinga case study of the manufacturing companies in Dutch. The two authorsidentified that many companies relied on traditional control systemsat their higher levels of hierarchy, which frustrated the process ofimplementing lean practices at the lower levels. This suggests thatthe top management plays a critical role in determining the successof the lean practices in an organization. Tillema and Steen alsoidentified that elements of traditional systems may not frustrateimplementation of lean practices as long as the organization haslearned how to cope with them. The article provides usefulinformation that will be used to advance the idea of top managementin SOEs taking the leading role in implementing lean practices andhelping other members of staff to cope with elements of traditionalcontrol systems.

References

Camacho-Minano,M., Moyano-Fuentes, J. &amp Sancristan-Diaz, M. (2011). What can welearn from the evolution of research on lean management assessment?InternationalJournal of Production Research,51 (4), 1098-1116.

Medina-Lopez,C., Alfalla-Luque, R. Arenas-Marquez, F. (2010). Active learning inoperations management: Interactive multimedia software for teachingJIT/Lean production. Journalof Industrial Engineering and Management,4 (1), 31-80.

Oudhuis,M. &amp Tengblad, S. (2013). Experiences from implementation of leanproduction standardization versus self-management: A Swedish CaseStudy. NordicJournal of Working Life Studies,3 (1), 31-48.

Sun,S. (2011). The strategic role of lean production in SOE’sdevelopment. InternationalJournal of Business and Management,6 (2), 160-168.

Tillema,S. &amp Steen, M. (2015). Co-existing concepts of managementcontrol: The containment of tensions due to the implementation oflean production. ManagementAccounting Research,27, 67-83.