If you’ve been investigating sustainable practices for your business, you’ll know that the hard part isn’t deciding whether or not it makes sense for your business (of course it does) – the hard part is finding ways to actually implement these practices within your industry.

Waste is a good place to start. Waste is expensive – it costs both you and your customers money. Waste minimization is common sense; when you eliminate waste, you eliminate cost, and ultimately improve profitability. An obvious win-win situation for any business.

Within the manufacturing industry, there’s a concept called “lean manufacturing” that, though it has been around since the early 1900s, is finally starting to garner a lot of attention. And rightfully so – lean manufacturing is a concept that that will help you to streamline and harmonize your working environment so that you can cut down on waste, and keep your people, equipment, and workplace conscious and responsive.

Lean manufacturing is so effective because it’s based on identifying efficiencies and getting rid of wasteful steps that don’t add overall value. You don’t have to sacrifice quality, either; the whole idea is to find more efficient methods to accomplish the same tasks.

Lean manufacturing has a strong focus on the customer, recognizing that customers want value, and will only pay if you can meet their expectations. They shouldn’t (and likely won’t) pay for defective products, or even for the excess cost associated with providing large inventories. Putting it more simply, a customer doesn’t want to pay for your waste.

To make lean manufacturing work for your business, you will need to audit eight different categories of waste:

  1. Overproduction: Does your production exceed demand?
  2. Waiting: Is there much lag-time between production stages?
  3. Inventory: Do you have excessive work-in-progress inventories?
  4. Transportation: Are you moving your materials proficiently?
  5. Over-processing: Are you putting more work into your product than is necessary?
  6. Motion: Do your employees accomplish their tasks adeptly?
  7. Defects: Are you allocating time to fixing mistakes made during production?

Workforce: Are you delegating duties efficiently?

If you work in the manufacturing industry, lean manufacturing is surely the way to go. In the end, it makes for both happier customers and employees alike. Customers are getting more value for their money, and employees are getting more value for their time. You will be spending less, and saving more. And don’t forget – lean manufacturing makes businesses more sustainable, and sustainability makes the world not just a better place, but a better place we can inhabit for longer.

Providing you with expert information is just one of the ways Hazardous Waste Experts can help you. We also provide comprehensive sustainability consulting and waste disposal services. Call us today at 800-936-2311 to speak with an expert.

Photo Credit: ralphbijker via Compfight cc

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