Kaizen Part 2: Creating Flow in a Lean Manufacturing Model
In Part 1, we introduced you to some of the basic tenets of Kaizen. In Part 2, we look a little closer at the benefits of reducing waste in the form of over-production. Lean manufacturing (or ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing) are strategies used by manufacturers to avoid both over-production and back orders. Let us tell you why we choose this method and how it benefits you, our valued customers.
As the saying goes, adventure waits for no one. While we want to ensure our customers are getting their chosen product as soon as possible, we also want to make sure that they don’t have to sacrifice affordability or quality in the process. For these reasons, Adventure Marine has implemented a lean manufacturing model for all our products and we are really excited about it!
Consider that you, the customer, are contributing financially to the everyday operations of any company you purchase from. Many companies are still using a ‘batching and storing’ model of manufacturing. That means that you are paying an added cost to house inventory that the company keeps on hand ‘just in case’. Not only is predicting sales extremely difficult, it is costly for everyone involved to attempt it. Perhaps you’ve witnessed big blow out sales on overstocked products, or huge marketing drives aimed at clearing inventory. While exciting, they often mean that everyday customers, especially return customers, absorb the cost in other ways.
Implementing lean manufacturing creates flow, much like turning a tap on when you need water and off when you don’t. Just as storing a year’s worth of food or water in your home would be space consuming and pricey, so is storing unnecessary extra inventory for a company like ours. Great examples of the benefits are the model 6000 C-rings (see Part 1), as well as the model 4100 high thrust motor bracket.
Kaizen in Action
The model 4100 high thrust motor bracket comes from humble beginnings. It starts out as a flat piece of 1/4” thick aluminum. Parts are then cut by a water jet cutter, formed into brackets, welded, and finally, powder coated for durability and style. This complicated process can take up to 6 weeks, but Adventure Marine has designed a process that substantially cuts down that lead time without sacrificing resources and overstocking. How do we do this? We halt the manufacturing process right after the part comes back from the water jet cutter. The aluminum is ready to be formed, welded, and finished, but is still flat and easy to store. As the stock of the finished brackets drops, small batches of aluminum parts are shipped out to be completed. Then as the stock of the aluminum parts declines, a larger order is triggered for the base parts. This means that as customer demand goes up so does the system’s speed, but the inventory of finished good only fluctuates slightly. The result is a smooth manufacturing flow.
Some of you might be weighing pros and cons of manufacturing small batch orders. We’ve studied these ourselves. Considering the benefits of shorter lead times, money saved on storage space and freed up capital, we know lean manufacturing was the process to choose. It increases value and has more beneficial advantages for our business, products, and our customers. The biggest advantage is that we are able to continuously re-invest in making Adventure Marine more efficient every day, the core tenet of Kaizen.
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Adventure Marine is a manufacturing company, passionate about building high-quality products regardless of the industry. We love sharing our enthusiasm for lean manufacturing and Kaizen with our customers. For more information on how to make the most of these ideas in your own home or business, contact Greg at email@example.com.
From the Adventure Marine family,