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When you hear the phrase Lean Management, which industry do you instantly think of?

Manufacturing, Car industry, Electronics industry? How about in fast food, or Charity Food Banks.

Lean management production systems are adaptable to a number of industries, from service providers to supermarkets and restaurants. The demand for faster response times, higher quality of services and goods, and valuable support for customers apply a great pressure on businesses regardless of the industry in which they operate. Businesses need to find ways to improve their current processes to achieve these demands, yet very few are considering Lean Management.

The techniques and tools used in Lean production systems, such as Toyota Production System, are easily adaptable outside of Manufacturing, they help reduce waste steps, cut down on errors and the flow of information from order to delivery.

One of the first businesses outside of manufacturing to adopt the philosophies of Lean Management production systems was McDonald’s. When the business expanded from one little shop to franchises and made a commitment to increase their turnaround times they needed to find a way to do it.  They also needed a system that could be replicated across the world into each franchise.

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And they achieved it, in a somewhat unconventional way. Using a tennis court, a piece of chalk and a handful of employees they started with where the business system currently was. They then timed the orders, watch the way its staff moved and made a number of adjustments until the system was perfected, ran smoothly and resulted in a higher output, with a lower cost per unit.

Watch this video to see how the McDonald brothers achieved this.

The New York Food Bank was another non-manufacturing organization to adopt the production system when they were struggling to meet the growing needs of food parcels. They started off without much of a system, but then the Toyota consultancy team – who provide training to non-profits around the world – came in and taught them the Toyota Production System. They removed over-sized boxes, allowing an additional 396 boxes to be packed on the trucks and shipped. Secondly, they created a continuous flow, re-arranging the layout of the warehouse and creating a production line of sorts. Reducing the steps and time taken to reach products they were packing in the boxes – from packing a box in 3mins to 11s. Finally, they incorporated Kaizen, striving to constantly see where they can improve, taking things one by one rather than trying to accomplish all at once.

In the financial or marketing industries, there are a number of processes that need to be coordinated effectively in order to provide a valuable service to the client. Whereas previously different departments dealt with different steps of the process – traveling from one floor to another within the business – Toyota Production System instead teaches to create teams of members who work together, in the same space provide the same end product in half the time. It is also about identifying steps that are not actually necessary – these can shave off major turnaround times.

Interested in how Lean management and Toyota Production System could work in your business? Then get in touch and allow us to teach you, and save you money.