In the face of increased competition in 2012, White Industries set out to see how they could improve productivity. The answer proved to be the Lean manufacturing principals.
Lean manufacturing requires a relentless pursuit of reducing anything that does not add value to a product, whether it be time, materials or movement. It is a methodology that focuses on minimising waste within manufacturing systems while simultaneously maximising productivity.
Waste is seen as anything that customers do not perceive to add value and are not willing to pay for. Some of the benefits of lean manufacturing can include reduced lead times, reduced operating costs and improved product quality. This makes for continuous improvement, which is the concept that lies at the heart of lean manufacturing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created innumerable challenges for Australian business. However, it may also have created opportunities for some sectors, including the Australian manufacturing sector.
Australia’s manufacturing sector has been in decline since the 1970’s, a period in which White Industries has grown and prospered into one of the largest Foundries and CNC machine shops in the country.
The Australian manufacturing sector has the potential to compete more successfully if manufacturers can pivot successfully to new approaches and adapt quickly to changing market conditions, as White Industries have done.
The political and market sentiment is turning towards the value of Australian-made goods, so now is an ideal time for manufacturing firms to reposition themselves, innovate, and take advantage of any targeted industry strategy.
However, to do this, Australian companies need to overcome one the biggest challenges of all; the relatively high cost of manufacturing in this country. Australia’s Asian neighbours have lower cost in all areas compared to their local counterparts who must contend with higher prices for energy, labour, and material.
Its now more critical than ever for Australian manufacturers to look to efficiencies brought by employing methodologies such as Lean manufacturing to find ways to improve their processes.
Here is a simple guide.
A company needs to deliver the most valuable product to the customer. Value is determined by the customer, not the company or its managers.
After you have determined the value you’re going to provide your customers, the steps and processes should be mapped out to make those components. This is from raw materials to finished product. Identify every step that has no value and eliminating those steps to create efficiency.
After eliminating waste the need to add value-adding steps becomes imperative. These should allow processes to flow smoothly without delays of bottlenecks.
Components need to be manufactured on a “just in time basis.” There should be no materials to be stockpiled and orders must leave immediately when they are finished.
Company Culture – This needs to be the core of the business. Lean does not work the same for all businesses. The whole company needs to get involved to implement lean manufacturing. All employees play an active and key role in making this process work.
White Industries embraces these principles from top to bottom. Constant effort is invested in seeing how we both as individuals and collectively can improve the product and the experience for all our customers.
Let’s join together and strengthen manufacturing in Australia. White Industries stands ready to assist you today.