Lean Technology in Business

Business today exists in a challenging, ever-changing environment. Every business seeking improvement must generate real value, engage everyone in the organization, redesign business processes, disciplines and behaviors from the ground up, and utilize emerging technology that will facilitate and sustain change. Lean technology, at its core, is the wise use of software and other systems to eliminate waste at every point in a manufacturing or business process, i.e., the value stream.

  1. Understanding Lean Technology

    • Lean is a business philosophy which has been around in many forms since the 1900s. Lean technology is not about purchasing more technology or software systems; rather, it is about seeking the most efficient software system that provides businesses with the information they need. Businesses must have information to identify and eradicate waste throughout their organization. Software such as Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) or Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is an integral part of the lean management information gathering and maintenance process.

    Understanding the Lean Concept

    • Because lean philosophy looks for ways to eliminate waste throughout a business, a definition of waste is in order. Waste is any activity or process involved in producing a product or service that does not add value to it. The next step is identifying value in the lean process. Value is established by customers who seek products that meet their needs for a specific price in a specific time frame. At this point, lean technology assists businesses in optimizing the processes that meet the needs of their customers. Observing a business process from the customer's perspective allows businesses to identify activities that either add value or do not. Some activities do not add value but cannot be avoided. At this point, those activities that do not add value may be eliminated.

    Understanding How Technology Supports Lean

    • Businesses seeking to implement a lean technology solution to their problems must be able to gather and analyze information that supports lean activities. Lean solutions will be available with the appropriate software to track progress and identify further areas of improvement. Software must integrate between departments to police past data and enforce compliance with lean principles, making sure there is no backsliding. Lean performance measurements must be included in any software program so that management can verify that lean performance goals are being met. Lean maintenance is part of the lean technology process. Software that enumerates the many business activities and communicates these activities to various individuals is essential to the lean technology process.

    Lean Technology and Tracking Costs

    • Utilizing appropriately-designed software will allow businesses to track costs, such as tools, repairs and maintenance, with an eye to minimizing costs at every point in the production process. Adequate tracking of a variety of data is one part of the lean management process. Lean technology tracking, combined with engaged and informed employees, helps management achieve lean goals.

    Software and Lean Technology: Efficiency

    • Lean technology is about getting more with less. Utilizing the right computer software for your business allows staff at every point in the value stream to perform at optimal efficiency. Care should be taken to understand the needs of the organization and the data that should be gathered. Appropriate software will support the lean technology goals of the business.

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