If you are looking to become more lean as an organization, you will need to purchase products that help your team become more efficient and support the changes you want to implement. When evaluating what products or solutions you might use, there will be more options than you have time to research. How will you know what to evaluate? How do you know you’re picking the right option? It helps to have suppliers that can support that process with their knowledge of other companies and different options, but you need to pick the right providers to work with. Here are a few things you should look for in a lean solutions provider:
One-size-fits-all rarely applies to lean solutions. Your products and processes are different from those of other manufacturers, and different from even your direct competitors who are making comparable products or offering similar services. The combination of your product/service and process is unique, so you’ll need a custom solutions provider to accommodate your specific needs.
Quality Materials and Construction
Cheaper isn’t better. We all know this, yet we fall into the trap of going with the cheapest option to save a few bucks. With cheap solutions, you’ll compromise quality materials and construction, flexibility, and support. In the big picture, your spend in this area is a small percentage of your budget but doing it right can have a big impact on productivity and efficiency. Take the time and budget to do the job right today to build a better operation in the long run.
Support and Service
Implementing solutions takes time, training, and the patience to make the change work. Pick a lean solutions provider who will provide you with the support you need to train your people and support ongoing updates. This goes hand-in-hand with service: be sure you choose a provider who will provide service to the solutions, including maintenance, repairs, and adjustments.
Purchase solutions from a supplier whose products are future-proof, meaning that you can easily get replacement parts when needed and that you can easily right-size, add to, or otherwise adjust as your needs change. Flexibility in all things is becoming more important. As lean operating systems work on the full value chain to compress product development cycle times, manufacturing operations need to adapt more often than before.
Most importantly, purchase lean solutions from a company that you can create a partnership with. A lean solutions provider shouldn’t just be like any other supplier, they should work with you to create custom solutions to improve your operations, help you implement those solutions in your facility, and provide service as needed. The payback and return on investment should clearly show the benefit of the relationship.
Geolean offers lean integration consulting, as well as MakitLean products to create engineered material flow, plus training and support on those products. Contact us to see how we can solve some of your biggest lean integration challenges.