We live in a day and age where we continually want to accomplish more with less. Less time, less people, and less money. Increased efficiency is at the forefront of the majority of our goals, in every facet of life. Whether it be at work, your car, the ease with which you pay your bills. We strive to make every single task as simple and quick as possible.
Continual improvement is the natural progression of society and though some may argue the point, we all live better lives because of it.
So the question is…. does your business operation function in the most efficient way possible?
A strategy that has been introduced recently, or at least made its way into the foreground of efficient business strategy in recent years, we call the Lean strategy.
The Lean Strategy is founded on the principal of eliminating waste in the workflow. By eliminating wasted time and activity, you are able to become more leaner and more efficient throughout your day. You can free up time to accomplish more in the give day. This is how, in the same amount of time or less, we are able to accomplish more than ever before! This concept is based on the idea working smarter not harder. The difference with the Lean Strategy, is it encourages you to do both, work smarter and harder.
Where are the areas of waste within your operation?
Waste according to the Lean Strategy can be conceived in every facet of your operation, but they have narrowed it into 7 primary sections
- Inventory (excess)
- Motion (moving/walking)
- Overproduction (producing ahead of demand)
- Un-utilized talent
- Defects (inspecting and fixing defects).
When you contemplate those areas, where do you notice inefficient methods practiced in your business operations? Perhaps it is walking(motion); are your shipping teams going back and forth from the greenhouse to the loading dock to pick orders 20 times a day, when it could be done in 10? Or Maybe there is too much inventory being produced. This creates a significant waste because you are paying to store the product, and in the horticulture/floriculture industry you need to keep the product healthy, you are paying for the production and growth of the crop, the labor that goes into both inventory control and production, and now perhaps you have to discard numerous excess units of product. This is a large dilemma in everyone’s business, one that the Lean approach attempts to fix by promoting an offbeat production strategy:
One should not produce a product unless they have an order for it.
This can be a tough concept to adhere to in the Horticulture/Floriculture industry, because you can’t just produce an item today for a sale tomorrow. You must consider grow time. This is a skill that the ISS team is glad to consult, but first, we must recognize that it is necessary and beneficial.
Aside from eliminating wasted time, the Lean Strategy focuses on the optimization of your production capacity. You can discover this through Takt Time which measures the pace of production per unit in your operation.
Takt Time = Total Available production time / Average Customer Demand
Being able to utilize this formula and the formula of Takt Time will lean out your production to what is necessary, assisting in the process of meeting demand without having to hold too much inventory in reserve.
The overarching goal of the Lean Strategy is to make sure that the value of your work and production is being streamed fluidly from point A to B to C without taking any unnecessary steps that will result in waste.
The Lean Strategy demands a greater knowledge of your operation. Having a detailed and full understanding of the processes that take place within your operation will allow you to audit these processes to look for areas of waste. Learning how to do that is a feat of its own, one that the ISS team can help you with, but first you must see the necessity for it. Are you committed to continual improvement?
The Lean Strategy is a very applicable and practical strategy that you can apply to multiple forms of your business in order to be continually improving along with the progression of our world.
These are bold concepts to put into practice. As the concepts are bold, so must you and your team be. Implementing a Lean Strategy will require change, as well as trial and error to determine what is right for your specific operation. You and your team need to be willing to welcome change in order to be truly successful in leaning out your business.
Tony Gaskins said, “The doors will be opened for those that are bold enough to knock”
Implementing the Lean Strategy will provide overall understanding of your operation for everyone that is involved, in turn providing alignment, and direction to your team in order to be the most efficient and useful throughout their daily tasks.
The Lean Strategy is a necessary step to be placed in your programs, to cultivate the growth and improvement that is desired. The Picas software solution has adopted this strategy in to many of the business functions that you use, from planting to shipping. We are committed to the concept of continuous improvement so that we can not only help you better serve your customers, but also so that we can better serve you, our customers. Our goal is not just to create usable software, but to provide a solution that allows you and your staff to be as efficient and effective as possible.
Are you ready to get lean?