Lean Management squeezes profit from every product and service you deliver
By Brad Cairns
December 16, 2016 | 2:52 pm CST
Brad Cairns, Center for Lean Learning
Brad Cairns, Center for Lean Learning, will co-present with Bobby Lewis of Perspective Approach, April 11 during Cabinets & Closets 2017.
Lean Management is a way to squeeze more profit from every product you deliver, and every service you provide. Our Lean Learning team looks forward to sharing how it it can work for your cabinet or closet business. Lean Management is not something just the big companies running factories. Lean Management can help any size company get the most from its activities - whether that work is design, installation, or building and installing murphy beds or butlers pantries. 

A passion for Lean Manufacturing has led our team near and far, helping wood products companies of all shapes and sizes break the traditional barriers on doing their best work for clients, by creating a Lean Learning culture.
"Lean" is not just a tool kit that can be applied and results will follow, though there are many tools and techniques for "Lean." Take a look at these basic principals of lean, and you may get a a sense of how they might fit in a closets and home organization business, or a cabinetry shop. 
  1.  Work should be highly specific in content, sequence, timing, and outcome. 
  2.   Every customer-supplier interaction should be direct, and with a yes or no way to ask questions. 
  3.  The path for every product and service must be simple and direct. 
  4.  Process improvements should be made scientifically and at the lowest possible level in an organization.
We review steps like these during our workshops on Lean. But just as important as the tools is management support and employee buy in, and education.
As Lean Management facilitators, we have had the pleasure of working with many fantastic clients, and we enjoy their success as much as they do.
We're often challenged with the contention that Lean doesn’t apply in an environment where cabinet parts or closet components are purchased from third parties and just repackaged for flat-packs and shipped to a customer. But Lean is neutral in regards to inputs and outputs. Lean focuses on processes, and processes are common to every business and industry.

There are many traditional manufacturing venues such as upholstered furniture, cabinetmaking, mannequin production, packaging fabrication, aluminum die casting, injection molding, food processing, cake making, and changing a tire.  Yes, changing a tire.  Although I have never worked with a NASCAR pit crew, my research has led to the discovery of the application of Lean tools - tools such as Team Development, Workplace Organization, Set-up Reduction, Process Evaluation, and Standardized Work - in their unceasing desire to improve performance.

Lean is a business philosophy that focuses on eliminating waste from existing processes, regardless of what they are, so people can be more productive with the time they have available. Lean is equally applicable in the office, the shop, the grocery store, the warehouse, and any place where people interact with things or provide services to customers.

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