Jerome Clavel Discusses the 5 Main Principles of Lean Manufacturing

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Jerome Clavel

Profitable companies are masters of optimizing processes while eliminating as much waste as possible. This process is known as lean manufacturing, and it benefits more than just a company’s bottom line. It’s efficient, eco-friendly, and drives higher-quality production. But what are the main principles of lean manufacturing and how can they be implemented?

Jerome Clavel leads the team at Uneva Peak Consulting, headquartered in Illinois, and many of the consulting engagements taken on by Jerome Clavel involve process improvement. Below, Mr. Clavel explains the principles of Lean Manufacturing that should guide a company’s operations.

Lean manufacturing is a philosophy of reducing waste by constantly improving production processes. It involves shortening production times, improving quality of goods, and limiting costs. By making manufacturing lean, producers perform more efficiently and help soften their environmental impact.

Here is a brief overview of the main principles of lean manufacturing, the benefits, and how it can be implemented in certain business models. Let’s dive in!

Jerome Clavel on the Five Principles of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing can be defined by its five main principles:

  1. Value – Value should always be determined by the customer. How much are they willing to pay for a product or service? Is that amount comparable to the costs of production and labor? If not, Jerome Clavel says you’ll need to cut back on waste to bring costs in line with the value of your goods and services.
  2. Value Streaming – Assess the materials used to produce a product and identify where you can cut back on waste. This process should analyze the entire production process, from start to finish, to eliminate as much waste as possible. If it doesn’t add value, get rid of it!
  3. Flow – Assess the production process to determine how it could flow more smoothly. Identify and eliminate barriers that slow down production. If something causes delays, find a way to speed up production and eliminate that wasted time. After all, time is money.
  4. Pull – Pull systems work by producing goods only when there is a demand. This is in contrast to push systems that produce goods before there is a demand, based on market forecasts. This leads to excess waste because the forecasts are often incorrect, creating an unwanted surplus. Pull systems require more direct communication but result in lower costs and lower waste.
  5. Perfection – Although nothing is ever perfect, Jerome Clavel says the ultimate goal of lean manufacturing is to come as close to perfection as possible. It’s a constant push towards improving production by eliminating waste and creating as efficient a production process as possible. It eliminates anything that is less than perfect until the entire system runs at its best.

Types of Waste Eliminated by Lean Manufacturing

Jerome Clavel explains that the philosophy of lean manufacturing directly targets eight types of waste. They include:

  1. Unnecessary logistical costs spent on transportation
  2. Surplus inventory that requires storage
  3. Unnecessary or inefficient labor, equipment, and technology
  4. Inefficient idle time spent waiting on processes
  5. Over-production
  6. Inefficient use of resources or adding unnecessary features
  7. Costly defects
  8. Wasted talent and innovation

These eight types of waste can be categorized into three categories, as defined by Shigeo Shingo, the founder of lean manufacturing. They are Mura, Muri, and Muda. Mura refers to waste caused by fluctuations in the market, Muri refers to waste created by going overboard, and Muda refers to waste produced by inefficient, valueless work.

Jerome Clavel

Why Does Lean Manufacturing Matter?

Jerome Clavel reports that the main idea behind lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste, whether it’s wasted time, wasted labor, or wasted resources. By eliminating this waste, manufacturers can improve productivity and perfect their production processes. This extends across the industry, offering the following benefits:

  • Better Quality – By perfecting the production process, manufacturers can eliminate wasted resources and create better goods. This directly benefits consumers who get better-designed products made from better quality materials.
  • Less Waste – Reducing waste not only saves manufacturers money—it also helps limit industries’ environmental impact.
  • Lower Costs – Cutting costs benefits everyone from manufacturers to consumers. Jerome Clavel explains that manufacturers can produce products without spending as much on resources or labor and consumers can purchase high-quality goods for less.
  • Faster Production – By eliminating inefficiencies in the production process, manufacturers can cut costs of labor and bring their goods and services to market far faster than before.

These benefits are far-reaching and intended to help everyone. Consumers see the difference at the cash register and manufacturers see the difference in their bottom-line.

Final Thoughts on Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is the philosophy of transforming production into a seamless, efficient, and wasteless process. Jerome Clavel says that its drive towards perfection benefits supply chains, workers, busy owners, and customers. By reducing waste and inefficiency, lean manufacturing drives innovation.