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Lean production involves using less labor, space, materials and time. This leads to the reduction in the amount of resources used by an organization. It is a method of production that aims at reducing wastage and inefficiency of the production process.
It involves producing a lot of products with using minimal resources. It is the optimal use of resources to manufacture quality products. Organizations that adopt this form of production believe that any use of resources that have no value to the customer is a waste. They believe in producing high quality products that are of value to customers (Black, 2008).
Lean production at Portakabin
Portakabin is a multinational company which produces advanced building systems. It is a subsidiary company of shepherd group. Shepherd group is one of the biggest family owned building industry companies in Europe. Portakabin’s main operations include manufacturing, construction and property development. The company uses lean production method to produce high quality products that are of value to customers.
For instance, the company uses a quality management system. This ensures that the products manufactured are of value to customers. It produces high quality products through a process known as kaizen. This process is achieved through small regular steps. The process helps in reducing time of production hence enhancing efficiency. (Black, 2008) Just in time production is another way used by the company in the lean production.
This process aims at reducing the cost of holding inventories. In Portakabin, materials are maintained at a minimum level. Stocks are only produced when they are required. This reduces the storage space, required to stock the goods, which improves efficiency. This also ensures that the working capital is used efficiently. It also helps in minimizing defects stock which improves efficiency.
Just in time production, is mostly used by Portakabin, in construction of new buildings. In this case, we shall focus on the development of a new Lilliput children’s centre. These centres are designed to be child focused. They are designed to meet the tough safety and care standards to protect children.
Just in time production, helps the company to build these centre, in less time than using traditional methods. Multi-functional rooms are used as training rooms, kitchens and nurseries. First of all the materials used in the production of the centre is to be maintained at a minimum level.
The company will ensure that raw materials, work in progress, and finished product are at a minimum level. The materials will be delivered when required and this will reduce the space required to hold materials (Black, 2008). It will also ensure that working capital is used efficiently. Just in time production will also help in reducing the number of defect materials.
The demand for the material, to construct a children centre will force Portakabin to build a new component of suppliers. The company will only hold materials that are needed during construction. This will reduce cost, and ensures that the materials ordered meet the need of a new Lilliput children’s centre.
In this production process, the company will develop a detailed information system. This will enable the company to control the flow of the production process. This will involve recording supplies at every level of production to ensure that, the materials are available when needed.
During the production process, the company ensures that there is a strong relationship with suppliers. This is because poor relationship with the suppliers will cause delay in the delivery of materials. This delay can hold up the whole production process. Just in time production will be used to ensure that materials are available when needed by the next stage of production (Black, 2008).
Impacts of using lean production in Portakabin.
Lean production is used by Portakabin Company, to enhance reduction of the amount of resources used. The Company is focusing on eliminating wastes in the production process. Lean production helps the company to reduce waste, by reducing damaged products. This leads to production of products that are of high quality, and that meet the requirements of customers. Using lean production has led to several positive impacts to Portakabin Company.
The process reduces the cost of constructing high building projects. The time between a customer placing an order and the product being ready is shortened, through the use of modern technologies. This leads to predictable construction, which is not affected by weather conditions. Most of Portakabin’s products are delivered on time and on budget as compared to the traditional construction industry. Lead production ensures that projects are constructed faster than the traditional building method (Black, 2008).
The quality management systems adopted by the company ensures that products are of high quality. The lean manufacturing methods ensure that, products are of high quality at every production level. The high quality products create value for customers, hence the demand increases.
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Lean production approach enhances environmentally friendly approach in a world where resources are scarce. Ultima buildings have minimal air leakage hence excellent thermal performance. The production processes do not affect the ozone layer due to insulation materials used in the walls and roofs.
The company has a policy of recycling materials, which is of substantial benefit. The lean production uses factory based construction which is safer than traditional construction sites. Portakabin Company also faces challenges in the use of lean production process. For instance, delay in delivering stocks when using just in time production system affects the next stage of production. Adapting to quality standards takes extra time that adds costs to the company operations.
Lean production has enabled the company to develop advanced building projects which have attracted many customers. It has enabled the company to construct many buildings across the globe. The company has also been able to deliver high quality buildings across the world which meets customer requirement.
The Portakabin lean production method encourages reduction of waste. Installation of completed modules ensures that few workers are needed on site hence creating unemployment. Finally, the lean production process has enabled Portakabin to meet the international standards. This informs the customers that the company is following the right guidelines set by awarding bodies (Black, 2008).
Innovation involves the development of more effective processes, products and technologies that are accepted by the market. It is the use of a new idea. It is the exploitation of new ideas to develop a new product or service. It is a way of doing something better than it has been done.
The main aim of innovation is to achieve business value through developing ideas from mind to market. It results to new business ideas and technological revolutions which lead to wealth creation. Innovation has become significant to most business organizations. In this case, the discussion is about innovation in Toyota Motor Corporation.
Toyota Motor Corporation is a company based in Japan. The Company specializes in automobile and financial businesses. It is the largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. It manufactures several products such as trucks, buses, sports vehicles, minivans among others. The company’s subsidiaries also manufacture vehicles. The main competitors of Toyota Company are Chevrolet, Nissan, Daimler, Chrysler and General Motors.
Toyota Company makes automotive parts for its own use and for selling to other companies. The most common models include Land Cruiser, Corolla, Luxury Lexus and Camry. Asia accounts for almost 40% of Toyota sales (May, 2006). It is also engaged in manufacturing and selling of housings, information and communication businesses. It has 511 subsidiaries and 217 associated companies. Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the most innovate business organizations in the world (May, 2006).
Innovation is one of the driving factors behind Toyota Motors Corporation. The foundation, history and operations of the company are based on the idea of creating innovative ideas and design concepts. It is one of the most profitable companies across the globe. Its market share in the automobile industry is increasing because of its effort, in delivering best innovations.
The company was started in 1898 by Sakichi Toyoda; he started the first steam powered car (May, 2006). It was the first company to develop a break through hybrid car technology in the world. Toyota motors corporation started as Automatic Loom Works. In the early 1900, s company looms were of high quality, low cost and easy to use.
It implements around one million innovative ideas each year. This means that about 2500 new ideas are implemented on a daily basis. For instance, the companies developed a hybrid car in 1997 (May, 2006). The company enhances innovation through systematic pursuit of perfection in every department. For instance, the Lexus vehicles are manufactured to epitomize the form of vehicle design, performance and service satisfaction. Innovation leads to change in attitude and behavior of people.
Toyota Motor Corporation has developed Toyota Prius vehicle, which is spacious and provides all the safety features. The Prius enabled Toyota to get more sales than the leading American car companies in 2007.
The company envisioned the changing environment of increasing cost of gas and pollution. This led to the development of a car which is economical and which is environmental friendly. Toyota Company is an innovative company which establishes alternative sources of energy, new technology of personal transport, and safety systems.
Its vision is to create ideas and concepts to improve Toyota technology (May, 2006). The company continues to develop vehicles that prevent and minimizes the damage of an accident. It uses advanced technology to make vehicles, which are safe for everybody. It develops safe vehicles based on integrated safety management concept.
For example, a pre-crash safety system that predicts a frontal collision, which helps in reducing damages. Toyota Company recognizes the fact that, as time changes transportation needs to change. It has been developing new forms of transportation, which has enhanced flexibility to personal mobility. For instance, it has developed a winglet which supports universal human mobility. Toyota design has also been developing.
The concept of “j-factor” creates values by synergizing various elements. This helps drivers to feel energized and dynamic. As far as environmental technology is concerned, the company has developed, from hybrids and electrical automotive to fuel cell technology.
Electrical cars are compact, spacious, and of great eco-conscious (May, 2006). The fuel cell vehicle uses hydrogen for energy, which is better for the earth and the next stage in vehicle technology. Toyota Motor Corporation has developed intelligent transport systems. These systems make driving safe and more convenient.
Innovation in the company aims at bridging the gap between human interaction and robots. Since 1970s, the company has been developing robots for manufacturing, to improve quality and reduce costs. It has been developing various robots to help people with a combination of caring and intelligence.
The company has also been developing human assisting robots to promote harmonious relationship with people. The company is also known with the idea of concept cars (May, 2006). Yaris HSD concept will be crucial in Toyotas full hybrid roll out strategy in Europe. FT-EV II is a future electrical car which does not emit any gas. FT-86 II concept is driver oriented, and it is designed to help the driver enjoy driving.
The development of Prius started in 1993. This was motivated by the issues of gases emissions and depleting oil resources. The new development was focused on determining, performance and features, maintain consistency with other models. The Prius concept was developed from a scratch. Toyota Motors Corporation used a system approach to innovation for the 2010 Prius.
The company modified many parts of the vehicle to achieve the goal of fuel economy. The car has extensive aerodynamic features. The car is designed to reduce the drag inducing air turbulence. The car has been modified to improve the interference between the car and driver. It provides real time feedback on fuel consumption and power system activity.
The car can be driven in EV-mode or the power mode. The Prius has a solar powered fan on the roof that cools the temperature. Prius development is one of the major innovations of Toyota Motors Corporation. This development has had a massive impact on the Toyota motor corporation today. Toyota is currently working on increasing the number of models in the future.
The development has enabled the company to acquire recognition on groundbreaking innovation. It has also improved the company’s brand image The Company has been ranked among the top environmentally conscious business organizations in the world. Toyota motor Corporation has been ranked 4th among the most innovative companies in the world (May, 2006).
Black, J., 2008, Lean production. Chicago: Industial Press Inc.
May, M., 2006, The elegant solution:Toyota’s formula for mastering innovation. New York: Free Press.