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Lean Is the Pits
Lean lessons emphasize the importance of hiring the professionals who can perform their responsibilities faster than the others. Moreover, the chosen experts have to be team players who embrace the company’s leadership and goals and assess the individual skills and performance as contribution to the collective work. The focus on training and practice, along with planning and attention to details, guarantees the efficiency at work not only to a particular crew, but also to the whole enterprise. The application of new technologies and deep analysis of various processes are essential for the planning and preventing maintenance and, thus, reducing the time and financial costs. The systematic feedbacks help to understand the existent or potential shortcomings and improve the weaknesses in advance. The significance of the lean from NASCAR is in the area of performance of the well-coordinated team with excellent communication, clear goals and strategy, and the implementation of technology.
The latest is a must for any business that aims to lead. Although the greatest lean impact is the spotlight on the highly integrated crew that considers group performance as the most efficient way to achieve the company’s goals.
Lean takes on the skies
The gap between orders and delivery was a serious threat for Boeing. The failing of customers’ expectations could put Airbus, a primary rival, on the front row of theindustry and sweep Boeing out from its leading domain. The major deadlocks that slowed down the process of delivery were the internal and external plights. The inner struggles included a “massive batch-and-queue production system” (Trent, 2008, p. 229) and the previous unsuccessful experience of increasing the production capacities. The external complications were associated with the decrease in the number of suppliers. To overcome the difficulties and secure its superior position in the industry, Boeing initiated the embracement of lean. The enduring process of lean implementation is illustrated by the changes in production of the dual-engine, single-aisle 737 model.
The assembly line of 737s has been modified: during the manufacturing process, the aircraft is moving to the following workstation while the team of workers finalizes its tasks in the process of transportation. Progressing from one to another assembly facility, the employers are supplied with the portable work equipment. Thus, the manufacturing lines “bring people and assemblies to the right place at the right time” (Trent, 2008, p. 232). The construction of empennage has been started on a moving basis as well. These changes have reduced the time of production and expanded the efficiency of the working teams. Also, with the implementation of the lean principles to the plane assembly, the company has cleared floor space that is used for other purposes.
Boeing intends to execute the lean initiatives tested on 737 aircraft to other airplanes that are more commercially demanded, such as the 777 model. Since the assembling of 737 has significant improvement, the company’s plans may be successful.
The Pressure to Perform
The article examines ten innovations that are associated with the lean revolution. These changes in manufacturing help the chosen industries and plants to strengthen their position in comparison with competitors. The authors claim that not every innovation method has been employed in the companies, but, on the other hand, the enterprises adopted the combinations of various methods that have beneficial results as well.
The application of each lean method and its success varies from country to country and depends on the time of implementation. As an illustration, the authors provide the computer aided design (CAD) innovation that was executed and efficiently explored decades after its development. The case can be explained by the general development of computer technology and its availability to the business organizations. Another aspect is linked to the industries’ differentiation and signifies the lack of reliance on a particular industry and a lean innovation. Therefore, the “competitive pressure within an industry does not directly cause the adoption of innovative practice” (Bates, Flynn, & Flynn, 2009, p. 217).
The key factor in the competitive efficiency is a rapid reaction to the most significant rival’s performances. The pressure created by the competitor motivates the companies to implement the particular innovations and go further to forecast the future changes and actions of the rival. The adaptation of the lean innovation by a company creates the pressure on its competitors as well.
The authors suggest that the pressure of cost reduction and implementation of change may be overcome by the focus on the latest issue because cost tensions cannot be avoided. The companies should embrace the lean processes while keeping in mind the scaling down of costs, according to my opinion.
Bates, K. A., Flynn, E. J., & Flynn, B. B. (2009). The pressure to perform: Innovation, cost, and the lean revolution. Business Horizons, 52(3), 215-221.
Trent, R. J. (2008). End-to-end lean management: A guide to complete supply chain improvement. Plantation, FL: J. Ross Publishing.