Lean manufacturing which is also called lean production or in some cases as Lean is a manufacturing process where by the all types of waste is reduced significantly. This may include the waste of time or materials. On the other hand, lean production does not only consider the value the end consumer gets but also the elimination of waster in line of production.
Value is what the end user of the product will be willing to pay for. The main aim of lean manufacturing is achieving the value expected with less work and waste. Though lean manufacturing has been adopted by many companies, it was initially used by Toyota (Toyota production System) (Page, 2003).
In lean production, beside eliminating waste, it ensures quality of each and every part that is manufactured is examined soon after is produced so as if there is any defect, its rectified soonest to avoid waste of more time tracing the error after the production of the whole system is completed. The Lean manufacturing has the same characteristics with the Total Quality Management (TQM) strategy. The two strategies work to ensure that those in production line have the highest knowledge on how the system should work (Page, 2003).
Increasing Boeing profits through Lean production
There are several ways Boeing Company can use to increase its profits through the use of lean manufacturing. Since the aim of Lean manufacturing is reduction of was without affecting the quality or value of the product, implementation of this will enable Boeing Company reduce its wastes and make use of them and increase their profits (Larry and Mattie, 2004).
In Boeing Company, there are two main activities that goes through in the company; activities that add value or profit the company and those that do not profit the company.
When the customer orders an airplane from the company, he expects to have a good aircraft and has value that he has paid for, example, if he orders Boeing 737-200 passenger jet, he would not expect to have a cargo jet converted to a passenger jet. Lean production caters for this kind of waste because the time that will be used to manufacture the cargo jet and reconverting to passenger jet would not be wasted if only the company would have waited the customer to give all his specifications. Time that would be wasted reconverting the jet will not be paid for and would definitely be non value activity.
The other thing Boeing company can do to increase its profits through the use of lean production is through examining each and every part that is produced soon after its through before is fixed on the airplane. This will reduce the cost of testing the airplane and eventually will reduce time that could be used trying to track the error on the already completed plane (Holweg, 2007).
Boeing Company can also increase its profits through having workers specialization on one line of production. This will ensure they get knowledge and experience on the specific part and this will reduce the possibility or errors and defects thus saving time and money that would otherwise be used in reproducing the part. This would work positively for Boeing as it has worked for companies like Toyota (Page, 2003).
Lean production eliminates chances of waste of time and materials in line of production. Lean production is aimed at reducing chances of errors and increasing profits in any given company as well as maintaining the quality of the product. Lean production will only give the expected results if it’s well implemented in the company.
Holweg, M. (2007). The genealogy of lean production. Journal of Operations Management 25 (2): 420–437.
Larry, R. and Mattie, W. (2004) Implementing World Class Manufacturing(2nd edition) (Includes Lean Enterprise)Indiana, WCM Associates.
Page, J. (2003) Implementing Lean Manufacturing Techniques; The development of manufacturing technology in the United States, Baltimore, Maryland, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press,