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Manufacturing Strategy and Lean Manufacturing

Manufacturing strategy can be defined as a set of co-ordinated and planned objectives and actions for a company’s production function, aimed at securing medium and long-term sustainable advantage over its competitors.

The production function requires a strategy to ensure a match between the company’s markets and the existing and future abilities of the production system. A robust manufacturing strategy generally addresses:

  • Manufacturing capacity
  • Production planning/stock control/JIT/materials’ optimisation
  • Organisation and personnel
  • Quality
  • Production facilities
  • Use of technology

It is now generally accepted that the production function is at the heart of a manufacturing company’s success. This strategic approach must be combined with a pragmatic approach to continual improvement at an operational level if a company is to thrive in its chosen markets.

Lean manufacturing is a way of organising the resources of a factory to optimise the output. The theory of lean manufacturing can also be applied to services, the objectives of “lean” being:

  • To identify waste elements in a system (Muda 7 Streams of Waste)
  • To apply Value Stream Analysis to a complex system
  • To be able to identify and implement the 5Ss of lean

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