Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Successes of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma: A Case Study


Those who deal with Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing on a frequent basis will be fully aware of the benefits they can have for businesses; dramatic improvements in quality and service, improved customer satisfaction and improved reliability, are just to name a few. 

But, it’s rare that individuals looking to learn more about the philosophy of these techniques actually get to hear about real life examples, of how these processes have contributed to the rising success of a company. 

In construction and engineering, the process of Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing is key. Its adoption allows for maximum durability and quality for many hardwearing operative products that require use on a day-to-day basis, under all weather conditions. It’s because of this that many engineering companies are now looking to adopt these processes in their production strategies. 

But, it’s not just the consumer that benefits from these processes. As this case study featuring the manufacturing company Midlake Products shows, the pros of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma can contribute to significant growth of a company itself. If you’re looking to find out more about how the processes can contribute to your business, here’s how it worked for Midlake Products: 

Quality and Reputation 
Midlake Products and Manufacturing is a privately held, family owned business, which was established in 1987. With custom hinges, metal fabrications and metal finishing acting as the main foundations of the business, the company has gone from strength-to-strength and now services all trades from the marine industry to self-service industries. 

Midlake Products continue to practice and embrace the philosophy for Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing, and it’s these that they believe have been the key contributors to the success of their products. 

By investing in Six Sigma technology that seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing defects, Midlake Products minimize any variability in their manufacturing. It’s through this that Midlake can continually meet their important quality policy, which strives to provide products to their customers, which meet or exceed their expectations. The further use of quality management methods and tools, including a special infrastructure of people consisting of “Black Belt” or “Green Belt” experts, means that Midlake’s customers always benefit from outstanding quality and reliability products. 

And as previously stated, it’s not just Midlake’s customers that benefit from these features. By striving to provide the highest quality products possible, Midlake has earned itself a positive reputation and superior competitive position within the industry as a result. As any business owner will know, these traits often result in increased sales and profits, often brought by both current and prospective customer loyalty. 

Financial Benefits 
All Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing projects carried out within an organization consist of a defined sequence of steps and quantified financial targets, in order to help reduce costs or increase profits for the company as a whole. It’s these that equate to substantial financial benefits for the company that adopts the techniques into their manufacturing strategies. 

Lean Manufacturing in particular, considers the expenditure of resources by working from the perspective of the customer who consumes the product, and the company that creates it. The final product is value for both parties; value relating to the price the customer wants to pay for a high quality product, and value of product costs for the company. 

In the example of Midlake Products, their journey to effectively implement these financial targets by lowering costs for themselves whilst maintaining quality for the consumer, is ongoing - and one that has significantly contributed to their success as a result.

About the Author:
This article was written by Kathryn Thompson, an experienced freelance writer. Kathryn specializes in providing real-life business examples of the benefits of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma, such as in the case of Midlake Products and Manufacturing. Midlake Products and Manufacturing is a privately held, family owned business, which was established in 1987. With custom hinges, metal fabrications and metal finishing acting as the main foundations of the business, the company has gone from strength-to-strength and now services all trades from the marine industry to self-service industries. 


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1 comment:

  1. I am currently working in Lean department of an organization striving to implement Lean. Here we are very good at Lean but nothing has been done so far regarding six sigma. Hopefully we 'l start incorporating six sigma with lean.

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