The SBR lean transformation
model starts with the most fundamental goal for any business to make a
profit. As indicated previously, competitive markets typically set the sales
price. An attempt to increase the price could reduce customer demand.
Therefore, cost reduction is the only real option for a company in such a
position. The best method to achieve this is through a lean transformation,
whose aim is the eradication of wasteful activities.
In order to maintain a profit,
a business must aim to function in an environment of:
Total quality. All people are involved with building
quality into a product.
Zero defects. Defects are detected, contained, and
rectified at their source.
Lowest possible manufacturing costs. Resources are used
efficiently at varying levels of demand.
Minimum order-to-delivery lead times. Product flows
through the value stream in minimum time.
Delivery reliability. Low and consistent lead times ensure
quick response to demand fluctuations.
Effective human resource management. Employees feel
empowered to take a proactive role in improving operations in the workplace.
Stable employee relations. A company culture with long
term job security fosters continuous improvement efforts.
Most organisations try to
satisfy these aspirations through the creation of quality, operating and people
systems. However, these systems are normally created and managed in isolation
often leading to inefficiencies. For example, an emphasis solely on improving
operations by increasing output could have a detrimental effect on quality.
The solution to this problem is
the introduction of a lean manufacturing methodology that combines the three
previously independent systems into a single, coherent system. Within the
single system, the goals of the business systems are aligned leading to optimal
benefits. This is enabled by maximising people contributions with the goal of
Processes and effects
The lean manufacturing
methodology comprises five key processes. Each of the five key processes aims
to identify and then eradicate some of the seven types of waste. The five
People are at the heart of an organisation. The success and
sustainability of the lean transformation often depend on the organisations
ability to adapt to the people issues involved in managing change. This was
achieved at Fords (Jaguar) Halewood plant through the introduction of the
Gateway or Partnership process
Support systems are necessary to provide operational stability.
Examples of support systems include programmes such as workplace organisation
and total productive maintenance.
Flexible manpower systems are a factory wide method for optimising
labour productivity across varying levels of customer demand by moving people
between flexible manpower lines.
Autonomation is the principle of stopping a manufacturing process
when abnormalities are detected through either intelligent automation or manual
means. Abnormalities are any form of deviation from a standard process.
Just-in-time (JIT) is often interpreted as conveying the right parts
on time. However, JIT is actually manufacturing and conveying the right
number of parts at the right time, quantity and in the shortest possible lead
Each process breaks into a number of
elements. For example, the support systems process is composed of workplace
organisation, total productive maintenance (TPM), and process measurement &
review. Each element has a direct relationship with several types of waste, as
illustrated by the circles in the matrix of figure 2.
As new processes are fully
implemented, waste should drastically reduce from the manufacturing
environment. These operational improvements increase the businesss ability to
meet the specified business needs, leading to an increase in customer
satisfaction. This helps to strengthen the overall competitiveness of the
Sustainability and continuous improvement
When improvements are maintained, the current state will quickly become the
normal operating system. However, this normal operating system cannot be
static. It should be continually challenged and then improved through the lean