The ability of CI programs to deliver a more effective operating system through lowering costs, and improving performance and quality is a well-established fact.
The ability of Continuous Improvement / Lean Manufacturing programs to deliver a more effective operating system through lowering costs, and improving performance and quality is a well-established fact. How manufacturers and service organisations in particular embrace continuous improvement as an opportunity to deliver a sustainable competitive advantage has been found in a number of academic studies carried out in recent years (Bessant et al., 2001; Bicheno and Holweg, 2008; Melton, 2005).
At practical lean solutions the typical benefits arising from a successful Continuous Improvement Implementation we have witnessed at first hand are in the order of:
- Reductions in manufacturing cycle time of >50%
- Reductions in work-in-process inventory of >80%
- Increases in productivity of >120%
- Reduction in rework and scrap of >60%
- Increase in machine overall equipment effectiveness from 64% to 85%
All these improvements have particular relevance for Irish manufacturers who face challenges from internal and external competitors operating in low cost economies. The good news is that such improvements are very achievable when employees at levels embrace lean manufacturing tools, systems and principles.
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