Lean manufacturing isn\u2019t something manufacturers can achieve overnight; and it\u2019s certainly not a one-and-done process executed in a vacuum. To the contrary, waste elimination is achieved through enterprise-wide \u201clean thinking\u201d and continuous, thoughtful improvement.\n\n\nHere are four \u201cmusts\u201d that will ensure your ongoing success in lean manufacturing.\n\n\n1.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Stability and Standardized Work\n\n\nStability throughout the organization can be gained through a document control system (DCS) and workflow management engine. This ensures that relevant, accurate information is accessible to every operator at every work center. That includes standardized work instructions, inspection check sheets, and quality control plans, to name just a few.\n\n\n2.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Continuous Improvement\n\n\nEnd-to-end problem control and corrective actions\/preventative actions (CAPA) help to identify issues before they occur and more easily correct problems should they occur. Actively working to reduce and control problems throughout the organization is the very core to continuous improvement.\n\n\n3.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Quality First\n\n\nControl plans and Failure Mode and Effect Analyses (FMEAs) are essential for a reliable quality program that covers the entire enterprise from the plant floor to the shop floor. Your organization\u2019s ERP system should be able to validate the source of inventory to ensure proper usage of raw material. Insight into statistical process control (SPC) and supplier quality provide additional strength to quality objectives.\n\n\n4.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Just in Time (JIT) Scheduling\n\n\nJIT scheduling helps you keep production and the supply chain running smoothly, so your inventory remains at an optimal level. JIT scheduling even helps manufacturers prevent too much standing inventory and reduces scrap\u2014a must in any manufacturing environment.\n\n\nGR Spring and Stamping is one manufacturer that implemented a continuous improvement program and was able to become more efficient, achieving significant cost savings in the process. Check out the details. The company ultimately saved upwards of $1.2 million, so it\u2019s definitely worth the read!