We've written a lot lately about lean manufacturing and how it can help make the infrastructure value chain more productive. We are applying lean principles internally and have developed Idencia's features to make it a useful tool for implementing lean practices.
Taiichi Ohno, one of the early principals of the lean production movement said: “Where there is no standard there can be no Kaizen” (continuous improvement). Developing a standard requires data, which in turn requires measurement. This is often the primary challenge in manufacturing systems that are not supported by technology since counting and other measuring processes are prone to human error.
Starting in the 1970s, technology companies began offering Management Resource Planning (MRP) systems with the thought that organizing production planning with information technology would enable better decisions and therefore more efficient manufacturing. Obviously there was benefit to this because these systems sold and flourished.
But, as Pascal Dennis states in Lean Production Simplified:
"Even the best MRP system loses touch with that actual condition on the shop floor."
One of the fundamental premises of lean manufacturing is that manufacturing flow must be managed in strict accordance with customer demand. This is how over-investment in inventory is avoided, as we wrote in Lean Manaufacturing for Inventory Control.
Idencia fits this perfectly. At its essence, it is a data collection system on the factory floor. It uses RFID tags or barcodes for product tracking during manufacture and after. Up until this week, the system was designed primarily to record the production process. But with the recent release of v1.6, Idencia is a more complete system for tracking information from production throughout the entire manufacturing process, including features that enable:
- Inventory counting
- Shipment management and
- Delivery verification, among other tasks.
As such, Idencia is a great technology tool for establishing manufacturing standards and producing data that can readily contribute to continuous process improvement through implementation of lean practices.
If you are considering implementation of lean practices in your company, check out 17 Ways Lean Manufacturing Increases Profits and Wins Bids, our report on lean manufacturing for concrete manufacturers. If you would like to discuss how Idencia can call, request a conversation. We'll be happy to discuss.