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How can lean be applied to 20th century fireplaces?


Critically analyse how LEAN has been applied in the business and recommend potential future developments.


Develop an operational strategy and a potential performance management framework that will improve overall competitive advantage. 

Lean strategies

This report highlights the different aspects of Lean strategy and also states the suitability of this strategy in the Twentieth century fireplaces. It must be noted that Principles of Lean are mainly derived from the manufacturing industry of the japan, and this term was first introduced by the John Krafcik in his 1988 article, "Triumph of the Lean Production System". From last many years, lean is considered as set of tools which mainly assist in the identification and also the firm removal of the waste. From the firm removal of the waste, organization is able to improve the quality of the product and also in reducing the cost of production and time.

This report states the mechanism through which lean strategy applied and adopted in the business, and this mechanism focus on the operational strategy of the Twentieth century fireplaces. Twentieth century fireplaces is the business organization which is involved in making fireplaces in many styles such as 1920s art deco fireplaces and classic Edwardian fireplaces design.

Structure of this report includes the method through which lean strategy implemented, advantages and disadvantages of this strategy, etc. Lastly, paper is concluded with brief conclusion.

Generally, Lean manufacturing or lean production is called as lean, and it is considered as regular method of waste minimization within the manufacturing system of the organization without losing the effectiveness in productivity. Lean also includes the waste which is resulted from overload and also through jaggedness in workloads. When organization works from the client’s point of view who consumes that product or service and in this context value is considered as any action or process that any consumer would be willing to pay for (James P. Jones & Roos, 1990).

Lean process helps in add the value in manufacturing process by reducing those things which does not add value. This philosophy of the management is mainly derived from the Toyota Production System (TPS) and identified as "lean" in the year 1990. TPS mainly focus on the reduction of the original Toyota seven wastes for the purpose of improving overall value of the customer, but there are number of different perspectives related to the achievement of these objectives. The growth of Toyota from a small company to the world’s largest automaker has focused on the method through which it achieved its success (Matthias, 2007).

This strategy is known as a crucial element for manufacturing units which help the organization in achieving their set goals and targets. Principles of Lean strategy served the organization as rules and procedures which help the organization in reducing the waste generated through process of manufacturing in the organization (Collis, 2016).

Execution of the principles stated by lean strategy ultimately results in the increase of productivity by reducing the time and cost related to the production. However, it must be noted that not every time execution of lean principles results in positive results, sometime it results in negative consequences also which means reducing the efficiency of the business entity by applying the lean strategies and making unwanted changes in the corporate policies for  implementing lean strategies. Therefore, it can be said that implementation of lean strategies required some particular pronouncements, and the result of this implementation involves some degree of risk. Chances of success and failure, both are present in the implementation of the lean strategy. No particular tools and techniques are present for the purpose of arranging strategies while applying lean in the organization. In other words, achievement of the excellence by applying the suitable tools and techniques is considered as the process of the implementation of lean strategy in the organization, and this implementation ultimately results in two types of consequences that are positive consequences and negative consequences (Emiliani, 2016).

Execution of Lean Strategy

Twentieth Century Fireplaces applied lean strategies in the manufacturing process, and this help the organization in gaining competitive advantage over their competitors, and on other side some factors related to the lean strategy affect the processes of the organization. Twentieth Century Fireplaces applied this strategy for the improving their production process, and for this purpose company mainly focus on reducing the waste from the workplace which automatically increase the productivity of the organization by reducing cost and time of production, and through this company  also gains competitive advantage. Company achieves this result by reducing the waste which ultimately reduces the expenses incurred in waste management and results in increasing quality of the products (LEI, n.d.; Velaction, n.d.).

Implementation of the lean strategy in effective way helps the organization in improving the overall performance of the organization. In case of Twentieth Century Fireplaces, implementation of lean strategy helps the organization in manufacturing fireplaces which are unique from the competitors and this result in increase in demand of the products sold by company in the future. Lean strategy helps the organization in achieving the following outcomes:

Faults identification- in this organization identifies the errors from their operation process and also takes steps in removing these faults from their operation process which ultimately help the organization reducing their waste from manufacturing.

Effectiveness- it also helps the organization in increasing the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the products served by the organization (Strategos, n.d.).

Customer relations- it helps the organization in maintaining the strong relationship with the consumers of the organization, by fulfilling the need and requirement of the consumers. Further, demand related to product manufactured by Twentieth Century Fireplaces increases in the market because of the customer satisfaction achieved by the organization (Byrne, 2017).

As stated above lean strategy results in both positive as well negative consequences. Lean strategy is considered as the concept which helps the organization in producing tailored products which are actually designed and produced for meeting the demands of the users. The Twentieth Century Fireplaces mainly focus on reducing the waste by putting less efforts in this process and workforce which produced effective and quality products. The basic idea behind this is utilization of less space in manufacturing process, less space of storage, and less tools and techniques. Some of the benefits and shortcomings of lean strategies implementation in The Twentieth Century Fireplaces are stated below:

It helps the organization in saving the cost, which means organization can focus on manufacturing the quality products at low cost. For the purpose of achieving this aim organizations implement solutions related to lean strategy such as Win-Man ERP software. This help the organization in saving storage space, and it also reduce the requirements of raw material.

Organization while implementing the lean strategy mainly focuses on increasing the efficiency of the workforce in the organization and because of this intense pressure, workforce of the organization gets frustrated. Generally, organization does not focus on this aspect which later results in high rate of retention.

It also helps the organization in saving the time, which means by using tools and techniques of efficient nature organization focus on achieving the hike in the productivity and this result in running of machinery for lesser time.

Other disadvantage of the implementation of lean strategies is the negative perception of the workforce. As this process help the organization in reducing the need of the workforce and this result in negative impression in the mind of the workforce.

Organization can easily monitor the process and activities taken for waste management. Organization can get this advantage by using the Enterprise Resource Planning solutions which helps the organization in dealing with the loopholes of waste management. Monitoring will be easy from this method (Kokemuller, 2017).

Implementation of lean strategy also required necessary changes in the existing corporate policies which sometimes drive in wrong direction and results in heavy losses to the company (Wood, 2017).

Operational strategy is the tool or framework which is reflected as perfect tool for the purpose of achieving the targets and goals of the organization. for the purpose of identifying the laws in the business, evaluation of the quality of the resources which help in developing appropriate plans of working, and some of these reasons are important because of which it becomes necessary for the organization to frame their operational strategies. From this organization frame the connections between both long term and short term goals and it also helps the organization in executing these strategies in effective manner. Twentieth century fireplaces also develop operational strategies by considering the organization as system in which it is necessary to develop the various interconnecting parts. Twentieth century fireplaces generally used two types of operational strategies and both the strategies are described in detail:

Benefits and shortcomings of lean strategies

Organizations generally have two ways in context of marketing of their products. Firstly, organization can design and produce the products and after that find ways to generate the demands of their products in the targeted market. This can be understood through example, Twentieth century fireplaces can produce and manufactured such products for which there is no need in market and after manufacturing such products they can generate the demand of the consumers for such products by taking help of the attracting advertisements.

Second way for organizations is the manufacturing of the goods after determining the actual need and requirement of the consumer. These products manufactured by organization mainly aim at fulfilling the need and demand of the consumer (Gustafson, n.d.; capko, 2003).

Importance of the strategy- the main aim of any organization by implementing the customer driven strategy is the increase in volume of the sales and also increased profit margins. Customer driven strategy is considered as very useful strategy for any organization and it provides various benefits to the organization. This strategy is considered as contemporary approach and it considered as effective strategy in comparison of traditional strategies. Organization focuses on their customers and end users and considers them most important part of the consumers; because of which organization mainly determine the need and requirements of the consumer for selling their products. For the purpose of evaluating the needs and requirements of the consumer organization consider the offers made by competitors and also analyze the unfulfilled need of the consumers. The most important factor needed for this strategy is the research made by organization while evaluating the needs and requirements of the customers. Various methods are used by the Twentieth century fireplaces for making the research related to needs and requirements of the consumer. However, it must be noted that this strategy not only have advantages by using the strategy, but organization also faces some of the disadvantages related to this strategy. This can also be understood with the help of the example, heavy investment is made by the Twentieth century fireplaces in the research under this strategy will ultimately increase the cost burden on the organization.

Suitable process which must be adopted by the organization while adopting this strategy is stated below:

  • First step includes the development of the customer value proposition, in this propositions all the decisions are taken by the organization at board level and these decisions includes the value which organization decided to deliver their customers in return of their loyalty.
  • Second step includes the employing such workforce which help the organization in maintain strong and friendly relations with the consumer. In other words, organization must conduct trainings for attitude and skills and also try to enhance the communication skills of their employees. All these things ultimately help the organization in developing strong customer relations.
  • Third step includes the treating the employees in well manner, and with this organization can help the employee for being polite with the consumer.
  • Fourth step includes the implementation of Core Program, and in this organization mainly focus on the needs and behaviors of the consumers and also on the internal procedures.
  • Last step of the process includes the Listening to the voice of the customers, and in this company must consider the feedback shared by the customers and take their actions accordingly (Sawantha, 2015).

Core competencies are considered as strength and resources in the company, and these competencies changed as per the business and the industry such as well trained staff, any process and system, strategy, locations of the business, and marketing and financial expertise. By identifying the core competency of the company organization can develop effective process which includes customer satisfaction, product development and building professional relationships with stakeholders.

In case of Twentieth century fireplaces, organization can develop the core competency in waste management by applying the lean strategy in the organization and this also helps the company in getting the competitive advantage over other competitors.

The mechanism of the performance management framework is considered as set of tools which help the organization in enhancing the methods through which through which departments and divisions of the organization are operated. Twentieth Century fireplaces use the PMF for ensuring these three critical elements of the execution cycle of the performance in the organization:

Plan- this element of the execution cycle involves the determination, organizing and arrangement of goals and targets of the organization.

Metrics- in this organization determine the % of achievement of goals and objectives.

Activities- in this organization design and develop the projects for fulfilling their targets and goals (managementstudyguide, 2017).

  • PMF provides the organization a solution related to responsive self-service for managing their business.
  • It also help the organization in establishing and developing the strong arrangements between the strategies framed by the business and the operations of the business which ultimately result in creation of smooth track for executing the performance.
  • It enables the organization in achieving the best performance and also analyzing any loopholes and fixes the issues (Dooren, Bouckaer and Halligan, 2015).
  1. Strategic objectives- first it helps in providing desired services to the consumers in all over the world, and it also includes the introduction of new products which are more innovative in nature to the new market.
  2. Goals-first objective of the organization in this plan includes the improved combination of services provided to public and second objective includes increase in the market share of the company.
  3. Indicators- it state the indicators related to performance outcomes which mainly includes the increment in graph of sales and efficient results (Chang, 2016).

After considering the above facts, it can be said that PMF stats the clarity in context of current performance of the organization, and this current performance connected with the implementation of the lean strategies and other aspects also. This plan also helps the organization in generating the awareness in terms of success of the implementation of lean strategies (Krajewski, Ritzman, and Malhotra, 2013).

This section of the report describes the implementation of the Lean strategy which is already described above in detail, and it must be noted that this plan is divided into five phases. Following is the implementation plan of lean strategy:

  • Stage-it involves the initiative by implementing lean strategy.
  • Outcomes-baseline and level of employment by using the 5S approach which includes Sort, Simplify, Shine, Standardize and Sustain:
  1. Rise in organization productivity.
  2. Rise in quality of the product.
  3. Ensure safety at workplace.
  4. Decrease the cost of manufacturing.
  5. Ensures delivery on time.
  • Process-it includes the following points:
  1. It must be noted that there is no requirement of clearing of items and also the classification of the products, because it helps in managing the products at workplace by creating more space.
  2. It also includes proper configuration which means each and everything must be done in its place, as it helps in avoiding the confusion and chaos.
  3. It is also necessary to identify the areas related to cleaning and set up the routines related to cleaning.
  4. Organization must ensure continuous monitoring process (Mone and London, 2014).

Conclusion:

After considering the above facts, it can be said that lean strategy is an effective process of manufacturing system if it is implemented in efficient and effective manner. As stated above, this strategy is used in the business organization for the purpose of managing the waste and improves the productivity of the organization. Waste management not only improves the productivity of the organization but also helps in gaining competitive advantage to the firm. Minimization of waste helps the organization managing the operations in more effective manner which automatically reduces the cost and time of production. This report mainly includes the implementation process of lean management and strategies in context of Twentieth Century fireplaces.

References:

Byrne, A. (2017). Ask Art: Is Lean a Strategy?. Available at: https://www.lean.org/LeanPost/Posting.cfm?LeanPostId=730. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

Capko, J. 2003, 5 steps to a performance evaluation system, Assessed on 29th December 2017, https://www.aafp.org/fpm/2003/0300/p43.html.

Chang, J.F., (2016). Business process management systems: strategy and implementation. CRC Press.

Collis, D. (2016). Lean Strategy. Available at: https://hbr.org/2016/03/lean-strategy. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

Emiliani, B. (2016). Lean Strategy. Available at: https://bobemiliani.com/lean-strategy/. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

Gustafson, F. 5 Core Operational Strategies. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/5-core-operational-strategies-15488.html. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

James P. Jones, D. Roos, D. (1990). The Machine That Changed the World.

Kokemuller, N. (2017). Advantages & Disadvantages of Lean Production. Available at: https://bizfluent.com/about-5418429-advantages-disadvantages-lean-production.html. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

Krajewski, L.J., Ritzman, L.P. and Malhotra, M.K., (2013). Operations management: processes and supply chains (Vol. 1). New York, NY: Pearson.

LEI. What Is Lean?. Available at: https://www.lean.org/WhatsLean/. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

Managementstudyguide, (2017). Benefits of performance management system, Assessed on 14thh August 2017, https://www.managementstudyguide.com/benefits-of-performance-management-system.htm.

Matthias, H. (2007). "The genealogy of lean production". Journal of Operations Management. 25 (2): 420–437. doi:10.1016/j.jom.2006.04.001.

Mone, E.M. and London, M., 2014. Employee engagement through effective performance management: A practical guide for managers. Routledge.

Productivity. Lean Strategy. Available at: https://www.productivityinc.com/operational-excellence/lean/consulting-services/lean-strategy/. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

TABLE

Sawatha, L, 2015, 11 performance management practices everyone should know, Assessed on 14th August 2017, https://atmanco.com/blog/hcm/11-performance-management-best-practices/.

Shpak, S. Advantages & Disadvantages of Lean Production. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-amp-disadvantages-lean-production-46696.html. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

Strategos. Six General Steps to Lean Strategy. Available at: https://www.strategosinc.com/lean_implementation2.htm. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

Van Dooren, W., Bouckaert, G. and Halligan, J., (2015). Performance management in the public sector. Routledge.

Velaction. Lean Strategy. Available at: https://www.velaction.com/velaction-continuous-improvement/lean-solutions/lean-strategy/. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

Wood, L. (2017). Disadvantages of Lean Manufacturing. Available at: https://bizfluent.com/list-6025715-disadvantages-lean-manufacturing.html. Accessed on 29th December 2017.

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