How manufacturing employers are getting lean

11/07/2015 7:210 commentsViews: 2

Usage of lean manufacturing components and programs is on the rise among manufacturing and distribution companies, with more than 71% utilizing a 5S methodology.

This is among the findings of Compdata’s 2015 Compensation Data Manufacturing & Distribution survey, which reflects the sentiments of more than 25,000 manufacturers and distributors across the country. Resulting in a summary of pay data, benefits information and pay practices, the survey collected detailed information about the usage of lean workplace organization methodologies like 5S.

Named for the Japanese words for sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain, 5S is among six lean manufacturing programs surveyed, all of which saw an increase in usage over what employers reported in 2014. With 71.3% of employers reporting use of 5S, the program is the lean manufacturing program of choice. The program options surveyed and their reported utilization are:

● 5S is utilized by 71.3% of employers. This is the highest rate of usage reported for 5S in the past 5 years.
● Kaizen is utilized by 60.2% of employers, up from 56.4% in 2014.
● Kanban is utilized by 38.3% of employers, up from 36.6% in 2014.
● Six Sigma is utilized by 63.3% of employers. This is the highest rate of usage reported for Six Sigma in the past 5 years.
● Takt Time Analysis is utilized by 22.7% of employers, up from 22.5% in 2014.
● Value Stream Mapping is utilized by 46% of employers, up from 42.9% in 2014.

“A well-executed lean manufacturing program does more than reduce waste and expense from the supply chain,” said Amy Kaminski, vice president for Compdata Surveys & Consulting. “It adds value for the company as well as the employee. When employees have a clear and accountable role that adds value for the customer, it can increase employee satisfaction and retention.”

According to Kaminski, the 2011 edition of the survey indicated high usage for each program as the economy emerged from the recession seeking to cut waste. Still, until this year, 5S had been declining, from 68% in 2011 to 66% in 2014. Then it jumped this year, keeping pace with the other programs, most of which increased between 2% and 5%. Takt Time Analysis held level.

“In talking to customers, they generally use more than one of these tools,” Kaminski said. “5S is the most common, and seems to be an easier choice for organizations new to concept. For those looking to make a switch, it is more popular and there is a wealth of support tools.”

Salaries for qualified professionals with lean credentials have held steady over last three years, according to Kaminski. “The trend is that it’s following with most manufacturing and distribution positions, with no sharp inclines or decreases almost anywhere – with the exception of some high-tech engineering titles. With manufacturing, the average increase is 2.9%, and the same is projected for next year. There’s just not a lot of movement.”

Lean Black Belt
Initiates and implements process design changes by educating and coaching others on process improvement philosophy, tools, and application under the direction of a Master Black Belt. Mentors Green Belt candidates. Prepares analyses and presents information on improvement opportunities including each project’s financial impact and savings. Works across organizational barriers to facilitate effective project completions. Bachelor’s degree and Six Sigma Black Belt training certification required.

Lean Black Belt – Master
Develops and executes the organization’s Six Sigma process improvement programs to eliminate waste and deliver the accompanying financial benefits. Identifies projects and goals and develops project plans in coordination with senior management. Functions as an internal consultant for the organization. Leads large cross-functional teams to drive standardization, stability, and simplification in processes. Trains and mentors Black Belts and Green Belts. Bachelor’s degree and Master Black Belt training certification required.

Lean Champion
Leads the implementation of lean manufacturing principles throughout the organization. Works with management, customers, suppliers, and others to identify and facilitate key projects that will improve quality, reduce costs, improve cycle time, and provide the optimum benefits to customers and the business through waste reduction. Trains production teams in lean manufacturing initiatives such as Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, Takt Time Analysis, and Kaizen. Manages project activities including communication, project timeline, meeting facilitation, data gathering, data processing utilizing lean tools, and solution implementation and follow-up. Bachelor’s degree in engineering required and five years experience.

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