Supply chains are at the heart of modern manufacturing. No company can afford to overlook the slightest possible optimizations in the supply chain that have the potential to make it more resilient and sustainable. Lean supply chains are a promising solution to most of the supply chain management challenges, as they remove all complexity from SCM and make it more efficient and defect-free in the interest of delivering more value to customers. In this article, we will take a look at what lean supply chains are and how to use them for your business optimization.
What is Lean?
Lean is a methodology that aims to eliminate all wastes from processes. Wastes are simply inefficiencies that don’t add any value for the end user or customer. Lean ultimately aims to enable brands to create products and services that can serve customers the best possible way. Wastes include, but are not limited to waiting time, delays, switch overs, overproduction, and poor inventory management.
What are Lean Supply Chains?
A lean supply chain uses lean principles to function in an efficient and resilient manner. Lean removes all unnecessary entities from a supply chain that bloat it without adding customer value. Inefficiencies in the supply chain are a leading cause of excessive business costs, and optimizing the supply chain by using lean principles holds the promise of reducing costs and improving value delivery to customers.
Lean works by first identifying the areas where waste is present, in order to systematically eliminate it. When this is done, goods can be supplied to customers without unnecessary wastes, costs, and losses.
Lean makes supply chains highly flexible and adaptive to changes in market conditions such as delays and demand fluctuations. This is one of the most challenging areas in supply chain management that lean seamlessly helps with.
It’s Time to Embrace Lean for Supply Chain Management
Lean supply chains help businesses remove unnecessary processes that add to waste and storage challenges. This improves profits by cutting down on costs. Customers also get greater value and the time to market is drastically reduced.
Waste reduction also simplifies waste disposal, which further lowers costs. Lean supply chain management also simplifies recycling of the finished goods once customers don’t need them anymore. This helps identify newer and more sustainable sources of materials as well.
Lean supply chains help businesses differentiate their products and services from their competitors, carving a niche for themselves. When redundant processes are removed, customer satisfaction is increased, which also bolsters brand loyalty, increasing customer lifetime value. Satisfied customers will also recommend your optimized products to their friends and family, which further improves your brand’s market value.
Lean organizations can quickly take on new challenges and meet the ever-changing needs of customers in the best way possible.