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Electronics Production | March 10, 2008

'Lean' eats up valuable working hours

Intensive, effective and no squander – three goals that ‘Lean-Production’ aims to accomplish. A report in the Danish magazine ‘Ingeniören’ however shows that Lean wastes a big chunk of valuable working time.
‘Lean’ is often used as a hypernymn for more effective processes, time-efficiency and a better production process. The report however shows that Lean means longer working hours and additional work.

You need to invest time to reduce time. Paradoxically both, personnel and management, noticed that Lean has meant more work and longer hours, since it was first introduced two years ago.

The Danish manufacturing company Linak has implemented the new structures into the production process. However, loss of time and additional work still exist. This can be mainly attributed to the fact that other divisions do not work to the same principles.

42% of the questioned engineers told Capacent Epinion, that Lean meant that the loss of time had increased or had stayed the same. 40% believe that their workload also increased. This is hardly surprising for Ivar Friis, lecturer at the commercial college in Copenhagen. He believes that managers forget that Lean also means increased labour costs. Their staff has to schedule more time for meetings and timetables. "The time that staff members notice most as waste, are those when no results are immediately apparent. The tendency to bureaucratise Lean and burden it with detailed analyses will eventually drain most benefits of this working method“.

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