Lean manufacturing is the practice of eliminating waste in the manufacturing process, where “waste” is defined as any aspect of the process that does not contribute directly to customer value. While the concept has been around for 60 years (starting with the Toyota Production System (TPS)), Lean expectations have only recently begun to trickle down to low- to mid-volume, high-mix (LVHM) manufacturing service providers.
A challenge for LVHM contract manufacturers (like OCM Manufacturing) who wish to adopt Lean principles is that one of our core value adds is flexibility. Our business is characterized by numerous customers and varied product types that require frequent process set-up changes and diverse materials inventories. Agility has always been one of our most valuable assets, but it runs somewhat counter to the strict adherence of any process control standard, including Lean.
However, as many organizations have discovered, TSP is not a once-size-fits-all methodology. Rather, it must be tailored to fit a particular industry or company. At OCM, we believe that it is possible to be both Lean AND agile, and we have begun to pursue a lean initiative. After successfully completing our first Kaizen event, we are confident that we can become one of the world’s first Lean contract manufacturers (CM) of LVHM products.
Given our track record of successful innovation, we have every reason to be positive. We were the first CM in the region to be lead-free ready, we are a 90% paperless operation, and we were the first to provide managed offshore CM services to smaller OEMs and LVHM product lines.
Coupled with the expansion of our manufacturing operations (a second SMT line and full-system assembly services will be online in Q3), we are improving our capabilities, capacity, service levels and cost structures to benefit you.