Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

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Made-to-Order Lean: Excelling in a High-Mix, Low-Volume Environment

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Made-to-Order Lean: Excelling in a High-Mix, Low-Volume Environment

Low Volume Manufacturing often appears contrary to ‘Lean’ Methodologies, though if you look at the Toyota Production System (which had some of its roots in a Job Shop, but instead became famous for the remarkable results in high-volume manufacturing plants), one must return to the principals (not the high publicized tools) to better understand its correct application in high-mix, low-volume environments.

Made to Order Lean is based on years of successfully adapting lean methodologies into Job Shops. This book is specifically geared for manufacturers that have hundreds to thousands of active part numbers with few or no ongoing forecasted volumes, and for job shops that build only to order. The primary focus is eliminating non-value-added activities and instituting improvements on the most repetitive jobs, a strategy that gives you more time to produce your low-volume work or one-offs.

The book focuses on operational process improvement, but also dedicates 3 chapters to improving indirect (transactional) processes, which are a more intricate portion in these organizations and account for significant cost & lead time in high mix environments.

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