If in late 80`s Lean approach in manufacturing industry mostly appealed to reduction of waste, now principles of Lean management progressed far beyond to green approach and full optimization of all processes in supply chain which affect businesses flexibility by all means. Today we talk about the New Lean approach. And it fits well to the manufacturing and to the logistics services providers as well.
What the New Lean understanding truly means? If all parties of supply chain industry strive for better results reducing waste and tailoring services and production towards changing needs of end-customer. New Lean – means forward looking supply chain were waste reduction processes are taken from more general approach and all parts are driven further to be leaner, quicker and more agile for upcoming tailoring. More flexible the business operates, more efficient the outcome is. It is estimated that current technological advances such as industrial robots, self-driving vehicles, all solutions for business management helps to increase the operational productivity by 66%. Business development experts from international transportation and logistics holding AsstrA Associated Traffic AG describes key elements of new Lean business system.
Optimization is a core of the New Lean system
One of the biggest new Lean challenge is integration of separate business operations to united, fully optimized system where all parts including production, marketing, distribution and transportation perform efficiently.
“In order to make all components of business operating in supply chain work leaner, you must ensure that not only waste optimization has been adequately set up in your inner operational structure, but all other parts also work efficiently for higher profitability means. Full operational optimization helps to reduce waste, save expenses and get better ROI”, - says AsstrA COO, Denis Gural.
Moreover, new Lean is not just about cutting waste – it is mostly about finding the best way to remove waste and often the way to do so is not to have what to cut. Agile forecasting of supply and demand changes of particular product allows to plan production volume more accurately then the waste is eliminated. Another way to get the production leaner is to adopt technological advances helping to have fully tailored for end-customer`s needs production amounts: usage of robotics and alternative manufacturing which is still on development like 3D printing and similar small scale manufacturing options can finely serve for leaner results of an enterprise.
“Full optimization of business processes in supply chain means the commitment that it is a never ending process and improvements can not the once set and forgotten: be prepared for definition, redefinition and constant agility improvements. Cause sole technological or structural solution for waste reduction do not exist”, - adds D. Gural.
New Lean integration into whole supply chain
New Lean approach requires agility improvements implemented in whole supply chain system. From manufacturing, carrier to vendor – all parties should work for the sake of waste elimination. Transportation services providers are the link between other supply chain members on which the speed of delivery, final execution and conformity for demand depends. New Lean approach for transportation and logistics industry is nothing new – whilst companies are yet slow to adopt modern IT and robotics solutions to their operational core.
“In order to adequately correspond for lean manufacturer needs, transportation services provider must be fully technologically and structurally prepared for a speedy performance of shipping processes. Developed routes, up-to-date and modernly equipped transport vehicles and ability of transportation provider to be where the manufacturer or vendor needs it – are three main elements for transportation business to be lean”, - comments D.Gural.
For it`s Partners in supply chain, AsstrA organizes value stream where raw materials are being shipped to the manufacturer, where they are processed to a final product and then AsstrA transports goods to the vendor, where final customer gets it. The goal for the New Lean leader is to balance the work in the supply chain system to fully optimized processing where a profit margin is at it`s highest.
“Resource efficiency and delivery speed form optimal balance of excess capacity. By producing little bit less, you can get much more output and do it much faster, that`s a magic trick. Time is money in innovation. Build quality into your system: for example in low-volume manufacturing BIM is a life-changer and in any other industry the routine could be automated by technology. Absorb the knowledge from the surrounding world and implement it into your business faster than your competitors does – that is our golden rule”, - says D.Gural.
While working in a multicultural environment, transportation and logistics services provider AsstrA collected much of experience and knowledge created through innovation efforts. Having implemented newest logistics management systems, renewed and eco-wisely planned transport vehicles park, automated solutions for cargo leading documentation and navigation of cargo movement on a real time basis – these indicators helps to serve for the lean supply chain goals.
“Building relationships, measuring transportation performance and cross-function thinking are essential between manufacturer or vendor and transportation provider. To build a lean supply chain, enterprises should work on long-term relationships with a carriers and 3PL providers in order to stabilize the performance of whole supply chain of particular goods. 25 years of experience in global transportation of AsstrA has proven that the leaner and better tailored industry`s results depend a lot on stable, on-going and committed work of all parts of supply chain. Trust between different members of the supply chain is a key to success”, - concludes D.Gural.
Now AsstrA operates in all European and Asian regions with a recent and strong expansion into Central Asian and especially Chinese supply chain markets. Having on-ground units in 16 different countries and geographically covering more than 70 different countries with a developed transportation routes ensures leaner adjustment to general supply chain parties needs.