Lean Manufacturing

With everyone worrying about how they will get through the recession, minimizing potential costs in every aspect of the supply chain becomes important. In the past, it was easier to accept a larger ship window because of lower shipping costs and holding on to inventory meant that customers would have their products ahead of when they ordered it. Many times freight forwarding services from international shipping companies would include plans to shorten the ship window, but then sales and marketing teams would fight this for the sake of their customers.  Just in time inventory has been around for a long time, but with all of the cutbacks, the concept of lean manufacturing has become a key point in growing retail businesses today. Not only is there a shorter ship window, but companies are not laying out the cash that they once did which leaves them with more money to work with in growing their sales. As much as people have been looking to reduce the price of their global shipping services, strictly planning production and lowering inventory levels has become just as important as getting the cheapest international shipping rates

Going lean can also help to unify a company. People working with a six sigma program go through the steps of process improvement together as a team trying to decrease time and resources spent at each part of the process. This alone can be a valuable tool to bring the company together at a stressful time. Not only will they be more accepting of changes if they are directly involved, but they will be more loyal since they feel more like they are a part of the company.  If done correctly, a lean company will see increased growth and better relationships with both their shipping partners as well as their employees.