The goal of every entrepreneur is to obtain the desired result in the most efficient way possible. In other words, it means making the customer satisfied with the service offered by minimizing the activities that have no value for them. At Flexofem we believe that the right way to organize a company is the lean methodology.
We believe in the lean approach because it not only allows us to eliminate waste and reduce management costs, making us more competitive in the market, but because it offers a great focus on the human component of the business: on both the customer and the employee side.
But let us take a step back.
What is the lean method and where does it come from
The lean methodology is a strategy that characterized the Toyota production system, the famous TPS and yes, it was born in the automotive sector in the period immediately following the Second World War.
The Japanese engineers understood that in order to grow their newly established company and lead it to compete with the giants of the automotive industry — a goal achieved in 30 years — they would have to create a lean production system that minimized waste.
Hence the awareness that a process can be completed in a great variety of ways, but only a few allow to achieve the result in a short time and without unnecessary waste.
However, it is not just a matter of mere trials. The lean methodology focuses on the person behind those processes.
It means that the people who work are not just machines that get the job done. They are human beings with a thinking mind, and that mind is good to operate in the service of a greater process.
The concept of kaizen indicates just that. It requires a positive change in the approach to work.
In the lean methodology, each resource is indeed responsible both for completing the work and for analyzing it to understand which activity has no value.
This is therefore a real revolution in the way a company is managed and at Flexofem we fully embrace this philosophy. Each resource must be responsible for improving their own process.
How to apply the lean method in a company
One of the basic principles of the lean method is fail fast, learn faster. In fact, learning derives from failure, and failure without learning is a double failure.
The search for perfection of the single process, which involves the entire company staff, also involves the possibility of making mistakes and consequently of learning.
In this way, all the resources are called to actively get involved and grow the company.
Each activity must therefore be carefully analyzed by the managers to understand if it led to the desired results or if it turned out to be just a waste of time and resources.
What are effects on the production
The decrease in waste leads to enormous savings on the total cost of the process but above all, as we like to focus on, it values the same employee who, feeling more responsible for his process, will be led to give his best, therefore obtaining improvements even on the production.
One of the principles of the lean method is also that demand must drive production. In this way, no waste is created — i.e. activities with no value for the end customer — avoiding the production and storage of products waiting for a demand.
Dealing with flexographic printing machinery, this principle is highly suitable for our case.
What the lean method means to us
At Flexofem we have adopted the lean method not only for a demand-driven production, but also in the field of human resources, in which each employee is responsible for their process and seeks continuous improvement.
Not only that. We wanted to follow the lean method also in Flexofem production logistics.
This lean structure allows us to reduce costs, not even remotely affecting the quality of the product offered on the market.
An innovative business organization like this (link art. Flexofem business organization) allows us to intensively manage a component that we believe makes the difference in the business: the customer service. In fact, our customer service follows the customer in the assistance phase (link art. Manage assistance: platform) for the entire duration of the customer journey.
We are therefore able to be competitive in the market and offer very attractive prices.
Lean production in Flexofem
Flexofem production also follows lean logics.
We make sure that we always have a constant and profitable dialogue with the workforce to understand every day which activities have value and which do not, and what therefore can be improved.
An attitude of this type is even more important if we consider that the products we offer to customers are extremely complex machines that are highly customized to everyone’s needs.
Finally, the lean approach that we have in Flexofem also allows us to be flexible when there is a change in the order or in the market because we are very quick to acknowledge the changes and transmit them to the entire company staff.