How Lean Methodology Leads to a Sustainable Print Company
Continual improvement is a goal for all print companies looking for future success. To become a sustainable company one needs to cut unnecessary costs and waste generated by doing business. Removing cost and waste may seem like simple things to do but finding the necessary changes and implementing these changes requires time and effort. A method used to accomplish this goal is lean manufacturing.
Lean manufacturing is a continuous improvement practice that focuses on waste reduction. Waste in its simplest form is anything that is excessive and consumes resources. It can also be referred to as non-value-added activities that do not add value to the end product (Rizzo, 2008, 58). Sustainability on the other hand recognizes a print company’s capability to satisfy the 3 dimensions: people, profit and environment (Wirtenberg, 2013). These three dimensions are referred to as the triple bottom line (TBL). Even when a business is making a profit, anything that does not create value for customers, fulfill employees’ needs, and benefit the environment is wasteful and must be restructured to eliminate non-value-added activities (Wandiga, 2013).This is the philosophy of lean manufacturing; a beneficial concept that can help reduce the amount of wasted resources in a company and contribute to its sustainability.
Knowing the theories behind lean and sustainability is not enough, print companies need to know how to implement