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Digitising LEAN - Achieving Operational excellence in the Industry 4.0 digital age

LEAN in the workplace today

The current practice of lean is largely undertaken via global consultants.

We have been working with clients globally for 20+ years and have realised the barriers for many organisations in achieving and maintaining operational excellence include:

Companies unable to afford the support they need

SME’s and even large plants/ sites part of large multinational organisations working under tight budgets cannot afford the support they need, meaning they are constantly “firefighting” and have adopted a reactive mindset as opposed to a proactive one.

Lack of value added solutions in the market

There are few digital lean solutions in the marketplace and those that exist are expensive, tool specific and they often do not track or analyse the wider project requirements. SME’s in particular struggle to justify the large outlay for a single tool in what is a vast solution.

Inconsistent approach to lean, leading to inefficiencies

The current consultancy model is flawed by design. Consultants are often taught lean in various differing forms and to different levels of detail. They are then sent to sites globally and asked to implement lean to a standardised level. The outcome between consultants often differs and the organisations lose faith in lean management techniques due to the inconsistency in application and subsequent outcome.

Lack of accountability > improvements are not sustained

The consultancy model is flawed insomuch that consultants visit sites globally (with high carbon impact), spend a couple of days implementing changes and then leave for a month. Site performance is often not tracked in-between visits and so cultural change is difficult to achieve.

Industry 4.0 Solutions

We have started to see disruptors within the industry, including hardware solutions appearing in sites such as smart board technologies, digital sign in solutions as well as tool specific software solutions incorporating kanban, six sigma and other specific techniques.

Within lean management, IoT solutions are in their infancy, however organisations are raising a need to incorporate solutions that can both capture and integrate data across multiple solutions with as many touch points as possible for a complete view of current and potential performance improvement.

An Example

Here at MAS OPEX Digital we saw an opportunity to become the first to market in creating a complete lean solution that encompasses all the tools needed to measure, analyse and improve your project performance in order to embed cultural change to continuous improvement and set you on the path to operational excellence.

See our Ardagh Case Study for more information below.

We have developed OPEX Digital in response to industry needs, it is a digital web app developed to empower consultants and businesses in achieving:

☑ Affordable

Our solution is priced affordably, so no matter how many lean champions your organisation has, you can always incorporate lean to the scale you require at an affordable price.

☑ Consistent

We include a suite of help documentation to help team members achieve consistency through our lean management solutions and our Lean Academy is included with each license so that your lean champions can upskill themselves and achieve CPD certifications.

☑ Sustainable

Our solution is a disruptive to the traditional lean consultancy model, as opposed to hiring expensive consultants who incorporate travel, accommodation and sustenance carbon impact and costs into their bill, our solution promotes an in house, blended or self deployment solution that changes the culture internally, allowing your teams to manage projects with a reduced sustainability impact from the solution implementation, as well as a reduced sustainability impact from your organisation through achieving best practices.

☑ Transparent

Through the solution being self led, team members can measure, analyse and make informed data led decisions to action continuous improvement. Managers can see an overview, and all the tools required to achieve a task offer supporting help documentation if needed, so there is a clear path toward achieving self deployed operational excellence.

What is the future of LEAN?

We envisage the future of lean management across a range of industries to include the following:

Clarity of Process

The future of lean is in clarity of processes through removing the jargon to open the tools of lean management to everyone, within all industries.

We achieve this within our web application with help docs and lean academy training.

Industry and client specific content

We have experienced different requirements in different industries, sites and departments. We believe the future of lean management will be adapted to client needs at all levels to serve them with the lean solution that is right for the organisation.

Our belief in this led to our offering bespoke specific integrations at client request, we can link our data to your existing systems. Our solution allows users to engage only the tools they require as shown in the screenshot below.

IoT linked Solutions

We envisage an improvement in IoT technologies communicating with industry hardware solutions and generating more data points to give a full holistic view of organisation wide performance.

We also envisage improved communication and understanding between people, hardware and software solutions, and anticipate the role of AI to be at the forefront of facilitating the connection between your people and technological solutions.

As an example, we have integrated a digital assistant into our solution and are always looking to implement value added Industry 4.0 IoT technologies within our solution.

Blended approach

Flexibility in application is important for businesses that require the best of human and technological support. Technological solutions should always support your most important assets, your people in achieving operational excellence.

Our web application offers a blended approach, it can be embraced by consultants, wishing to manage progress between visits and help them to enable clients to adopt lean methodologies with independence, in conjunction with expert support.

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