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Lean Production at Riordan Manufacturing

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mweisenburg
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Lean Production at Riordan Manufacturing
OPS 571

Lean Production According to Chase, Jacobs, & Aquilano (2006), “Lean production is an integrated set of activities designed to achieve high-volume production using minimal inventories of raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods” (p. 471). According to lean philosophy, parts move quickly through the manufacturing process in a “just in time” method. The logic behind lean is that nothing is produced until it is sold and needed. Currently Riordan’s entire supply chain methodology is responsive and flexible to their customer’s needs, but they are not practicing lean techniques. Riordan assembles and stores finished fans in a finished goods stockroom awaiting sale. In order to improve quality and productivity and focus more on lean production, Riordan must focus on eliminating waste.
One way to eliminate waste is through mass customization. “The key to mass-customizing effectively is postponing the task of differentiating a product for a specific customer until the latest possible point in the supply network… By adopting such a comprehensive approach, companies can operate at maximum efficiency and quickly meet customers’ orders with a minimum amount of inventory” (Chase, Jacobs, & Aquilano, 2006, p. 419). By designing their fans so the customization is done at the very end of the manufacturing process, Riordan can still achieve a high level of production while reducing safety stocks and finished goods inventory.
If Riordan were to embrace mass customization, they would be able to utilize a more “just in time” inventory system. Riordan purchases their electric motors and plastic polymers locally. By improving their forecasting and working closely to build partnerships with their suppliers, Riordan should be able to order small batches of motors or polymers more frequently thereby...

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