At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we continually strive to improve our services and practices as a contract manufacturer. A significant part of how we improve is with the feedback of our customers, our partners, and our own employees. Taking feedback into account is the first step in improving our operations, expanding our role in the industry, and meeting our customers’ needs. The next step in that process, however, is analyzing the feedback we receive and understanding how to develop new practices where needed. Once new practices are developed, the final step is determining how to implement these best practices without compromising other systems. This method of improvement is a largely cyclical process of gaining feedback, making improvements, and diagnosing the performance of the changes and operations floor overall. The most effective way to establish a system that enacts that cycle is to embrace lean innovation concepts for contract manufacturing.
While most industry players have a deep understanding of implementing lean manufacturing and a general definition of lean innovation practices, they don’t always know that today’s idea of lean innovation is a much newer concept. Lean innovation is targeted to the design and engineering processes more so than the manufacturing process itself.
What is lean innovation?
Five key phases need to be taken into account when applying lean innovation practices for today’s production world.
- Listen: Receive feedback from your customers at various integrals in the timeline of product function.
- Target: Find where the issue is from an engineering standpoint, taking into consideration all stress and factors of the customer’s facilities.
- Solve: Develop a solution for the targeted issue.
- Prototype: Using precision-based tactics, create a prototype to replace any parts and assemblies that posed an issue.
- Test: Implement rigorous testing practices on the prototype before generating a final product.
How does it work for contract manufacturing?
In the world of contract manufacturing, implementing lean innovation concepts for improving previous projects or altering any final components past the build phase can be difficult. This is partly because many products are uniquely tailored to customer specifications and partly because it may not be helpful to rethink past projects that won’t need to be produced again. On the other hand, lean innovation results can be universal within a component or full assembly function. For example, if a customer needs a product that is new to your engineers, lean innovation tactics come in by taking into account feedback from past projects that used similar components. This can be as simple as a threaded screw design that needed correction from a failure after years of use.
Lean innovation is a largely generalized process we are all doing a little bit all the time. However, when it comes to targeting issues and improving in something like precision contract manufacturing, it can be incredibly important to break each phase down into as much detail as possible. To learn more about our services, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information or request a quote online today.