How to apply Lean Manufacturing in contract production

The management of contract productions is very complex. Today it is possible to introduce Lean Manufacturing methodologies in companies that produce on order and despite today’s demanding and variable market, thanks to the support of advanced tools for production planning.

Whatis Lean Manufacturing?

The term Lean Manufacturing refers to a business strategy that involves the entire organization, which aims at the total elimination of waste. The promises of Lean Manufacturing are to obtain the highest level of quality, with all deliveries respected and the best possible price.

Lean Manufacturing in contract production

The production systems where the classic Lean system is traditionally applied successfully are those characterized by low product variability and high production volumes. Extending lean to environments characterized by a variable mix of products and low production volumes is very difficult. In environments with contract management or where the product mix is extremely variable in quantity and characteristics, it is necessary to accompany the Lean with the appropriate tools. But what characteristics must these tools have to allow Lean to be used in production processes that work on a contract basis?

Tools to support lean manufacturing in contract production

In contract productions, it is necessary to support lean with tools that allow bridging the GAP between traditional lean and lean applied to production processes on a variable mix. 

Below are the main activities of the tools to support lean in contract production environments:

  1. Correctly balance the mix in order to obtain sufficiently small intermediate buffers;
  2. Size the production batches in line with the production flow;
  3. Optimise processing sequences

In particular, the CyberPlan scheduler has over the years developed a series of its own characteristics that correspond to the characteristics necessary to develop lean in contract productions. In fact, CyberPlan allows you to regularize the variations in production and, when it is not completely possible, to be able to simulate them in advance.

Real success stories between Lean and APS software

Modulblok is a successful case of applying lean in a Make To Order company where there is a digitized Kanban that has made the entire planning process efficient and streamlined with extraordinary operational and business benefits. Read the case and the objectives you achieve in the following article: Modulblok case

Learn more about CyberPlan APS for contract manufacturing

Download the order production planning and scheduling guide to achieve on-time delivery.


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