Lean operations have spread from the manufacturing floor at Toyota to warehouses and distribution centers all over there world. The operations strategy has been used in several industries as managers continue to develop the model to make it fit their needs, and now, the mining industry is getting in on the lean action.
K. Girdharlal International Ltd., an offshoot of diamond mining company DeBeers Group and major global diamond producer, announced on February 19 that it had adopted lean operations at its mining sites. The firm said it is taking the Japanese philosophy and applying it to its own operations to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its mining and manufacturing functions.
At the company's facility in Surat, India, more than 2,000 people are at work every day, and over the past 20 years, K. Girdharlal has been constantly improving its operations to produce top-notch diamonds. In line with these efforts, the company announced it had further committed to improving the quality of its products by implementing lean strategies using the most up-to-date tools and techniques. The firm noted that the processes it is using are on par with the original Toyota Production System philosophy of lean manufacturing.
"It's our privilege to be on path of transforming organization to lean for sustainable growth and strengthen the bottom line. We are keen to take the process forward as part of continual improvement," said Yogesh Shah, the director at K. Girdharlal.
The company stated in a release that it first introduced lean to its operations by setting a series of goals that wold provide measurable results. These goals included better productivity, reduced cycle time and consolidated processes. This was achieved by taking a common lean approach, which includes doing away with waste related to transportation, motion, waiting, overproduction, inventory, defects and untapped creativity among employees.
"The journey of lean transformation is still being pursued through active involvement," the company noted.
According to Supply Chain Digest, adopting a lean program can yield huge improvements in productivity. However, going about implementing the method can be tricky. Using data on equipment and assets as well as employee productivity can take some of the hassles out of the implementation phase.
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