Lean Practices Aid Manufacturers in Doing More With Less

Kansas City, Kan.— Between the slowing rate of economic growth, a shortage of skilled workers and increasing costs on everything from medical insurance to office supplies, it’s no surprise that manufacturing and distribution organizations have mastered the philosophy of doing more with less. One significant way in which companies have embraced this ideal is through the use of lean practices. The 2012 Compensation Data Manufacturing & Distribution survey results found that 72.4 percent of manufacturers and distributors employ the use of lean practices.

Of the lean practices utilized by manufacturers, 5S has long been the most popular, as it’s used by 68.3 percent of manufacturing and distribution organizations surveyed. The principles of 5S are founded on five Japanese words — seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke, which roughly translate to — sort, set in order, sweep (clean), standardize and sustain, respectively. The fundamental objective of 5S is to simplify the manufacturing process, keep the work area clean and safe and maintain those standards.

Six Sigma is also a popular choice among manufacturers and distributors, as it’s used by 61.9 percent of survey respondents. Kaizen is employed by 59.2 percent of companies, compared to Value Stream Mapping at 47.3 percent. In addition, ISO 9001 certification was obtained by 60 percent of manufacturing and distribution organizations surveyed.

“Because lean practices focus on reducing waste and streamlining the production process, their use can produce significant savings for companies who choose to implement them,” said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys. “In fact, lean practices have been so effective at reducing costs within the manufacturing industry that their use is now making its way into other industries as well.”

About the Survey
Compensation Data 2012 Manufacturing & Distribution provides a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefits information and pay practices with an effective date of February 1, 2012. More than 100 industry-specific job titles and 400 benchmark titles were surveyed ranging from entry-level to top executives, with data collected from nearly 28,000 manufacturing and distribution organizations across the country.

Compdata Surveys has been providing comprehensive data at affordable prices to organizations from coast to coast since 1988 and is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Thousands of organizations provide data in each of our eight industry specific surveys each year, ensuring the reliability of our results. For more information about the compensation and benefits surveys, contact Michelle Willis at (800) 300-9570.