Lean Manufacturing and Gold Mining

Lean Manufacturing Tools to Mine Gold!

It is easy to downplay the impact and influence that lean manufacturing tools have played in organizational decision making. The application of lean manufacturing principles based on the Toyota Production System can be applied to any organization, no matter what they do or how they operate. Now, let me be clear here, I am not saying that every company is going to become a Toyota clone. First of all, Toyota Motor Company has over fifty years of progressive cultural development and they have proven this through their massive amounts of cash on hand in their bank account. Second, their culture has developed to a point where lean manufacturing tools are integrated into their standard practice. This means that day in, day out they practice what they teach…verbatim!

The question for any management team that is contemplating implementing lean manufacturing tools is this: ‘Can you develop the level of discipline and focus that is necessary to create a Lean Enterprise?”  The reason that so many companies fail to apply lean manufacturing tools successfully is because they do not define the end goal or purpose of the process. Implementing lean is easy peasy, being focused and remaining disciplined is not so easy! Many companies suffer from the organizational equivalent of buyers remorse. They convince themselves that lean manufacturing tools are going to save the day and make the more competitive, when all they are doing as they apply these new concepts is falling into the same behavior patterns they followed before they started their lean implementation.

Here is a great article that I would like to share. It is about a gold mining company that utilized lean manufacturing tools and was successful in developing eighty of its own people  into full-time business improvement coaches. These individuals stay in their position for two years and during this time they facilitate improvement events and seek out new opportunities. Enjoy the article and I wish you every success on your own lean journey.

How Lean Manufacturing is Influencing Operations at Barrick Gold Mining

The emergence of lean manufacturing has been observed all across the mining industry. As more companies continues to improve operational performances and cut out inefficiencies,

lean manufacturing tools
Lean Manufacturing Tools Help Barrick Gold Mining

more miners will begin turning to lean practices.

Barrick Gold, the third largest gold mining company in the world, is expecting a big year in 2014. The company production guidance is around 6.5 million ounces from a portfolio that includes some of the world’s prestigious gold assets…

A study conducted, titled ‘Implementing Lean Principles in Mining Industry Issues and Challenges’ states that lean processes can significantly help mining companies eliminate waste and improve processes because of a shared common view with the automotive sector.

According to the study: Both rely on effective business processes; both rely on efficiency within the value stream; both strive to maximize operational efficiency; both rely on an extensive supply chain; and both sectors have a ruthless focus on safety.

Read more…

Can Your Company Implement Lean Manufacturing Tools?

The question for any management team that is contemplating implementing lean manufacturing tools is this: ‘Can you develop the level of discipline and focus that is necessary to create a Lean Enterprise?”  The reason that so many companies fail to apply lean manufacturing tools successfully is because they do not define the end goal or purpose of the process. Implementing lean principles is easy peasy, staying focused and maintaining a disciplined system is not so easy!

Many companies suffer from the organizational equivalent of buyers remorse. They convince themselves that lean manufacturing tools are going to save the day and make them more competitive and they buy the first shiny object that they see. However, all they are doing as they apply these new found concepts is replaying the same behavior patterns they followed before they started their lean implementation. When the shine or luster begins to dull, they convince themselves that the lean manufacturing tools cannot be applied in their particular business environment.

Lean Manufacturing Tools need to be applied correctly in a business environment that can create the right infrastructure to support a continuous process improvement  mindset. If you need training or are interested in finding out more about it click here.

 

Image by: foto76 on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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