When processes rely on slow, inflexible legacy systems, the approach places unwarranted pressure on the IT team. Skilled developers waste time on continuous maintenance and workarounds to keep the business moving at a preferred speed. With low-code technology, application development cycles are much shorter.

FREMONT, CA: The advantage of the principles of lean manufacturing is that firms can apply them beyond the production line. One can use lean thinking to streamline processes in each department across the enterprise. The areas include any function from sales, marketing, and customer service to IT, HR, purchasing, and accounts payable.

Below are the six ways to apply the principles of lean manufacturing:

1. Leverage Automation 

Automation can decrease manual work to save time and effort in virtually any process. With the right software, businesses can also connect multiple systems to progress the flow of data along the value chain.

A lean way to set up digital process automation is using low-code application development technology. With the approach, one can design custom applications, workflows, and digital forms with little to no need for coding. The digital assets can also be created and updated in a fraction of the time as opposed to conventional software development.

Low-code automation facilitates one to:

• Build applications, workflows, and forms in a drag-and-drop environment.

• Map processes visually with the use of customer-grade tools.

• Use application templates and wizards to step up and guide growth. 

• Re-use solution components to save time and effort.  

• Incorporate existing data using smart data connectors.

With the approach, one can fast-track process digitization and benefit from automation in each area of enterprise. At the same time, firms can maximize the value of existing systems and data.  

2. Eliminate IT Bottlenecks 

When processes rely on slow, inflexible legacy systems, the approach places unwarranted pressure on the IT team. Skilled developers waste time on continuous maintenance and workarounds to keep the business moving at a preferred speed. With low-code technology, application development cycles are much shorter. Additionally, as employees can map their processes, build forms, and make lightweight workflows, developers spend less time delivering or updating assets for each department. Overall, the instance helps to optimize new processes more quickly and also eliminates IT bottlenecks, which disrupt the flow. 

3. Reduce Mistakes

Mistakes are considered waste in the lean manufacturing environment. Even the smallest data entry error can affect the flow and be expensive to correct. By nature, automation eliminates human error as it also trims down on costs related to fixing mistakes. This protects the firm against downtime, compliance violations, health and safety breaches, and so forth.  

4. Cut Out Paperwork

Paper-based documents and forms can negatively impact productivity, data quality, and visibility. Rather than bulky spreadsheets, easy-to-lose documents, and data shared over email, one can build digital forms to administer data in a planned format.

When content is acquired and collected through digital forms, there is no need for time-consuming and error-prone manual data entry. Besides, with digital forms, the users can effortlessly work with information from third-party applications and existing enterprise systems. This way, everybody has access to accurate data at the right time. 

5. Enhance Data Flow

When data and content management systems do not connect well with each other, the approach leads to poor data accessibility and visibility. In this environment, it is not easy to gather intelligence and examine data.

Low-code applications can solve the issue by connecting communication and productivity tools to the content services one has already used. For firms, being able to process information between the sources breaks data barriers to enhance accuracy, data flow, and collaboration across the value chain. This way, users can generate, share, and update content from any tool, with version and access control rules decisively in place. 

6. Gather Insights for Continual Development        

When processes run digitally, each step is automatically logged. The approach provides insights into process performance and bottlenecks, notifying further optimization. One also has a digital audit trail for each process, so they can easily prove compliance with regulatory obligations and internal policies. Additionally, low-code devices make it easy for businesses to update procedures quickly. The combination of agility and insights facilitates organizations to meet the continual development goals of lean manufacturing. 

Process optimization is an ongoing exercise, so it is well worth giving the departments and teams the tools to remain competitive and agile. With a base for low-code application development in place, there is no end to the means the enterprise can apply the principles of lean manufacturing to enhance customer value and performance frequently.