Lean Manufacturing in the Aerospace Supply Chain

What is Lean Manufacturing?

The process of lean manufacturing is one that suppliers have to take seriously in order to meet consumer demands. Lean refers to all parts of the process, from design and manufacturing to delivery and support, according to a recent Boeing article. The processes in each of these areas are highly efficient in creating a product, doing so at the lowest price point possible for internal and external consumers.

Why is Being Lean Gaining Popularity?

Lean production is not a shiny new term, having been introduced about half a century ago in the auto industry by Toyota. However, the basis of it is now being applied to many other industries.

The heightened interest in lean manufacturing for suppliers boils down to staying competitive in changing times. It’s about winning new business, as well as creating and keeping jobs. Providing high-value services is important to consumers, too. There are additional considerations within the aerospace industry.

The Push for Lean Manufacturing in Aerospace

The push to be lean in the aerospace supply chain is very noticeable. Customers urge suppliers to reduce costs and improve lead times so they can have a step up on the lower cost countries that they compete against regularly.

Given that consumer pressure, suppliers are rethinking processes to improve efficiency and productivity while reducing pricing. What it all comes down to is improving the bottom line, as well as setting up the organization for continued growth.

Now the fundamentals of lean are being applied by Boeing, Commercial Airlines and many others in the aerospace industry. In 2014 alone, Boeing implemented up to $1.1 billion in cost-cutting measures suggested by suppliers. That obviously has a meaningful positive impact on their bottom line.

Shimco on Lean Manufacturing

Here at Shimco, we listen to consumer requests and understand the importance of lean processes. We are actually building a facility that will incorporate lean processes with the latest equipment and technology. By looking at established processes in new ways, the result will decrease waste, increase efficiency and, ultimately, lower costs for our clients.

Shimco prioritizes staying up to date on skills and tech upgrades to provide the best efficiency possible to our valued customers. The lean process is one we embrace, from design to development to delivery.

While change is not easy to adapt to, it is necessary for suppliers to continue to flourish in the aerospace supply chain. Effective change involves listening to consumers’ demands for lower prices, reviewing operations and incorporating the latest technologies, as well as a reduction of waste. We are listening and acting accordingly in these lean times.