In today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment, companies are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and streamline their operations. Lean initiatives are helping manufacturers accomplish all of these objectives, driving wastes out of plant floor operations by simplifying, standardizing and continually improving processes to provide real-time awareness for improved decision-making. Lean initiatives also serve as an
extension of brand promise for stronger customer loyalty, as well as deeper visibility and connectivity for higher overall efficiency and profitability


Best-in-class manufacturers have made a major discovery — lean is no longer just for the plant floor. In addition to the 7 wastes on the plant floor, best-in-class manufacturers are also eliminating ‘procedural wastes’ across other business functions inside and outside the four walls with dramatic results:


Warehouses: Imagine the wasted time and the impact on productivity when warehouse workers must travel to adesktop computer to print paper forms before picking the next order — and back to the desk to enter that data into the computer.

Field sales operations: Imagine the impact on sales projections and the inventory ordering process when salespeople or direct store delivery drivers in the field must return to the office to enter an order — which may be days after the order was placed.

• Field service operations: Imagine the impact on the order-to-cash cycle and your cash flow when technicians, who cannot accept payment in the field, must complete and return paperwork at the end of the day to administrators who then enter the data into the computer to issue an invoice.



By ‘leaning’ the entire operation, manufacturers are easily increasing margins, reducing costs and improving customer service for a sharper competitive edge. The proof is in the numbers: 41 percent of companies with lean initiatives deployed on the plant floor for five or more years are making it a priority to implement lean practices from the warehouse to field sales and field service.


Mobility: a core lean enabler
Mobility allows manufacturers to extend mobile voice and data right to the point of activity — inside and outside the four walls. Real-time data entry replaces the collection of information on paper forms that are then entered into the computer. The ability to read a bar code, RFID tag or direct part mark (DPM) combines with drop down menus and check boxes to automate data collection, substantially
reducing errors and speeding the flow of information into enterprise systems. The resulting elimination of wasted time allows the manufacturer to achieve a new level of efficiency…and profitability.


But where are best-in-class manufacturers deploying mobility? What wastes are they eliminating — and what are the benefits?


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