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How do I Train for a Career in Lean Manufacturing?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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Lean manufacturing is practiced by companies when they cut back on costly waste. Examples of waste that a lean manufacturer might cut back on include extra labor that is not contributing to production, wasted time in between the steps of a production process, and the production of more than is needed or than can be handled by a process. In order to train for a career in lean manufacturing, it can be helpful to decide which industry you would like to work in and to get the proper education or training required for your chosen career. Experience in management and business plan analysis can also be helpful in preparing for this kind of career.

All industries that provide products to consumers can benefit from lean manufacturing. For this reason, it can be helpful to direct your training to fill the needs of a particular industry. For example, if you are interested in the auto industry, it can be helpful to take relevant engineering classes that allow you to gain a better understanding of the steps and processes that go into designing, producing, and selling automobiles. A background in a particular industry can also make you a more appealing job candidate to employers in that industry when you are applying for lean manufacturing positions.

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In order to execute lean manufacturing strategies, it is often necessary to manage teams and individual employees. For this reason, experience or training in management can be very helpful. Professionals in this field are also proficient in communicating concepts and instructions to workers who can benefit from lean manufacturing. The ability to gain the trust and confidence of employees who may be changing their day to day activities based on your recommendations is often essential in effectively cutting back on waste.

Companies that produce and sell products often have business plans that may assist in creating budgets, projecting profits, and determining needs for inventory, labor, and equipment. Many professionals who practice lean manufacturing have experience in reading and developing business plans. In order to train for this kind of career, it can be a good idea to have a background in this kind of management since business plans often must be changed according to lean strategies that are being implemented.

There are a number of online courses that provide lean manufacturing training. More often than not, these courses do not end in certification or a degree. On the contrary, these courses tend to exist solely for the purpose of practical application. They can be quite helpful, however, in helping aspiring lean professionals to better understand and implement these manufacturing concepts.

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