How to Combat Labor Shortages by Combining Lean Manufacturing and Automation

Ken Koenemann | October 21, 2021 | 

With the current labor shortage expected to only get worse, lean strategies may not be enough to help manufacturers survive. Here’s how pairing automation and lean together can give manufacturers an edge to overcome staffing deficits, explains Ken Koenemann, VP of Technology & Supply Chain, Dploy Solutions & TBM Consulting.

With all the global turmoil going on over the past couple of years wreaking havoc on manufacturing and supply chains, it is no wonder manufacturers are scrambling to meet surging demand with dwindling staff. Worse yet, the staff shortages put an additional burden on current employees who come to work, leaving them feeling overworked and burned out. And it is going to be a while before it gets better.  That means companies must figure out how to do more with less on a long-term basis.

While lean strategies have been commonplace for years, it may not be enough to overcome today’s employee deficit. Companies that have been lean may have already maxed out their potential waste reduction and efficiency and are looking for new solutions.

A new ‘Lean 4.0’ approach has become one of the best ways to overcome labor shortages. Companies that were once skeptical of automation, following the mantra of “creativity before capital” in their bid to make improvements without investing in additional equipment or technology, are now seeing automation as a necessary investment in business growth.

Download this ToolBox article titled, “4 Ways Pairing Lean Manufacturing with Automation Can Mitigate Labor Shortages”to explore four strategies to mitigate labor shortage with a combination of lean practices and automation.

 

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Ken Koenemann, VP Technology & Supply Chain
Ken Koenemann

VICE PRESIDENT, SUPPLY CHAIN & TECHNOLOGY
Ken is a 25+ year veteran of manufacturing, operational excellence and supply chain optimization. He believes that it is critical for organizations to address the challenges of strategic planning and use of big data in manufacturing. At TBM, Ken is actively leading the effort to our suite of services to include emerging technologies that improve productivity and convert complex data into information for improved decision making.