Lean At Alpha
“Lean” manufacturing was developed by Toyota in the 1930s. Its purpose is to eliminate the fat, or waste, in all aspects of operations (e.g., storage, transportation, overproduction, processing, waiting, motion, defects). By reducing and cutting out waste, many benefits are realized – better quality, quicker turnaround time, lower costs and easier work processes.
Since then, “Lean” has evolved into a set of management practices designed to streamline an organization at all levels of operation. The core principle of Lean is to improve efficiency by reducing and eliminating non-value added activities and waste.
For 20 years, Alpha has been on a Lean journey, to create continuous improvement and provide value to the customers, who rely on and value quality data that is delivered on time, every time. It is the job of our employees to continually develop better ways of furnishing this top-notch data, by identifying and eliminating waste in their work processes. As part of our employee education process, we ensure they have the ongoing training and knowledge of the most up-to-date Lean tools, to help them in this endeavor.
Many Lean tools and reliable methods have been deployed at Alpha. Idea Generation, 5S (the Lean name for workplace organization) and Continuous Flow are just some of the many aspects of Lean that are utilized. Adhering to these principles help set a foundation for our continuous improvement efforts.
At Alpha, every day is focused on continuous improvement. A typical day involves team idea generation meetings, process mapping exercises, assessing rework reduction through poka-yoke (a Japanese term for mistake proofing), implementing one-piece process flow, performing large and small-scale kaizen (meaning continuous improvement) events, identifying and removing waste, and providing ongoing Lean training for our employees. Daily, we strive to make the job easier for our employees to continually improve service levels to our customers with Lean.
Through the efforts of our engaged employees and the development of our Lean culture, we have created a strong, dedicated team that provides better service for our customers. Adhering to Lean principles has also enabled Alpha to grow as a company, while ensuring the success of our many clients, now and in the future.