A Brief Description of the Case Study

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A CASE STUDY IN LEAN MANUFACTURING

CONTENTS

A brief description of the case study……………………………………………….2 Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………………3 Lean Manufacturing……………………………………………………………………….4 What is Kaizen?........................................................................................4 Garden State Tanning…………………………………………………………………….5 Getting to Lean………………………………………………………………………….…..6 Standard Tanning Industry Operations…………………………………………… 7 Teams are formed and new process flows are tried…………………………7 Introduction to Kaizen (Continuous Improvement)………………………….. 8 Improvements in cutting leather……………………………………………………..9 Kanban Quantums…………………………………………………………………………10 Results of becoming Lean ……………………………………………………………..11 Lessons and Pitfalls of Becoming Lean…………………………………………..12 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………….13 References…………………………………………………………………………………….14

A brief description of the case study

For more than 70 years, GST AutoLeather, formerly Garden State Tanning, has provided the global automotive market with innovative and competitively priced leather auto interiors. This case study is referring to the past situation of the company where there were existing enough problems in the production line which did not allow the company not only to be competitive, but also to be able to respond to high demand. The future would be inauspicious if the cooperation with Toyota's staff didn't take place.

The co-operation with Toyota was proved very efficient. Delays in the shipment, high lead times, high level of inventory and bad design of processes, did not allow the company to respond to the real amount of demand. That become worse when their great customer, Toyota, increased the demand leather car seats due to the increase in sales of the new model Lexus in 1991. The current situation was unacceptable compared with the perspectives of GST. So, the cooperation with Toyota staff in learning how to enter the world of lean thinking and lean manufacturing and whatever changes that includes, improved dramatically the current situation. In this assignment it is described how GSA did change its processes and implemented Kanban system, Kaizen, and whatever is "lean thinking" in order to be more competitive to the world market.

Abstract
In this assignment it will be presented the Garden State Tanning company. It will be presented its past situation where problems such as high inventory levels, high lead times and complicated – bad designed processes guide them to the point not to be able to respond to current demands. In order to avoid this situation, it will be described how they implemented the principles of lean thinking, what changes did they do not only in the layout but also to the way of thinking. Kaizen, Kanban, team working will be described in details and how they were implemented in this case.

Firstly it will be given a brief description of lean thinking , lean manufacturing and the benefits of them. Then it will be shown a simple definition of Kaizen and what does it mean for a production line. Additionally, it will be described the company of the case study used, what was its problem and what did they do to overcome it.

Moreover, it will be shown in details the whole way from the beginning of lean thinking implementation until the teams formed, the introduction of Kaizen and Kanban system, and the change in layout. Finally, the resuts of lean thinking implementation, and some interesting conclusions about the company after the change happened, will be extracted.

Lean Manufacturing

The term "lean" has been used extensively in the manufacturing community for more than 20 years. It has been commonly associated with low inventory levels and reduced stuffing. Quite simply Lean Manufacturing is a philosophy of manufacturing that seeks to minimise unnecessary time, materials, and efford in the production process. Lean is unlike previous production philosophies such as mass...
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