All things being equal, all things are not equal. There are unplanned disasters, inherent flaws, and a very high tendency to estimate wrongly. Should we fold our hands and allow these factors continue to cause loss to your business? No! That’s why you’re reading this article on how to level production.
What is Production Leveling?
Production smoothing or production leveling, is the process by which firms satisfy the demands of their customers whilst reducing production wastes in the form of capital costs, manpower, and production lead time, to the barest minimum.
The name, production leveling, is coined from the Japanese word “Heijunka” which means “leveling” and was a strategy aimed at eliminating waste.
The aim of the process is to produce goods at a constant rate so that in trying to meet up with high demand, the extra processing is done at a uniform and predictable rate. This process, according to experts, is best implemented at the final production line to minimize fluctuations in production.
Approaches to Production Leveling
Let’s say you are the producer of mobile phones and you receive an order to supply 500 pieces of your phone to a particular client every week, 200 pieces on Monday, 100 pieces on Tuesday, 50 pieces on Wednesday, 100 pieces on Thursday and 50 pieces on Friday.
All you have to do is to follow the demand leveling principle by stocking 100 pieces close to delivering every Monday. As a result, there is always a stock of 100pieces available for Monday mornings. Then, for the remainder of the week, the production team produces 100pieces of the goods constantly daily. This reduces capital costs and other production processes.
Let’s now assume that you’re producing different types of electronics products, this might be a herculean task to manage. This challenge, however, can be countered by reducing the time between equipment takeovers, allowing for buffering. This, in effect, reduces costs and helps you level the lead time and the stock piles up.
The Heijunka Box
Heijunka is the key to reducing lead time in organizations. When this is properly done and products are provided in their relevant timeframe, manufacturing firms are able to meet their real demand better. It encompasses takt time, working slowly & consistently, and taking buffer inventory as at when due.
The concept of production leveling might appear abstract at first and very recondite to follow. However, it really isn’t. Speaking with professional experts who are well versed in the subject might offer a bit of help. If you’re interested, you can start here.