LEAN is a good business practice, which can be fully implemented with Kaizen events and Spaghetti Charts, or just implemented in part, just by following 6S.
Some of you who are familiar with LEAN are wondering why I am not calling it ‘5S’, which is how it is referred to in LEAN literature. We just felt that SAFETY needed to be added as its own ‘S’ in the group.
The ‘S’s’ are: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Safety, Standardize and Sustain. By following through in these six areas you can improve the quality of life in the lab, increase your capacity and increase your profitability.
One example I use is: during a ‘Sorting’ event at a laboratory I managed, we found that some of the bench drawers had an inventory of nearly 3 months’ worth of burrs in them. While it is always good to have some inventory on hand, three months is excessive and is revenue waste (dollars tied up and unavailable for use in other areas).
We encourage you to look for ways to save money and time, and involve your staff in the same project. Listen to their ideas and implement the ones that are good for your overall practice. Then SUSTAIN your improvements by reviewing them on a regular basis.
This webinar gives you an easy way to introduce the LEAN process into your laboratory. In addition, it covers:
- Examples of waste
- Areas in need of improvement
- Where improvements have been successfully accomplished.
After implementing LEAN processes in your dental lab, you'll discover that you will never be done. It is something that should be an ongoing process for improvement and 6Sing your lab is a good place to begin.