The Role of Man in Lean Manufacturing

Skilled, Satisfied Workers Increase Efficiency

As far as manufacturing automation has come, we’ll never eliminate the need for skilled workers in the manufacturing process. In fact, many manufacturers are finding a shortage of highly-skilled workers with enough experience to perform today’s complex production procedures. In order to overcome this challenge, companies must focus on maintaining the efficiency of their workforce if they hope to increase productivity. Workers need focused, timely, and frequent training in an environment where efficiency and productivity is a common goal.


There are some tasks that anyone can learn to do, but is just anyone going to do those tasks well? Of course not! Workers with the proper training, experience, and interests will perform better than those who are just there to get a paycheck. Finding the right workers and making sure they are properly trained and suited to their assigned position will increase efficiency exponentially.


No amount of training can replace a worker with years of experience. It is experience that will help workers identify and resolve problems, suggest improvements to processes, and maintain superior efficiency. This means that experienced workers are best placed in positions that have influence on the processes and standards around them.


Completing tasks on time with a high-level of accuracy takes practice and discipline. Employees must work as a team towards the common goal of a lean manufacturing process. Without this level of commitment from each employee, efficiency suffers.

Institutional Habits

Efficiency in lean manufacturing must be an institutional goal with all members of the team invested in mutual success. In an environment where all members are focused on a common goal inspires workers to maintain their level of commitment.