Friday, January 23, 2015

Why Food Manufacturers Should Embrace Lean

When Americans think of Michigan, agriculture isn’t the first thing that usually pops into their mind. This mindset will be changing very soon—and rapidly.

food manufacturers in michigan
Agriculture and food production has become a booming industry in Michigan, with no signs of slowing down! Annually, the agriculture industry in Michigan adds $91.4 billion to the state’s economy.  Additionally, these industries employ 923,000 of Michigan residents. However, like all industries, there is always room for growth and improvement—and that’s where Lean manufacturing tactics can help.

Common Misconceptions
There are wide misconceptions about “being Lean.” Two of the most common falsities are:
  • Some manufacturers think Lean just means to cut, getting rid of jobs and everything else, just to reduce expenses and improve profit margins.
  • Lean is exclusive to the production floor.
Clearing up the Misconceptions
Let’s set the record straight. Lean manufacturing is a business process that can benefit any manufacturing organization. In short, the purpose of Lean manufacturing is to analyze a business and offer the best possible model for improvements to allow them to:
  • Eliminate Excess Waste
  • Reduce Unnecessary Costs
  • Increase Quality Products
Lean is about identifying and reducing the processes and costs your business doesn’t need. It is also not just limited to the production floor. Your front office, and virtually all departments within your company, can benefit by becoming more Lean, resulting in increased efficiency and production in order to manufacture better quality products at a quicker rate. Ultimately, becoming “Leaner” can help you provide a better customer service experience.

2015 Agriculture Expectations
Michigan's agriculture industry has set aggressive goals for 2015. One includes increasing food and agricultural career jobs by 10%. This might seem like a difficult goal to accomplish, but embracing Lean manufacturing can help. Adopting Lean principles allows businesses to safely increase productivity while lowering overhead costs, which incentivizes small businesses into expanding and hiring more employees.

Make a Lean Transformation Today
MMTC offers a variety of courses and workshops to manufacturers with the purpose of educating them on Lean principles and processes that will best benefit their individual businesses. Even better, several of these workshops also qualify as Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits.

MMTC understands the challenges that Michigan’s manufacturers and food processors face. Whether it’s improving your safety management system, or conducting a specific project to help you become more efficient, we can help you become more safe, productive and globally competitive. For more information about our Food, Safety and Efficiency Solutions and upcoming Food Tools of the Trade Workshop, click here or contact us at 888.414.6682 or via email at

Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

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