Disadvantages of lean management

26 Jun

In my last article I wrote about lean management and that this strategy is a great innovation for many reasons, and one of them is time saving. Well of course this is great, I do less and do get more time to do other things. But on the other hand I feel like I am always under pressure.  In the sense of I have more time for other things, so during the day I do a lot more, in the end I am busy the hole day. And I get this uncomfortable feeling- this will never end- which can lead to burn out (read more about this in Jules post).

From this perspective, I began to search for the disadvantages of lean management. For my essay in Work Business & Society I am reading “The Machine that changed the world” is a report that is written by Daniel T. Jones. I found really interesting disadvantages from the Japanese perspective.

To save the inventory cost the material should be brought as quickly as possible to the consumer. And who transports the material? – Of course the gigantic trucks. This leads to a problem: congestion in the cities; Pollution and unnecessary energy consumption; Inconvenience to other road users.

Through the extra time, the company can produce more material. But because of the abundance and variations of new products the consumer loses the overview. In addition, the products become outdated as soon as they purchased from the shop. This phenomenon can be observed at the company’s strategy ZARA(read more about this in rosepanama post)

Furthermore, the Japanese workers in automobile manufacturers are working much more hours than the Europeans. As I have already mentioned, it can cause a burn out.

Also “Break-even point is high. The fixed cost is high for lean production, whereas the variable cost is low. Therefore, the break-even point is high. In other word, low demands may take the lean production to below the break-even point which means losing money.” like blogger Rex has summarized it.

After all, we have to be careful were the new innovations leading us-hopefully not to burn out, environmental pollution and unemployment. 


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