“Lean manufacturing” is widely regarded as a tried and true approach to minimizing waste and maximizing productivity. However, over the years, thought leaders like Dr. Michael Sanders have improved the traditional lean methodology to be easier, faster, and more effective. They call their new-and-improved methodology quantum lean (QL).

quantum lean

According to Quantum Lean: Taking Lean System to the Next Level, “QL approaches lean systems from an entirely different perspective than conventional methods. Instead of focusing on resource utilization, QL centers on achieving efficiency from the standpoint of a company’s product. The benefits from this simple departure are vast and wide-ranging.”

Since 2021, Ameritex has been partnering with the BeehiveFund to implement quantum lean manufacturing systems—and we’ve seen the incredible results of the QL methodology first-hand benefiting our business, people, and customers.

What Distinguishes Quantum Lean from Traditional Lean Manufacturing?

Quantum lean and traditional lean (TL) both focus on the same outcome: increasing efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. It’s the method for achieving that outcome that differs.

Product centricity

quantum lean

The most significant differentiator is QL’s prioritization via a product centric approach. During a TL implementation, manufacturers are encouraged to identify areas of waste and low productivity. The problem with this approach is that it puts too much emphasis on the resource—for instance, a person or machine that needs to work faster.

QL methodology acknowledges that the resource itself isn’t the right focus. At the end of the day, what matters most is the product and its flow through a production system. If the product isn’t constantly being served, it isn’t moving fast enough, the manufacturer and customer aren’t benefiting—plain and simple.

Using a technique called PPD (Product Path Diagram), QL practitioners or “product whisperers” track the status of a product

while paying close attention to what’s occurring during the production system. When they identify bottlenecks, they intervene to identify the issue and improve the flow. Ultimately, this approach is much more efficient than focusing on waste.

quantum lean

Minimizing time delay

Another defining feature of QL is the concept that “time” is everything. According to an article published by Dr. Mike and Sean Fields, “QL chooses to look at all processes as potentially suffering from a time delay that can be minimized, reducing all other waste or resource variables to terms of time.”

Eliminating all delays enables a product to flow significantly better. The most obvious benefit for manufacturing customers is shorter lead times. In some cases, Ameritex turns around products so quickly that our customers aren’t even ready yet! (It’s a good problem to have.)

The Results Speak for Themshelves

Get it?! Shelves…all puns aside, Ameritex’s journey to implementing quantum lean practices has been so successful that we’re now working on phase two with our friends at BeehiveFund. The results speak for themselves:

  • quantum leanBusiness growth. Our business has grown significantly in the past three years as we’ve been able to confidently pursue new markets and customers.
  • Customer benefits. Less lead time means that customers get their parts faster. Also better product flow, resulting in better quality parts for their projects.
  • People development. From the front office to the shop floor, everyone at Ameritex performs at a higher level, thanks to QL.
  • Competitive advantage. Applying QL techniques is a big commitment—one that many sheet metal shops aren’t equipped to make. We now have a major competitive advantage as a fast and low-cost fabricator.

Ameritex’s commitment to being the best and most reliable sheet metal fabrication partner knows no limits. We’re excited to continue our quantum lean journey and continuously improve. Request a quote to experience the benefits of working with our shop!