Lean and Green
Here’s yet another reason to consider keeping production close to your customers and using Lean production methods: the environment.
Ocean-going vessels now belch out more of the major air pollutant sulfur dioxide than all of the world’s cars, trucks and buses combined, according to a study released Thursday.
The group behind the report, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), also said the shipping industry emits more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than many industrialized nations.
Cleaner ocean ships might not solve the “root cause” of the problem: companies chasing cheap labor in China and their resulting slow supply chains. Lean methods are a great alternative. Look at this quote from a company highlighted at Evolving Excellence:
“What’s lean about throwing product on a boat and having it delivered here?” Wiff asked. “It’s more lean to do it here.” Wiff noted that to “survive in North America you have to rely on small lots,” offering certain types of products in high mix and low volume. “There’s a lot you can offer with fast response time, small lots, short lead times and the ability to manage a high amount of change — engineering changes, scheduling changes,” Wiff said. “The folks overseas just can’t do that. Even if they accomplish a lot of the management aspects of that you’ve still got 8,000 miles of distance.