Lean Production At Portakabin Essay


Write a report on Lean Production at Portakabin.



The purpose of this report is to compile information about lean production at portakabin. It covers the meaning of lean production and how it is used at portakabin to bring about quality output reduction of wastage in production. Lean production involves production at the minimum possible expenditure. Portakabin uses this type of production aiming at the minimization of resources and maximization of profits. The report also tackles the just-in-time production approach that is used at portakabin. This approach involves provision resources at the most convenient time (Ericsson, 2016). When resources are acquired and stored beforehand and stored, they stand a big chance of being wasted. This may include spoilage, breakage or even becoming non-functional if the customer’s specifications change with time. Again, the report emphasizes on the impacts of lean production at portakabin in matters concerning the speed of work shown by the time between the placement of the customer’s order and the time of the completion of the work. This report also explores the waste reduction methods used at portakabin such as recycling, reusing among other methods. This report also looks at the outcomes that portakabin has experienced as a result of the use of lean production. This includes quick and quality production among other benefits that set portakabin as an example that other organizations have the zeal to copy. This report also looks at the achievements that portakabin has gotten as a result of the use of lean production like the Lilliput children’s centre that show the competence and quality of production associated with it since to come up with such a centre tough requirements need to be met. Generally, this report is aimed at exploring the effectiveness and success of portakabin as a result of the use of lean production.


The meaning of lean production

Lean production refers to a method of production that aims at the reduction of the resources used. It aims at the minimization of costs and maximization of profits and the production of high-quality materials from the least amount of resources. It is a management approach that aims at cutting out cost while ensuring quality. This production approach can be applied in almost all business ranging from design, production to even distribution. This approach focuses on reducing costs by making the business more efficient and responsive to all market needs. This approach achieves cutting out cost by minimizing the activities that do not add value to the production process. These activities include and are not limited to the holding of stock, repairing of the faulty products and the unnecessary movement of both people and products within the business (Jeon, 2017). This approach started in Japan but has now spread well in large and sophisticated manufacturing plants. This is also the production approach used in Portakabin. In this case, it is applied to ensure that the least amount of resources are used at each stage of production and reduce defects so that the production output is as required and give better value to customers.

Two ways in which lean production at Portakabin leads to efficient use of resources

Having quality management system.

Having a quality management system is one thing that every organization will need to do. It is an imperative factor towards the achievement of the set business goals. The management system will always dictate how efficiently and to what extent business policies are implemented. This system will always be responsible for the smooth running of any organization may it be large or sophisticated; in any stage of growth (Chakrapoler, 2016). It is clear from the beginning that Portakabin uses the lean approach of production that aims at waste reduction and provision of the best services or commodities to the clients. Having quality management system is one of the reasons for efficient use of resources in Portakabin.

The aim of this quality management system at Portakabin is to ensure that customers are given the quality that they desire. This includes a safer learning environment or a more inspiring office. In this case of Portakabin, high quality is promoted by the process called kaizen which means continuous improvement. This quality achievement is usually gotten through small and regular steps rather than in one big step. Kaizen enables individuals in all the levels of the organization to contribute in the process of improvement. Thisis achieved by asking everyone at any level of the organization to make a suggestion forimprovement. This has an implication that the improvement that takes place is not as a result of decisions from the managerial crew but from all the individuals in each stage of production. This makes the best use of resources in Portakabin. This is because informed decisions are made to ensure that what is arrived at leads to quality improvement and maximum utilization of the available resources (Hamlik, 2017).

Portakabin gets new ideas from employees at every production stage. These are quality ideas on how best the quality provision can be improved to other levels and achieve the quality that the customers desire. For instance, decisions include how best to manage the stock. This is one of the major decisions that can affect a business either positively or negatively. An individual in any stage of production can be requested to give such a decision. The decision is usually arrived after much consideration and hence in such a way the organization provides the quality and the taste that is deemed to be the best for customers.

The biggest advantage of the quality organization in Portakabin is the provision of very quality services by the use of the available resources effectively. Everyone, in spite of their placement, works to give the expected value to customers. It is a bit astonishing that in Portakabin there are little or no resources squandered and this is because of its culture in its management that the least of a resource should be used as much as possible (Kulkarini, 2016). This has worked well to eliminate unnecessary spending and usage that can lead to waste and this is the biggest achiever of effectiveness in resources usage.

The use of just-in-time production.

Just-in-time production refers to a production approach which focuses on the reduction of the holding of stock. It is the best-known method of resource utilization and it is employed in Portakabin production processes. In this case, finished products, raw materials and work in progress are kept to a minimum while the stocks are only produced when required (Maguire, 2016). This is actually the best way to make sure that resources are effectively used. In this case, only what is required in a particular production stage is produced. This leads to the minimization of waste because stocks are not held and thus there are few chances of them getting spoilt.

The holding of stock may affect resource utilization in a number of ways. For instance, if stocks are stored, there would be the costs incurred in the paying of storage facilities. These facilities may include warehouses. In lean production, only what is needed at a particular stage of production is provided rather than buying raw materials and storing those incurring additional charges. This leads to maximum resource utilization. Another importance of not holding the stock is ensuring that cash is not tied in stored stocks but rather allowing working capital to be used more efficiently. Moreover, it eliminates rework in the case of defects of stored stock or change of customer specification.

A good example of how resources are effectively used is the reduction of wastage where very little or no resources go to waste. This is ensured by two main ways. To begin with, waste is cut out from the manufacturing system. For instance, steel beams are supplied to Portakabin when already cut and boards used for floors in Portakabin are pre-sized. This implies that there is no trimming required hence effectiveness in resource utilization. Secondly, Portakabin employs the policy of recycling of resources to minimize chances of wastage (Pericot, 2017). This ensures that there is no a resource that goes into waste. In Portakabin, 65% of waste generated in off-site manufacturing is recycled. Portakabin staff is trained on ways of recycling and has set up waste management teams. This ensures that the resources are effectively utilized.

How just-in-time production would operate in establishing and assembling a new Lilliput children's center

Just-in-production refers to a production approach where resources are supplied on demand. It focuses on the reduction of unnecessary expenditure due to the holding of stocks. In Portakabin, this approach is applied to ensure that whatever is needed at a particular production stage is only what is provided. This ensures that unnecessary losses do not occur in the event of spoilage of stocks in storage or abrupt change of customer specification. It is aimed at reducing flow times within production system as well as the response times from suppliers to customers (Baron, 2017). It is actually a flow on demand methodology that simply has the implications that only what is needed is provided at a particular time.

On the other hand, Lilliput children’s center is an institution that aims at teaching children mostly through playing and examples and it follows a foundation stage curriculum that develops all key areas of language, literacy, and mathematics with a strong focus on individual development (Ericsson, 2016). These centers meet tough safety and care standard that is meant to protect the children. This means that their creation needs to meet some set specifications and standards for them to be in a position to be children centers. Thus just-in-time production can operate in a number of ways to establish a new Lilliput children's center.

To begin with, a children center would be required to provide a resource for the whole community. This calls for a production methodology that actually leads to a better resource utilization which definitely is JIT production. In this case, resources that are neededin any stage of establishment of these centers would be supplied at the time they are needed. Due to the fact that this is a center that would involve children training, it is evident that there will be the construction of buildings. JIT production will now make efficient utilization of resources in the construction by letting resources flow on demand.

A characteristic feature of these centers is that they can be built in half the time they could be built using the traditional methodology. This means that quality production approach is required. JIT production, due to minimization of wastage and storage is one of the quality approaches in production (Ding, 2015). Resources can be supplied on demand and this would result to a quick but a quality process. Since JIT production aims at reducing flow times as well as response time from suppliers to consumers, it can actually qualify to be the best approach in making a new Lilliput children's center. In this scenario, it is used to reduce the time lag from the onset of construction to the completion.

JIT approach is the production of commodities to meet the customer demand exactly in the aspect of time, quantity, and even the quality. It, in fact, means production without waste. One distinct feature of Lilliput children's center is that they should be established to meet certain qualities. JIT production would, therefore, be used in giving the prescribed quality (Thapa, 2016). The focus of JIT production as mentioned earlier is actually to give the desired quality. Therefore, it can be employed to provide the required services to reach the set specifications.

In Lilliput children's center, there are multifunctional rooms that can be used for training, cooking among other functions. JIT sole objective is to minimize waste while ensuring quality. This is a good evidence of application of the JIT, one of the reasons being that most of the rooms are multifunctional and thus there is no wastage due to the construction of individual rooms that would at times not be used. JIT methodology would be used in this case to provide this approach that the minimum resources be used to avoid wastage. Again, in the construction process, material required would just be supplied on demand to ensure that no wastage occurs (Jeong, 2017). As a matter of fact, the best approach that would operate to establish and assemble a new Lilliput children’s center is just-in-time production so as to avoid resource wastage at the same time giving the best quality outcome.

How waste reduction methods would be applied in Portakabin would be applied to another organization

Portakabin uses lean production approach to ensure that there is no wastage of resources. It ensures that resources are supplied on demand and that there is 65% recycling of waste products. It uses a number of ways to ensure that there is little or no waste of materials. Since it deals with manufacturing and construction, it importantly takes into consideration that specifications can change anytime and thus there is need to supply resources at the most convenient time. The dv8 leather is a leather company in Australia that deals with the production and sale of leather vests, bikers, jackets, and belts (Apliob, 2016). This company, of course, can use waste reduction methods employed in Portakabin in a number of ways:

One of this ways is clever designs of the modules. This means the use of standard widths and lengths. It is aimed at minimizing the cuttings to fit. When skin is converted to leather and ready for product-making, the initial cutting should be a standard measure. The measurement should be predetermined and should not just be cut to anything close to the accurate figure for future resizing. They should be exactly cut to ensure that there is no trimming in the later stages of production. With this approach, there is less wastage and very little chances of availability of small unusable pieces.

Waste reduction can also be done through re-use of materials. In Portakabin, for instance, the door and window shapes that are cut out from insulated wall panels are used for floor insulation. In the same manner, a material designed to give the shape of a leather vest in dv8 should be reused again and again. It should not be a case where that material is used only once and disposed off. Since there are no possibilities of decay of such materials, they should be reused as much as possible to avoid wastage.

Additionally, waste can be reduced by Changing the material used. In Portakabin, for example, a new type of insulating foam has reduced material use up to 10%. This implies that dv8 company should explore alternatives to materials used to shape the vests so that they can arrive at one in which less material is required. It is very important because all the products are made from raw materials. Having a type of raw material that needs to be used in low quantity and give the same quality output is a big boost to the company's economy.

Training the staff about recycling can also reduce waste. Recycling is one of the ways in which material wastage is prevented. Whenever a material is recycled, money that could have been used to buy another material is saved. In Portakabin, the management usually trains the staff on the ways of recycling materials and of course, this has been a success since they have managed to recycle materials up to 65%. This is of course one of its major achievements. In the same manner, Dv8 Company should be in a position to train its staff on how used leather can be rendered useful again by recycling. By so doing there would be little or no wastage in their organization.

Setting up waste management teams is also a mitigation way to reduce waste. In Portakabin, for example, there are waste management teams that are made up of a production manager and waste contractor. There is also a permanent trainer who works for the company and the employees are given fresher courses that update them on the new ideas (Bissel, 2015). This is an excellent factor towards the reduction of waste. Dv8 leather can in such a manner set up waste management teams that actually work for the company in the zeal of reducing wastage. They can also employ a permanent trainer, like Portakabin, who will give fresher courses to the employees that are aimed at waste management.

Recycling of pallets for transporting leather vests also reduces waste. Portakabin recycles all the pallets used to transport its products. Dv8 Company too can adopt this approach that will definitely help it reduce wastage. Pallets for transporting their vests to the market or the next stage of production should not be acquired new every time but instead, should be recycled. Whenever they are used, they should be returned back to the company, cleaned and used for packing again. In this case, there will be less wastage and thus the effective use of resources.

The use of pre-sized material can also reduce waste. Portakabin acquires floor boards that are already sized from the factory. The beams they use are also pre-sized from the company. Thisactually ensures that there is no wastage (Schovoshsco, 2017). Dv8 leather can apply the same principle. The leather can be cut from the factory and be taken to the sewing stage when already in the required size. If this does not happen, then tailors will be trimming the leather leaving behind waste pieces. Therefore, in an attempt to reduce wastage as much as possible, the dv8 company should ensure that pre-sized leather is used. These are universal ways that can apply in any company and hence when adopted in dv8 waste is reduced to a great extent.

The impacts on Portakabin for using lean production

There are very many impacts that accrue to Portakabin for using lean production. This can be evidenced by the effectiveness that has been observed from portakabin as a result of producing at the minimum possible cost and waste by using lean production. This has been evident through effectiveness in service provision as well as timely production. To begin with, there is minimum resource wastage. Lean production has a policy of using the minimum amount of a resource and minimum possible wastage. One of the impacts is least cost of production and wastage. It has minimized wastage by a number of ways including recycling of materials as well as reusing among other ways. Portakabin has also used the policy of material only supplied in demand. This means that the only raw material needed at a particular production stage is only what is provided. Lean production has, therefore, enable Portakabin to reduce wastage. Materials for construction are sized exactly at the required sizes in the factory they are made before being taken to Portakabin hence there is no wastage.

Another impact is being timely in production. This suggests that their time of project beginning and completion is shorter than how it would be without using this approach. It has been evident that the Lilliput children's center is built in half the time it could be built using the traditional methodology. This is, of course, a definite proof that lean production at Portakabin has to lead to quick production. Since one of the policies of lean production is no unnecessary transportation of materials and personnel within its environment, this reduces the time lag that would be used in the construction or manufacture of a particular production (Morgan, 2017). Lean production, therefore, has to lead to minimum time wastage, therefore, bringing about timely completion of projects.

Quality service provision is also another impact. Portakabin has been known for the production of quality products. This has been proven by the ISO 9001 and the ISO 14001 certification. This has all been made possible by the methodology of lean production. To achieve this certification, organizations usually have to show their achievements to International standards Organizations and must beat the tough guidelines set by the awarding bodies. Another proof of quality service provision in Portakabin is the Lilliput children’s center which is designed to be child-focused. This shows that they meet tough safety and care standards that have been created to protect children.

Reduction of the cost of production also results due to lean production. In Portakabin, the time between the placement of an order by the customer and that of the product being ready is significantly short. This implies that less amount of capital is used. This is actually because if the time is longer funds will be used daily at the time of order and time of the product is ready. This is the success as a result of lean production. Again, materials are supplied on demand. This means that there is no spoilage or defection of materials in the stores hence economical (Petro, 2016). Another reason for reduced cost of production is the use of pre-sized materials. Materials received for the building are already in the required sizes hence they won't be trimmed rendering some pieces useless which is uneconomical.

Additionally, better health to the wider community is also another positive impact. The impact of the use of Lean Production in Portakabin has also been evidenced in the social benefits that have accrued to the wider community as well. For instance, there is improved health and safety. This is because the technologies they use are much safer than the traditional technologies. When the community gets better health services, this is as a result of improved use of lean production techniques. Again, there are fewer noises from Portakabin to the outside community as a result of lorry movements and other nuisance factors. This is, of course, one of the most positive impacts of the use of lean production technology in Portakabin.

Portakabin has won the trust of its clients and become an organization that other firms are looking at and aiming to copy. This is a result of lean production. Portakabin must have won the trust of their customers due to the quality services they render. Their clients must have acquired trust because they get products of the best quality from the organization and also get them conveniently. If a consumer is sure that he or she will get a high quality service, trust is gained and this improves the sales. Moreover, Portakabin has been an organization that meets the expectations of the customers. It also produces quality products to the world market and hence almost all the other companies are using this organization as a base company to weigh their standards (Keith, 2014). This means that other companies are using this company to test their performance and are borrowing most approaches from this company.

Undisputedly, portakabin has experienced a positive impact as a result of the practice of using the least resources possible and at the minimum cost to produce. As a business scholar I would suggest that the other organizations adopt this production approach to gain the best and deliver the best services. I would also suggest that this approach of production is adjusted necessarily to to be used in all the other fields and the other types of productions. Again, I would suggest that portakabin also conducts sensitization and educate other organizations on how they can utilize this production approach to produce at the minimum cost possible.


Lean production is production at the minimum possible cost and aims at the least possible wastage. Portakabin uses this approach to ensure that the best output is reaped. The acquisition of this approach has enabled portakabin to get the best performance and meet tough standard requirements. Portakabin also employs just-in-time product as an approach towards lean production. This involves the provision of the required resources at the highly required time so as to minimize wastage. It is advisable that wastage is minimized at all cost. This is because materials that remain after trimming are useless and cannot easily be used. When these small cuttings are combined, they form a big material that would have been used as a raw material for production. Portakabin is an organization that produces at the minimum possible costs and makes the least or no wastage. I would therefore highly recommend this approach to all the other organizations. It is recommendable that organizations, like portakabin aim at producing cheaply and giving the best output. I would recommend the utilization of lean production and just-in-approach to ensure that they produce conveniently. Organizations that use this approach are likely to get the best output and produce the most quality products.


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