Lean manufacturing doesn’t make sense if the product gets damaged during shipment.

Many companies do a great job of streamlining their process and eliminate waste.  They reduce inventory and cycle time making them more flexible and responsive to market demands.

Unfortunately the reduced cost and better quality can get quickly negated if the product is damaged when it arrives at the customer’s destination.   From a customer view point it has the same effect as shipping a defective product.  Whether it is built with a defect or damaged during shipment, the end effect is a product that cannot be used by the customer.

Additionally, when a product is damaged during shipment, a bunch of waste is created in activities evolving along investigation, reclaiming, communication and reshipping.  The delay in time can also have a bad economic impact on both the supplier and customer.

The bottom line is, the shipping and packaging of the product is a critical part of the process and should be paid attention to with the same scrutiny as the other elements of the manufacturing operation.