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78 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2018 People tend to treat standard and non-stan- dard products in the same way; however, they represent two parallel product segments and consequently different challenges for your Lean manufacturing process, especially in re- lation to production and logistical operations. When you fail to differentiate the processing of standard and non-standard products, not only is the Lean manufacturing process disrupted, but you also introduce a variety of production, financial and logistical challenges. Why take the risk when you don't have to? Supply Chain Programs Supply chain programs are designed to de- crease inventory, space requirements, lead time and potential quality defects. These pro- grams focus on standardized products as their supply chain can be optimized to increase flex- ibility, theoretically reduce costs, and increase credit terms, or as some might argue, transfer credit risk to the supplier. Literature states that these programs are spe- cifically designed to address standardized prod- ucts [1] . Non-standard products are described as articles, which are customer-unique and de- signed for a specific purpose [2] (e.g., PCBs and metal casing in the electronic industry). A supply chain program designed to handle these parallel product segments will conse- quently fail, because you are trying to "open two locks with one key at the same time." If the aim is to solve the challenges described, you should begin by understanding the capability and goal of the supply chain pro- gram and consequently what it is not able to handle , which will be non-standardized products. Lean Challenges: Standard vs. Non-Standard Products The PCB Norsemen by Didrick Beck, ELMATICA

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