What is Lean

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What is Lean 2016-08-26T12:00:50+00:00

Lean is an approach to improve flow and eliminate waste, and was developed by Toyota. In short then Lean is getting the right things to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities, while reducing waste to a minimum and still be flexible to change.

The 5 Main Principles to Lean

  1. Customers Value – The starting point is to recognise what adds value to a product or service from a costumer perspective. Once defined all the non-value adding activities or waste can be removed.
  2. Value Stream – The value stream is all the activities across the entire organisation that is involved in delivering the product or service. When the entire process is clearly understood, waste can be removed.
  3. Create Flow – Processes can now be changed and reorganised so that the product or service flow to the costumer in the most effective way.
  4. Costumer Pull – This is about understanding and responding to your costumers demand. Delivering what your customer needs, when they need it to the place that they need it.
  5. Pursue Perfection – When reorganising individual process steps and they start to link together, more layers become visible and the process continues towards perfection.

History of Lean

The concept of Lean thinking is not something new and has been around for many years and used by Henry Ford, W. Edwards Deming and Toyota. But the term Lean was first created in the book “The Machine that Changed the World” from 1990.
Even though it originally came from a manufacturing environment, the principles can be used across various businesses in any sector which is also seen today.

The 3 Types of Activities in Lean

Every activity that we do can be classified into three categories

  • Value Add – Activities that add value to a product or service from a costumer perspective, and something they are willing to pay for.
  • Non Value Add but Needed – These are things that have to be done, but don’t add value to the costumer, e.g. the time it take for a coating to dry.
  • Waste – Actions that does not add any value and therefore not needed.

The Benefit of Lean

  • Reduced cost
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction
  • More effective Production

If you are interested in Lean, then some of our training sessions might be interesting for you.

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Lean Manufacturing and Customer Satisfaction