Lean manufacturing encourages the practice of continuous improvement and is based on the fundamental idea of respect for people.
Lean manufacturing allows managers to discover inefficiencies in their organization and deliver better value to customers.
Lean manufacturing principles provide a framework for creating an efficient and effective organization. Experts in this field generally agree there are five main principles that organizations should adhere to in order to achieve success using a lean manufacturing approach.
Those five lead principles are:
Define Value: Value is what the customer is willing to pay for. It is paramount to discover the actual or latent needs of the customer. Sometimes customers may not know what they want or are unable to articulate it. This is especially common when it comes to novel products or technologies. There are many techniques such as interviews, surveys, demographic information, and web analytics that can help you decipher and discover what customers find valuable.
Map the Value Stream: The goal here is to use the customer’s value as a reference point and identify all the activities that contribute to these values. Activities that do not add value to the end customer are considered waste. The waste can be broken into two categories: non-valued added but necessary and non-value & unnecessary. The latter is pure waste and should be eliminated while the former should be reduced as much as possible. By reducing and eliminating unnecessary processes or steps, you can ensure that customers are getting exactly what they want while at the same time reducing the cost of producing that product or service.
Create Flow: Some strategies for ensuring that value-adding activities flow smoothly include: breaking down steps, reconfiguring the production steps, leveling out the workload, creating cross-functional departments, and training employees to be multi-skilled and adaptive.
Establish Pull: The goal of a pull-based system is to limit inventory and work in process (WIP) items while ensuring that the requisite materials and information are available for a smooth flow of work. A pull-based system allows for Just-in-time delivery and manufacturing where products are created at the time that they are needed and in just the quantities needed.
Pursue Perfection: Pursuing perfection helps make lean a continuous improvement process of the organizational culture. Every employee should strive toward perfection while delivering products based on the customer needs.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers several courses in Lean Manufacturing that cover the concepts and techniques of Lean and Lean Management and how you can apply those in your own business. Courses include: