The philosophy of Lean actually comes from the Toyota Production System (TPS), where Lean production is a way of life. Toyota has evolved to a way of thinking that focuses on making a product flow through production without interruption, a pull system that cascades back from customer demand by replenishing what the next operation takes away at short intervals and in an environment where everyone works to continuously improve. Lean is focused on eliminating waste in processes. This includes waste in work in process (WIP), finished goods, and raw inventories – the tenets of mass production. Lean is not about eliminating people, but rather about expanding capacity by reducing costs and shortening cycle times between when the customer places an order or request services and when the product is delivered. The idea is to provide exactly what the customer has asked for as soon as possible, and the lead-time is as short as possible. The process of getting to this ‘Lean way of thinking’ is the process of ‘becoming lean’. Lean is all about the elimination of waste in a system. A Lean transformation follows five key steps:
- Identify your Value – define value from the perspective of the customer. Express value in terms of a specific product, which meets the customer’s needs at a specific price and date.
- Map the Process – the set of all specific actions required to bring a specific product through the three critical management tasks of any business: the problem-solving task, the information management task, and the physical transformation task. Create the map of the Current State and the Future State of the value stream, Identify and categorize waste in the Current State, and eliminate it.
- Implement Flow – Make the remaining steps in the value stream flow. Eliminate functional barriers and develop a product-focused organization that dramatically improves lead time.
- Create Pull – Let the customer pull the products as needed, eliminating the need for a sales forecast or continuously producing parts with no defined system.
- Strive for Perfection – There is no end to the process of reducing effort, time, space, cost, and mistakes. Return to the first step and begin the next lean transformation, offering a product, which is ever more nearly what the customer wants.
A Lean Enterprise is a Company that continues to improve all its processes from Administration – Sales – Engineering – Manufacturing by eliminating ALL Non Value Added steps or WASTE (MUDA), using the Lean 18 elements as a frame-work for methodology and consistency throughout the Enterprise. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @Gdc_Tbs and now Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GDC.TBS !
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