Friday, August 17, 2007

Definition of Lean - What is lean?

What is lean?               
With the boom of Lean activities that we are experiencing at this time, I have come accross some people asking about what exactly lean is. There seems to be a lot of people interested nowadays in Lean, but not all the time people are right about what lean means.
Some people associate lean only with the tools that allow the implementation of lean processes, losing in this way the overall picture oaf what lean means and ultimately they do not reap all the benefits of lean.
I like the simple definition that Jim Womack has for Lean:
“Pure and simple, lean is reducing the time from customer order to manufacturing and delivering products by eliminating non--value added waste in the production stream.
The ideal of a lean system is a one piece flow. A lean company is continuously improving in the direction of that ideal”
in other words Lean attacks anything that does not add value for the customer. If the customer isn’t willing to pay for it –it is waste.
  • Exposes and eliminates waste
  • Lean never ends…it is a journey that embraces change
  • Sets a goal of continuous improvement, focusing on delivering ever-increasing benefits

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