LEAN Methodology

What is LEAN

When applied to food, the term “lean” refers to the absence of fat content. The term “lean” in business can be viewed in much the same way. Lean businesses learn to trim the fat—the wasteful and most costly activities—from their organizations, leaving them with purely productive processes that can be performed in a cost-efficient manner. Small business owners can apply a wide range of lean business techniques to strengthen their businesses, and there is still much room for innovation in lean business methodologies.

A bit of history

The lean philosophy was developed in the mid 50’s by the Japanese. The roots of Lean can be found in Ford's assembly line and later in the Japanese company of Toyota. "Toyoda was founded in 1926 and when it began producing automobiles it changed its name to Toyota. In 1950, Eiji Toyoda, the nephew of Sakichi, participated in a three-month visit to the Rouge plant of Ford in Michigan. At the time, that facility was Ford’s most complex and largest manufacturing facility. It produced nearly 8000 cars per day while Toyota only produced 2500 cars each year. After studying Ford’s production system, Eiji Toyoda understood that the mass production system employed by Ford cannot be used by Toyota. The Japanese market was too small and diverse for mass production. The customer’s requirements ranged from compact cars to the most luxurious vehicles. Ford’s mass-production system focused on the amount of production instead of the customer’s voice. Toyota collaborated with Taiichi Ohno to develop a new means of production. They concluded that through right-sizing machines for the actual required volume and introducing self-monitoring machines, they can make products faster, lower in cost, higher in quality, and most importantly higher in variety! Ohno faced the challenge of trading off between productivity and quality. His experiments led to developing several novel ideas that became known as the ‘Toyota Production System’." The Toyota Production System became the foundation of Lean thinking and production. Today, we see Lean being used across industries outside of manufacturing and enabling sustainable businesses over the years.

Where LEAN can be applied

Mainly, Lean is used in manufacturing processes but it can be applied in non-production environment. Lean is about reducing waste in everything we do. Not only in business but in every area of life.

Lean is about reducing waste and continuous improvement.

The use of Lean tools to improve service quality is relatively new, but giving great results to thousands of business around the world and we are seeing significant interest from our clients and contacts. You might have noticed that big companies are hiring dedicated teams of Lean and process improvement specialists. Improving customer journey on the website or in the online store is crutial is not a requirement - is a must if you want to retain customers and provide quality products/services.

Read on Why quality is important.> READ

Benefits of LEAN

Lean improves efficiency, reduces waste, and increases productivity. You may not realise but applying Lean concepts and tools in practice you can:

  • Reduce operation cost
  • Reduce waste (time waste, overproduction, rework, energy and money waste)
  • Increase morale and reduce staff turnover
  • Happier customers
  • Increase productivity
  • Higher quality products & services
  • Increase performance, faster delivery etc.
  • Improve visibility to stakeholders
  • Automate repetitive tasks and processes
  • Increase profit
  • improve customer experience
  • Long term ROI
The true benefits go much deeper than that and Lean can improve internal and external relations, communications and business practices.

Lean is a way of thinking about creating needed value with fewer resources and less waste.

7 wastes (you don't realise exists):

  • Overproduction. Overproduction is the most obvious form of manufacturing waste.
  • Inventory. This is the waste that is associated with unprocessed inventory.
  • Defects.
  • Motion.
  • Over-processing.
  • Waiting.
  • Transportation.
  • Additional forms of waste.

Staying lean in business means having everything you need and nothing you don't.

See our past projects.