Lean manufacturing is a highly effective business model for a manufacturing facility to reduce waste while still proving a high quality product to customers. Lean is comprised of a set of tactics aimed to streamline processes, increase efficiency, improve productivity respect people, and please the customer. Lean encompasses a number of business tools that are meant to improve the workplace. Many companies today use the tactics and strategies of Lean to benefit their business.
The core principles of Lean manufacturing are derived from the Japanese manufacturing industry in the 1980s and Lean is often used interchangeably with the Toyota Production System. The goals of Lean and the Toyota Production System include the streamline of processes in the workplace, an improvement of productivity, empowering and respecting workers, an increase in efficiency, and a focus on pleasing the customer.
Identifying and eliminating waste is another key factor for Lean. Waste, specifically in manufacturing, is a type of activity in the manufacturing process that does not add ad value and does not need to be done to complete the product. Types of waste include excess motion, over-production and unnecessary transportation just to name a few. Problems in processes or in a workflow can lead to breakdowns, safety, and often cost the company.
Lean is not a system that can be implemented overnight, so it is important for managers and employees to fully understand Lean concepts. The practice of Lean is also not an exclusive system for manufacturing, but rather a system that can be implemented across a number of industries and settings including healthcare and in offices. With this site we will be posting videos on all things Lean. It can be regarding companies using Lean, tours of Lean facilities, explanations of complicated Lean terms, or helpful strategies to start implementing Lean in your own facility.