Lean is a process improvement tool that uses the Japanese system of ‘Kaizen’ to eliminate the wastes in a process. When Lean is applied on the overall system, the progress realized is enhanced.
For an effective Lean manufacturing, the organization should believe in constant improvement, and strive to achieve it with every progressive step.
Lean management targets at finding wastes in the existing process, and then finds solutions to curb it. Wastes or non-value added services, are something that the customer will not pay for. For example, overproduction, excessive inventory, waiting time, excessive motion, incorrect processing etc.
Lean management starts with identification of the value stream, and understanding the requirements of the customer. It then finds the gap between what the customer wants and what the process produces.
Quite logically, the value-stream leader then analyzes the reasons behind the gaps and formulates an improved plan. It is then assigned to the concerned departments, and is followed up by the systematic approach of Deming’s PDCA.
Lean helps provide a system approach which clearly shows the effect of one process on the entire organization. This increases the accountability of the person or the process, and therefore, helps maintain constant improvement.
Lean management often faces rejections from conventional managers, who are comfortable with the existing process, and do not want the system to change. To bring them on board, Lean manufacturing propose holistic improvements, which produce significant gain for the organization.
Lean systems are adaptive, faster than any other process enhancement methodology, and aims at fixing the root cause of the problem by involving the staffs are every stage.