Concepts and tools

Lean optimises flow through processes; crossing technologies, assets, and departments delivering a product to customers precisely when they want it.

By eliminating waste along entire value streams, instead of at isolated points, Lean creates processes that need less human effort, less space, less capital, and less time.

Lean makes products and services at far lower cost and with fewer defects, compared with traditional business systems.

Companies who are truly Lean are able to respond to changing customer demands with high variety, high quality, low cost, and with very fast throughput times.

What defines a perfect (Lean) process?

Value is specified backwards from the customer (VOC/customer perception of value)

Every process step is:

Valuable – Waste free, (Tim Wood – 7 Wastes, Value Adding)
Capable – TQM, (Six Sigma)
Available – Total Productive Maintenance/Manufacturing
Adequate – Theory of constraints, levelled production
Flexible – Mass Customisation

Lean Management, some background:

Aspects of Lean Management have a long history, particularly in avoiding waste in manufacturing, and elements of its philosophy can be traced back as far as Benjamin Franklin’s 1758 essay The Way to Wealth.  Of course the most often sited example is Henry Ford’s mass assembly of the Model T.

However, Lean Management as it is now understood, derives from the revolutionary principles developed and applied by Toyota, now the world’s largest vehicle producer, and is often also known as the Toyota Production System (TPS).

At its heart are a series of principles which focus on avoiding wasteful practices (such as over stocking, downtime, production errors), meeting customer requirements and needs, and developing a flexible and responsive structure to meet changing market demands.

Lean 4 Business has experience of applying Lean Management and production principles across Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Telecoms, Electronics, Steel Making,Mining and Food.