Lean: Creating More Value With Less Work

 

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Did You Know?

The most innovative companies innovate at 10 times the rate of the average company, and 60% of their innovative ideas come from suppliers.

-Harvard Business Review

Lean manufacturing is all about eliminating waste. Lean considers customer inputs and conducts a "war on waste," creating a culture of continuous improvement. Lean techniques are, in the most basic form, the systematic identification and elimination of wastes, the implementation of the concepts of continuous flow, and customer pull.

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The Five Lean Principles

Specify Value

Specify Value - Identify what is value and what is not

  • Anything the customer is willing to pay for
  • The process object has to be physically changed
  • Must be done right the first time

Map the Value Stream

Map the Value Stream - The value stream is all the activities necessary to deliver a product to customers.

  • Problem solving: Concept to design and production
  • Information Management: Order taking, scheduling, delivery
  • Physical transformation of raw materials to delivered product

Create Flow

Create Flow - After eliminating waste in the value stream, make the value added steps flow together continuously, with no stoppages or rework

  • Utilize just-in-time production
  • Eliminate specialized departments and batches of work done in those departments
  • Focus on the end product itself and the steps required to complete a single product - via dedicated, cross-functional product teams
  • Redesign processes and tools to eliminate rework, scrap and stoppages so production of the product can flow continuously

Pull

Pull

  • Deliver only what the customer wants, when the customer asks for it, rather than pushing products out and hoping customers want them
  • Downstream activities use kanban (simple signals) to indicate to upstream activities when more is needed
  • Right-size your tools and process so you don't need to produce massive quantities of intermediate parts

Pursue Perfection

Pursue Perfection

  • The improvements process never ends: you must always strive to offer a better product while reducing waste
  • Do kaikaku - radical transformation - to eliminate the largest sources of waste, and do kaizen - continuous incremental improvement - to move toward perfection
  • Keep your efforts focused for better results
  • Don't settle for merely being better than your current competition

Source: Villanova University