The 1980s and 1990s saw western manufacturing struggling to keep up with the more efficient Japanese corporations, and they were forced to choose between two options: cut down or shut down completely. As a result, they started emulating the techniques of Japanese businesses to increase their speed, production, and cost-efficiency to stay competitive. In the years that followed, other versions of Lean methodology were developed, including Total Quality Management, Just-in-Time manufacturing, Six Sigma, and the Theory of Constraints.
Businesses continue to embrace lean processes because they emphasize eliminating waste and increasing efficiency to offer more value to consumers. Its wide application to processes in enterprises of any size as a philosophical approach is because it assists organizations in achieving their objectives in a healthier, more intelligent, and environmentally sustainable manner. Improved speed and overall quality throughout the manufacturing process and improvements in the factors that affect delivery – all in an attempt to eventually give value to consumers – are all possible via lean management.
5 Principles of Lean Methodology
Given below are the five main lean principles of the lean process:
Identifying the Value
What is it that every organization strives to achieve? First, to provide a product or service for which a consumer is willing to pay a monetary price. A company must deliver value determined by its consumers' demands.
The value is found in the client's issue that you attempt to solve. More particularly, in the portion of the solution for which your consumer is prepared to pay a monetary premium. Waste may be defined as any action or process that does not add value to the final result and is thus deemed unnecessary. As a result, you must first choose the value you want to provide before proceeding to the next step.
The Value Stream
The value stream represents the whole of a product's complete life cycle. This life cycle is often initiated at the research and development stage and continues through to the point where the consumer uses the product. Companies use the lean approach to evaluate every activity throughout the product life cycle to determine what adds value and where there is potential for improvement. This high degree of expertise may assist businesses in reducing waste, maximizing value, and increasing their sales margins, among other things.
Understanding the Flow
Without interruption or delay, the value stream should flow uninterruptedly. The Lean technique ensures that every process is in sync with every other process. For just-in-time manufacturing to be successful, a smooth process flow is one of the prerequisites.
Creating a Pull System
A dependable workflow ensures that your teams can complete job assignments considerably more quickly and with less effort than otherwise. However, it is essential to establish a pull system to ensure a steady workflow for the lean process. When working in such a system, work is only pulled if and when there is a demand. This allows you to maximize the capacity of your resources and supply products/services only when there is a genuine demand for them.
Organizations that adopt lean processes also embrace the concept of continual improvement. They are always looking for new and innovative methods to minimize waste, enhance efficiency, improve goods, and provide more value to the customer experience. Companies' desire for perfection encourages them to use increasingly stringent measuring techniques. It also motivates them to do a value stream analysis and implement modest improvements to improve their productivity.
The Advantages of Lean Management
What managers can benefit from learning lean management-
Focus: It is possible to eliminate waste by using the Lean approach in your business operations. Because of this, your personnel will be concentrated on tasks that provide value to the organization.
Identifying and Taking Advantage of Opportunities for Improvement: All workers are potential sources of ideas for good change in Lean since improvement is a bottom-up process that involves all employees. People may submit opportunities from wherever they happen to be at any time of day using cloud-based Lean software, available 24/7. Furthermore, staff may scan the database to determine whether the change has previously been submitted, avoiding duplication of effort.
Productivity and efficiency are being improved: It is easier for workers to be productive and efficient if they focus on creating value rather than being distracted by ambiguous assignments.
Structure: By offering a system for improvement initiatives, Lean assists businesses in managing more improvement projects and completing them more efficiently. Lean provides a common language that makes it simpler for cross-functional teams to communicate and collaborate to optimize operations. Many Lean techniques, such as PDSA and Kanban boards, are often used to plan and visualize improvement efforts. All Lean efforts are supported by Lean software.
Learning That Never Ends: Lean companies try to learn from each improvement project to build up a collective body of knowledge within the team over time. Lean software is beneficial in this endeavor since it serves as a repository for all information. Group members may search for comparable projects accomplished in the past and take away suggestions for what to do and pitfalls to avoid for their initiatives.
The more intelligent process (pull system): Using a pull system, you will be able to supply work only when there is a genuine need for your services. As a result, the following one follows.
Improved use of resources: When your production is based on actual demand, you will be able to employ only as many resources as necessary to meet that need.
The increasing popularity of the Lean principles may be attributed to the fact that they genuinely concentrate on improving every part of a work process and engage all levels of a company's hierarchy in their implementation. You can learn more about this concept through our Six Sigma Green Belt Certification.