Lean Thinking

Lean is developed by Toyota. They called their approach as Toyota Production system (TPS). The west began to adopt the principles of the Toyota system under a variety of manufacturing systems such as Just in Time (JIT), World Class Manufacturing (WCM), Continuous Flow Manufacturing (CFM) and others. However it was not until the lean manufacturing label came along that it really took off. Abbreviating the label from lean manufacturing to simply ‘Lean’ allowed the approach into the processing and service industries.

Lean key point are getting the right things to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities, while minimizing waste and being flexible and open to change. Lean brings many organizations to new concepts, tools and methods that have been effectively utilized to improve process flow. All the activities are doing more with less.

Another important issue of lean that approached by Toyota is “Respect for People”. The Respect for People principle consists of two parts, respect and teamwork. Respect means respect others, make every effort to understand each other, take responsibility and do the best to build mutual trust. Teamwork means stimulate personal and professional growth, share the opportunities of development and maximizes individual and team performance.

Lean leads an organization to understand customer value, eliminate activities that do not create value and focus to continuously increase it. A lean organization will create precise customer value that exceed customer expectations by delivering better quality goods and services with less resources, time, human effort, space and capital. Also, information management becomes much simpler and more accurate [10].

By applying lean technique, organization will reduce space needs while providing better work environment for employees. Benefits of lean facility layout implementation are efficient space utilization, improved process and work flows, seduction in the cost of construction and increase in morale and motivation through improved working condition [18].

Keys principle of lean are:

  • Value:  Specify value from the standpoint of the customer.
  • Value Stream: Identify all steps in the value stream and eliminate steps that do not create value.
  • Flow: Make the remaining value creating steps occur in a tight and integrated sequence so the product or service will flow smoothly.
  • Pull: Create customers pull value from the next upstream activity.
  • Pursue Perfection: As these steps lead to greater transparencies, enabling further elimination of waste, pursue perfection through continuous improvement.


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