Lean in production


Lean thinking itself was originally used in production, in the automotive industry. The need to make manufacturing processes more effective with the least waste emerged first here.

MP900402691_sIf we want to be really strict, we can say that we can find value adding steps only during producing any type of good. Fortunately the belief that lean can only be used in production environment is fading away and more and more sector – financial services, healthcare, construction industry and also the government - is using these principles.

At companies which are working on implementing lean, still in most cases the starting point is production, because this is the area where the tools and methods can be used the easiest way. The reason lean thinking can be used besides any type of technology is that lean is not focusing on improving the value adding steps (technology) but rather the activities / wastes there are in between, which does not create value for the customer. These can be found besides any technology. The types of wastes are the same everywhere even though their occurrence could vary in different sectors, but the principles are the same for reducing these.

MP900400417_sThe companies having success in using these principles in their production have realized that they can be extended also for processes beyond production. First they go from door to door, involving logistics and the supporting functions such as planning, purchasing, IT and so on. Later they realize that companies must not work separate from each other, because the extended value stream from raw materials to the final customer has the same type of wastes, as the flows in the factory.

It is time that production companies realize that lean thinking must be spread through the whole economy. A well operating economy is the key to survival.


Related lean tools:

Standard work
Cell building


Special projects
Corvinus University
Publishing Lean Thinking
Process and organizational cultur assessment
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