The Lean Process with regard to Greater Productivity

What is Lean? Lean in this sense refers to Lean Manufacturing, Lean Production or Lean Thinking.

Its roots in numerous fields so its more accurate to describe Lean as an organic evolution of continuous improvement and quality initiatives, as opposed to a radical new approach. It brings together the best components of earlier endeavours into a structured process which becomes a way of doing business.

Even though its roots can be traced back further, Lean really surfaced when American quality experts like Deming and Juran travelled to Japan to share their theories. For the Japanese, whose economy had been suffering from the second world war, it grew to become central to their personal beliefs as well as in their business lives, to not waste resources on something that didnt add value for the client. This continuous improvement is the philosophy called Kaizen, which has become popular within the Lean Process that people know of today. This page tries to answer the most popular question “What is Lean?” and also, what makes the Lean Method different from any other manufacturing processes.

What is Lean?

Every company should strive for a process which makes them productive and effective. This process should enable individuals to be more efficient whilst still producing products that meet quality standards. This should also be affordable and never require more manpower or even significant capital investment for the company.

Lean processing is a method where one uses the least period of time, money and energy to be the best. This is achieved by removing all of the waste in a procedure, such as waiting for parts, extreme transportation or repairing defects. A common description you will listen to is to “Work smarter, not harder” and this is really evident in the lean process. To be the best in what you do, you need to make sure that you are not wasting any resources so that you can control expenses and keep the customer happy. Since lean is a technique that focuses on efficiency with out adding undue stress to the workforce. It also has a strong concentrate on teamwork, engagement and security which encourages a positive working atmosphere. Other benefits of the lean process are low defect rates in production, improved customer loyalty, much better delivery performance and increased profit margins.

Lean principles have been utilized by a number of companies, especially in the actual automotive industry. They model best practices from benchmark companies like Toyota. Lean has become getting more focus in service based companies and also the healthcare sector.

The Lean System Compared to Other Manufacturing Procedures

Lean Six Sigma

It has become more common to see the terms Lean and Six Sigma merged into Lean Six Sigma. So, what is lean? What is six sigma? What is the difference? The answer is that the previous deals with resources and removal of waste in a process, as the latter looks into ways to reduce statistical variation in a procedure. Six sigma aims to reduce the amount of defects on a product, while Lean aims to make the right number in the right time as efficiently as possible.

Another comparison is that the Lean technique tends to focus on rapid execution, with analysis later. Six sigma however can be seen as more long winded with data collection and evaluation before action. The lean process would be to Plan, Do, then Examine and Act (PDCA), whereas the six sigma process is to Define, Measure, Analyse, then Improve, before Control (DMAIC). Fundamentally though, Lean Six Sigma is all about reaching the goal of improved productivity.

Theory of Constraints

The Theory of Constraints looks into the weakest link perspective – one missed or faulty hyperlink can bring the entire system lower. It is a concept that looks at the small things in production.

On the other hand, the Lean method is a concept that looks into the macro perspective. In lean it is common to begin by mapping the process in a high level to identify the areas of the business that need focus.


As far as the “What is Lean?” query goes, it is a concept that becomes less of a tool or strategic directive, and more of the way of thinking. Companies are benefiting from this Japanese ideology of being effective and putting nothing to waste. It has a proven record of helping companies improve their results.

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