A systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement, flowing the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection.
Although this definition is brief, it is packed with information. First, the approach to becoming lean must be systematic. You can try to improve certain areas of the business and have some degree of success, but to truly realize the benefits of lean, you must start with an overall strategy and put it into place in the right order.
Second, a lean strategy focuses on eliminating waste. Lean strategies allow manufacturers to systematically eliminate the waste that results from inefficient processes, which can include inventory, over production, waiting, transportation, motion, over processing and defective products. Third, note the phrases "continuous improvement and pursuit of perfection." Perfection can never be achieved, but each step closer increases the profitability and viability of your company. The process of developing a lean enterprise never ends. Lean is not a destination but a journey. There is always something else that you can do to reduce waste or improve a process.
Kaizen - Five S
lean practitioners have derived a practical approach for implementing lean methodology called the Kaizen Five S Framework. The framework is as follows:
Review everything in a work area, separating what is needed from what isn't, eliminating what is not needed.
Arrange everything in a neat and easy-to-use systematic manner.
- Spic n span:
Regular clean up the area, equipment and tools.
Create clear, simple and visual standards for S1 - S3. For example, a tooling shadow box indicates what tools should be in the area and where they should be when not in use and also indicates what tools should not be in the area. A kanban visual control board indicates what needs to be made, how many and when.
Continue to operate and improve S1 - S4.