Do you have the feeling that, when you are looking to identify the lean principles, you find descriptions of the lean manufacturing tools?
It’s almost as if lean is trying to keep some mystery around itself.
As far as we were able to understand by looking at the Toyota Production System and other successful organizations, there are some basic lean principles you need to adopt.
Key Basic Lean Principles
- People are your most important asset. Respect and involve them as a team in your lean journey. Train them well.
- Value is the one perceived by the Customer, as they are willing to pay for it. Focus on people, machines and processes that add value.
- Learn to See – map the value stream and keep it updated and simple. Look at the whole picture and set a goal to holistically improve the whole system.
- Make decisions based on long term vision.
- Make everything flow continuously, with no interruptions, wherever possible. Reduce the time required to produce a part.
- Let the Customer pull from you, what they need, when they need.
- Pursue perfection, not competitors. Improve processes continually, following the kaizen method.
- Determine the current condition on data and facts. Go and see for yourself, whenever possible.
- Analyze problems as variations from a standard (known or expected). Use problem solving methods.
- Profit maximization. Always work on reducing the cost of producing a part, by eliminating the waste in the system. Remember that Profit = Price – Cost.
- Use the total cost versus the direct cost of producing a part to evaluate your business.
- Partnership with your customers and suppliers to minimize waste and grow together.
- Eliminate defects at the source, whenever possible.
You can think of other principles as you become more experienced in applying the lean manufacturing tools in your company.