Understanding lean and the 8 wastes is important for all operations people including logistics and supply chain folks.
The concept of lean (and the 8 wastes) originated in the manufacturing sector where it was first recognized that eliminating waste in the system led to much bigger profits. Henry Ford and his team at Ford Motor Company discovered lean along with the assembly line, even though they didn’t necessarily use the term lean. Dr. Taiichi Ohno and Toyota really perfected and popularized lean through their creation of the Toyota Production System (TPS). The fine folks at Lean.org provide a brief history of lean.
There are a lot of different definitions for lean, but my favorite is below.
“All we are doing is looking at the time line from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing that time line by removing the non-value added wastes.”
- Dr. Taiichi Ohno, Father of the Toyota Production System, 1988
Value Added Defined:
Value Added activity is any activity that shapes or transforms a product to meet customer requirements – What the customer is willing to pay for!
Bottom line: Implementing lean thinking and eliminating the 8 wastes can dramatically reduce costs and improve profits for manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. Find and eliminate the 8 wastes in your organization. Start with small steps and focus on continuous improvement.
Questions: Has your company implemented lean? Is understanding lean important at your company?