The expression 'Lean' simply means doing something with the minimum of waste.
It is normally associated with manufacturing, but can easily be applied to any other type of business activity - e.g. administration, finance, human resources, marketing.
Where costs are being unnecessarily incurred this is sometimes referred to as the 'hidden factory'. These hidden costs can be detected using the concept of 'Lean'.
Within Lean, seven different kinds of waste are identified - (occasionally an eighth kind may be present).
1. Scrap / re-work
2. Over-production - of products / services not demanded by customers
3. Excess inventory - awaiting further processing or in stock
4. Unnecessary motion of employees
5. Over-processing - e.g. inspection rather than process design to eliminate problems
6. Unnecessary transportation and handling of product
7. Waiting - e.g. for 'upstream' processes to deliver their output or a worker to get back to work
8. Under-utilised people - skills, talent, creativity.
If you need to assess the extent to which your business is 'Lean'- then our assessment templates will be able to help you easily identify areas for saving and for measuring / managing improvement.
In addition to covering the above kinds of waste - our templates include Visual management, 5S, Team performance, total productive maintenance, continuous improvement, one-piece flow, multi-process/machine, quick set-up, TAKT time, lean value stream, standardised work, pull system, mistake proofing and root cause analysis.