Lean Thinking is based on the Lean Manufacturing, which in a small amount of words, is a production practice that takes into consideration the expenses of resources for any goal instead of considering the creation of value for the customer to be useless and eliminate it. This means that lean is primarily focused on preserving value with less amount of work. It is worldwide knownfor its goal on reducing wastes at Toyota to improve customer value. It is mainly based on optimizing flow for the process to increase efficiency, decrease waste, and use observed methods, to decide which of the steps is the most important one to do at a given time. Lean Manufacturing is a generic process philosophy that started mainly from the Toyota Production System.
The four goals of LeanThinking are:
• To improve quality: This means to be competitive in the market. A company must learn and understand how their customers act, what they want, and what they might need. From this, they need to design processes to make this possible.
• Eliminate waste: We know that some waste is money, and it can be fairly used. Waste also consumes time, resources, or space, and it doesn’t even addvalue to the product or service.
• Reduce time: It means that you need to reduce the time it takes to finish an activity from start to finish, and it is one of the most effective ways to eliminate waste and lower your costs.
• Reduce total costs: This is to minimize cost. A company must produce only what customers demand, in the amount needed. Of over-production occurs, a company’s inventoryincreases in costs because of storage needs.
How to make Lean Thinking happen and be a Lean System?
We know what the goals of Lean Thinking are and a little bit of how it works, so the first thing to do to achieve Lean Thinking is to design a simple manufacturing system. This means that inventory is only used through each production center when is needed to meet a customer’s order. This is madefor you to decrease cycle time, have a smaller inventory, increase productivity, and increase capital equipment utilization.
After designing a simple manufacturing system, it is necessary to know that there is always room for improvement. (As we know, Lean is a concept of continuous product and process improvement and elimination of non valuable activities.) Improving the flow of material throughnew ideal systems at the rate that the customers require, to reduce waste in material movement and inventory.
Finally, the last thing to do to achieve Lean System is to continuously improve the lean manufacturing system design. This continuous improvement is very important to reach a company’s goals. What this means is to increment the improvement of products, processes and services over time.Having always in mind that what the goal is to reduce waste to improve workplace functionality, customer service or product performance.
So where did Lean Thinking came from? Lean Thinking can be seen in the years of Benjamin Franklin, were he mentioned “He that idly loses 5s worth of time, loses 5s., and might as prudently throw 5s. into the river”. To this phrase he said that if people wouldavoid unnecessary costs, it could be more profitable than increasing sales. “A penny saved is two pence clear. A pin a day is a coin a year. Save and have”. As we can see Lean Thinking can be found since the years 1700’s, and Henry Ford himself later cited Franklin as a major influence on his business practices, which included Just in Time manufacturing. Essentially, Lean Thinking and Manufacturingwas Toyota’s development of ideas that started in the 20th century. Toyota started back in 1934 with Just in Time when they moved from textiles to the production of automobiles. How did it happen? Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota discovered many problems in their manufacturing process, to what he decided to stop the repairing of poor quality and emphasize their time in the study of each stage...