Lean production – introduction
The term "lean production" was coined in 1990, when the world was astounded by the Japanese economic miracle. The upturn in the Far Eastern country was mainly down to new production methods that can be accurately summed up in one word – lean. Indeed, the methods were particularly lean compared to the buffered production systems of the West. Since then, the lean philosophy has dominated production halls.
Determination is the driving force of a lean company. The success of the Japanese economy after the Second World War was down to an approach that centred around continuous improvements that gradually optimise processes. The only way to achieve the medium and long-term successes that the system promises is to continuously roll out in-house and external methods, concepts and strategies that boost value – and that includes in the West.
Over the years, lean management helps to identify functions that don’t contribute added value and remove them from the system. For this to work, everyone – whether senior managers or employees – has to share a common mindset and work ethic based on the same fundamental principles.