What is Lean Production?

Lean Production is based on five basic principles are simple, yet effective. In the reorganization of operating activities, and in particular production, it has a natural tendency to “get on with it right away” without dwelling on what should be the guidelines of the reorganization. Fortunately there is a reference, and it is so effective in its simplicity as to be a true “milestone” of organizational discipline. We are talking of the 5 Principles of Lean Production. An explanation of the five principles, starting not from their five sentences, but many fundamental questions that they give answer.

  1. What justifies the existence of a company?
    2. As part of the activities of a company and its people, which are “important” and which ones are not?
    3. How to be related to each other the important activities?
    4. How to be “triggered” the important activities?
    5. When you can feel satisfied with the results achieved?
    Let’s see them in detail.

First question: what justifies the existence of a company? The answer is: the customer. Therefore, all our efforts should be directed at creating value for the customer, and not just in primary activities (ie those in the supply chain, which “deliver” the product and / or customer service) but also in ancillary activities that is, those that allow the performance of the primary activities.

Lean Production

Second question: in the context of the activities of a company and its people, which are “important” and which ones are not?

Are important all activities that create customer-perceived value, the other hand should be viewed with suspicion. In Japanese philosophy, activities that do not generate value are considered “waste” and must be fought. Importantly And ‘considered waste also provide the product / service right, but in time or in the wrong way.

Third question: how they should be related to each other the activities that create value? Simple: as smoothly as possible and contiguous. The value-creating activities should be seamless, creating a real “continuous flow”.

Fourth question: how to be “triggered” the important activities? The value activities, despite having to run without interruption, must “pull” by the customer, otherwise we risk generating a cost (the one related to the activities) without generating value, falling in the waste.

Fifth question: when you can feel satisfied with the results achieved?
The Japanese philosophy, in this case, is especially hard, and authentic response would be: “Never.” Playing with a little ‘common sense, the concept becomes: can you naturally feel satisfied with the results achieved when these are positive, but be careful not to “sit” never on the results achieved.