Lean methodology is a new way to manage the processes that are carried out in a company. Basically, its goal is to clean all those activities that don't add value to get a high-quality product and a final valuable customer experience.
This methodology emerged in Toyota in 2011 for leading companies in technology, but eventually, it has proven to be applicable to any type of company, person, or industry that wishes to add or improve a product or service in the market.
Its main goal is based on making customers more satisfied by using the least resources possible and eliminating waste that doesn't add value to the final product; in other words, improving productivity. We call them MUDA.
Types of waste
- Motion: it's related to the workplace, the movement of machines, ergonomics, and the movement of people.
- Overproduction: it happens when the continuous process is not stopped and the company has more stock of a product than required.
- Waiting: a period of inactivity doesn't add value but it does increase the cost of the final product.
- Transportation: it's produced when there's a constant unnecessary movement of products.
- Over-processing: it happens when there's an excess of work or unnecessary processes.
- Defects: it happens when you need to rework a faulty product.
- Inventory: storage has to be correctly managed and taken care of so it doesn't become obsolete.
This methodology focuses on saving resources and efforts to manufacture the particular products that customers need. With this methodology, you can reduce overproduction, the excess of processes, and the waiting time that have a negative impact on the final result.
But, what advantages will I get to apply to my company? Actually, there are a lot of advantages that derive from using Lean methodology in companies. We should say that they all improve productivity because they try to achieve "zero defects". Apart from this advantage, there are others such as:
1. Cost reduction
By optimizing production processes, you'll get more services or products. And, after eliminating unnecessary expenses, you'll reduce costs.
2. Customer satisfaction
You have more resources and time to improve your product. You also have a product that meets the needs and expectations of particular customers and that is delivered to them at the right time.
3. Fewer risks
Small business owners have fewer risks because they make decisions based on information they have and not on estimates.
4. Reduction on the execution date and meaningless activities
There's a lot more commercial work that involves the immediate availability of products; besides, the number of faulty products and inactivity time is also reduced.
With this methodology, waste is minimized and overproduction is reduced, allowing you to save money on inventory management.
All employees feel part of the process so the failure rate is reduced.
In conclusion, when you decide to implement this methodology is vital that you take into account the following key points:
- Define the value from the customer's point of view, who is the person that needs a solution.
- Define the value chain to improve it, eliminating waste.
- Create a dynamic flow in which everything adds value constantly.
- Take into account that the goal should be the real demand and not a long-term perspective.
- Keep on improving constantly to achieve excellence.