Lean Management is a management style that helps in reducing waste through eliminating work in process, non-value added activities, inventories, increase productivity and flexibility.
The core philosophy of lean system is to provide maximum value to the customers as they don’t pay for low quality products and mistakes rather they pay for the value. Customer focus is the basic principle of lean management.
The two main pillars of lean management are:
- Respect for people: It is about giving people authority to solve their own problems. It is the responsibility of the lean manager to help employees identify their own problems and devise a problem solving technique for them and respect those decisions. As employees are given authority to solve their issues, their level of motivation to work according to the requirements increases which in turns increase the value of the end product for the customers. Respect is a two way road. Lean managers should give respect to the employees and also to the end customers.
- Continuous Improvement: In lean management, incremental changes are made for solving problems. Each problem is taken as a challenge and each solution is devised through a learning process which helps in leading towards continuous improvement. The small constant improvements are then turned into big improvements with time and thus the process goes on and on for achieving the final goal i.e. value creation for the customers.
Lean management is very useful because:
- It helps in reduction of waste.
- It helps in elimination of defects in the products and processes.
- It helps to detect the faults in raw material and processes earlier so that the problem can be fixed before production starts.
- It helps in improving quality because of defect reduction.
- It helps in reducing the inventory.
- It increases production flexibility.
- It helps in boosting up employees’ morale by giving them respect and authority to a certain extend to solve their own problems and issues.