Lean Management – Pillars and benefits

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.

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.

Have A Fit Company, Use the Lean Management System

What is Lean Management?
In the late 1980s, “Lean” was a term coined to describe the business of Toyota. This description was given at MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Program by a research team lead by Jim Womack, Ph.D.

Lean is customer-focused. The customer-defined values are developed and maintained throughout the process. The Lean Management system utilizes different tools to align the company goals and process with those of the customers. Unless used with a positive mindset, these tools are ineffective. A lot of effort is needed to accomplish this goal.
The five-step process of lean management involves:
1. Identifying value from the customer’s viewpoint.
2. Listing all the steps in the value stream and eliminating steps that lessens value.
3. Assure that the steps that create value occur in closed sequence so that product flow to customers will be smooth.
4. As the flow runs, customers are given the chance to receive value from the next activity.
5. Lastly, the steps are repeated until perfection is attained.

These five steps are easy to remember but difficult to attain. The right mindset of both managers and employees are needed in order to achieve success in lean management. As emphasized, putting effort into both entities is needed deliver a good product.

Traditional Management vs. Lean Management
The main characteristic of the old management style is that it focused on results. The disadvantage of this system is that people tend to focus only on the goals rather than on the means of attaining it. This may lead to malpractices in order to achieve the desired goal.

In contrast to the traditional management system, the lean management system focuses more on the clients and less on other goals. This system eliminates different types of waste such as too much waiting time in queue, overproduction, inefficient transportation, non-value-adding processes, inaccurate inventories, useless motions and excessive costs of quality.

Goals that each strives for are the main difference between old and lean management.