If one considers that lean manufacturing is the systematic elimination of waste from all aspects of an organisation’s operations, where waste is viewed as any use or loss of a resource that does not lead directly to creating the product or service a customer wants when they want it. This may further impact on growing economic aspirations of developed and developing countries, which will require fewer resources that create less environmental pollution and greenhouse gases. At the same time, these improvements in production and logistics have given consumers a growing range of higher quality products at lower prices through many different sales channels.
Federal Express’ originally thought of delivering packages within 24-hours and they did. In 1983, Lens Crafters followed suit by assembling eyeglasses in one hour. Dell computers maintain its market share and profit level even when the competition is very stiff by made-to-order computers in a very short time. What is common in all of these entities The answer is Lean and its application in their respective organization.
Add nothing but the value (Eliminate Waste). In Lean, it is a primary task to determine what adds value and what activities add value to a product. Then, one will be able to determine the essentials of activity and reduce or eliminate waste. Unfortunately, in any organization, nobody wants to admit that his or her job is sometimes just waste. Breakthroughs are recognized upon recognition of waste. If an activity or cost does not add value, then it should be considered as waste or if an activity. or cost can be forgone with, then it is waste. Taiichi Ohno, the executive of Toyota Production System identified several sources of waste in the manufacturing industry: Overproduction, Inventory, Extra Processing Steps, Motion, Defects, Waiting, and Transportation.
Center on the people who add value. Organizations would not admit that their own people are waste at times unless they are asked which of their employees or system adds value to their output. Unless they can identify areas where people become the value-adding system in the workplace, they will not know which is essential and which is waste. The criteria to determine the people who do the work that adds value: Resources, Information, Process Design Authority, and Organizational Energy.
Usually, in a manufacturing entity, the design of tasks is divided to the unskilled worker doing the routine tasks (manual) and the managers doing the production tasks like planning, forecasting and so on. When problems arise, the task of solving lies on the managers and not on the frontline workers who knew what went wrong. This is due to the fact that these workers are not tasked, encouraged and even involved in these matters of production dilemma. They simply asked to keep or maintain the production quota. Womack (1990) stated that a truly lean organization transfers the maximum number of tasks and responsibilities to the workers who add value and place a system for detecting or recognizing defects. In this way, it empowers people to add value to their work. It reorients human resources to become a flow of value and not a functional expert.