What is Lean Manufacturing?

Today, thanks to rapidly developing technology, innovations are emerging every day. While these innovations make information and products more easily accessible in our social life, they change the way we do business in our business life. This bidirectional change also changes customer expectations. Therefore, it is very important for businesses to increase their competitiveness regardless of the sector they are in. Competitiveness can be achieved through continuous development and change.

Lean manufacturing has principles that encourage businesses to continuously improve by eliminating waste in business processes. By applying these principles to business processes, businesses can increase their competitiveness and keep up with innovations. So how? The answers are in our blog post!

Definition of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a corporate management philosophy for optimizing and improving business processes. It is a business model whose main objective is to minimize waste, use resources in the most efficient way, and deliver value to the customer.

In lean manufacturing, processes are carefully examined. Unnecessary steps, waiting times, excess inventory and other wastes are identified. By eliminating these wastes, the business process is made faster and more efficient. It also enables businesses to be competitive and provide a sustainable increase in performance. Therefore, understanding and implementing this approach is important to gain a competitive advantage in business.

5 Basic Principles of Lean Manufacturing

There are 5 basic principles of lean manufacturing processes. These are as follows:

Customer Value Principle: According to this principle, every business step must have value for the customer. Eliminating processes and steps that do not create value helps to use resources efficiently.

Value Stream Principle: The value stream defines the sequence of operations of the product or service. According to this principle, business processes are analyzed and improved. As a result, non-value-adding processes are reduced and the process is streamlined.

Pull Principle: We can also define this principle as the “just-in-time production” principle. According to the principle, products or services are produced only when demanded. Holding excess inventory is avoided. The pull principle both reduces waste and enables faster response to customer needs.

Flow Principle: Managing business processes in a balanced way and identifying and solving problems immediately is the basis of this principle. This encourages continuous improvement.

The Perfect Result Principle: According to this principle, one should constantly strive for excellent results. Continuously improving business processes and aiming for excellence is the main purpose of lean manufacturing.

8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

The 8 factors that lean thinking defines as waste are as follows:

  1. Inventory: Holding excess inventory increases storage costs and reduces the value in stock.
  2. Waiting: Unnecessary waiting times during or between operations cause processes to be inefficient. This creates insertion waste.
  3. Overproduction: Producing more products or services than demand and need causes unnecessary stock to accumulate.
  4. Transportation: Unnecessary transportation of products, materials or equipment wastes time and resources.
  5. Processing: Excessive processing waste occurs when features, materials or extra effort are added to products that do not add value to the customer and that the customer does not need.
  6. Movement: Unnecessary movement of people reduces the efficiency of processes.
  7. Defects: When products are produced with defects, they require subsequent correction. Existing defects also lead to additional costs and dissatisfied customers.
  8. Labor Potential: Not utilizing the knowledge, skills and potential of workers is a form of waste. This means not maximizing the contribution of workers.

What are the Benefits of Lean Manufacturing?

There are many benefits to be gained by most companies that successfully implement the lean manufacturing approach, such as reducing waste, preventing profitability, and increasing efficiency.

  • The quality of products and services increases.
  • Efficiency increases and costs decrease.
  • It facilitates the transition of production from one product to another, enabling better response to customer demand.
  • Eliminates production waste.
  • It enables employees to take ownership of their work and take responsibility. This positively affects employee engagement.
  • Increases customer satisfaction as it provides customer-oriented production.

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