Lean Management – A Business Philosophy That Turns Companies into Powerhouses

Minor gains in efficiency, innovation, and manufacturing may have a huge impact on the revenues of any company. Businesses are striving for a competitive advantage in every aspect of their organization, whether it is through shorter supply chain times, improved product quality, or increased waste reduction initiatives. Lean management may assist companies in doing all of this and more.

Lean as a business strategy focuses on providing value to consumers by eliminating product-related biases and notions from the operations. To attain optimum efficiency, you design the most customer-centric business model through regular market testing and consumer insights.

The term “value” in the lean approach refers to the action or process that the client pays for. The lean technique is defined as “focused on minimizing effort while increasing value.” The primary goal is to improve work processes by removing unnecessary efforts.

After identifying and eliminating waste, businesses notice an improvement in efficiency, increased quality, time effectiveness, and production. The goal is to finish the processes correctly and on schedule in order to assure excellence, sustainability, and productivity.

The pillars of lean management

The lean management philosophy is built on two key foundations. These two pillars serve as the foundation for boosting an organization’s productivity and sustainability. These two pillars are the continuous development of an organization’s workflow through waste elimination and promoting respect for individuals.

●       Continuous workflow development

The continuous improvement process outlines the lean technique of always looking for a more agile and informed way to complete activities. In a nutshell, the procedure is comprised of four essential components:

  • Identification: finding opportunities to enhance workflow.
  • Planning: looking for a way to enhance existing business processes.
  • Execution: putting the changes into action.
  • Examining: analyzing the consequences of modifications made to work procedures.

Although the lean approach explicitly states that one of its aims is waste removal, and many entrepreneurs conceive of lean in this manner, the fact is that the primary purpose of this methodology is to generate value for consumers.

So, how can the lean business concept provide value? This philosophy assists companies in shifting their focus toward evolving and learning. After embracing the lean mindset, a company figures out what is most important to its consumers and removes what isn’t. An organization begins to streamline operations in order to meet consumer expectations, which instantly creates value for customers.

Moreover, by delivering the product or service rapidly, a company may obtain feedback within a shorter timeframe, allowing it to improve the product or service. Regardless of whether the supplied product or service delivers value to the consumer, your organization would gain vital insights about it, allowing you to swiftly enhance your product or service. Through lean planning, the lean methodology helps you to master business agility.

●       Nurturing a culture of equality and respect

Several businesses make choices on their product or service from the top down, beginning at the top and working their way down to the front-line workers. The lean technique ignores this concept in favour of fostering an egalitarian culture in which every person has a voice and their viewpoint is valued. Because front-line employees are usually more in touch with the product and the consumers, listening to their suggestions will be more beneficial in developing your product or service.

Furthermore, going to the location where the job is done provides ideas on how the process might be improved to better fit and give value to the consumer. “Going to the Gemba”the Japanese term given to this approach – is a lean mindset. It empowers individuals to think freely, collaborate as a team, and have the confidence and drive to make decisions that promote creativity. It enables a company to collect and implement the most inventive ideas.

In recent years, some practitioners have blended lean management with Six Sigma principles – a collection of process-improvement approaches and technologies introduced by Motorola – to form the Lean Six Sigma technique. Lean manufacturing, which tackles process flow and waste concerns, and Six Sigma, which focuses on variation and design, are viewed as complementary disciplines aimed at improving business and operational excellence. Nowadays, there are lean Six Sigma Training courses entrepreneurs can take online.

Lean leadership

How many times have you heard over the years that excellent leaders are those that bring out the best in their staff and not those who are driven by ego or power? The lean management concept seeks to reduce such a culture of demotivation and lack of appreciation by elevating the voice of front-line employees.

When lean leadership is used, employees are empowered to make their own decisions, master their abilities by retaining talent, and discover their purpose. All of these characteristics contribute to the worth of the employees’ efforts. When workers are given the chance, they create the groundwork for the most appropriate course of action that will assist them in achieving the goals specified by the leader.

Examples of companies successfully implementing lean philosophy

Throughout the years, numerous companies have started introducing lean philosophy to their business processes. The following are two very successful examples:

●       Toyota

Toyota was the first business to use lean methodology concepts. Toyota dubbed their approach “the Toyota production system.” The technique not only eliminated waste, but also enabled the corporation to master the ability to reduce or stop items that did not appear to match client requirements. Furthermore, some functions inside Toyota are now automated, such as quality review, reducing human labour as well as the possibility of mechanical failures or errors.

Another approach known as the JIT system requires that the second phase of development begin immediately when the prior phase is done.

●       Intel

The processor manufacturing behemoth has adopted the lean technique in order to produce high-quality products for an industry that needs great performance. Using the lean technique, they were able to cut the time it took to get a microprocessor to the plant from three months to less than ten days.

Intel learned that mass-producing low-quality chips was not the way to go; instead, it was better to focus on customer happiness and waste minimization.

Bottom line

When you use the lean methodology in your business, you will be able to maximize the performance of your resources and focus your efforts on producing value for your customers. Some of the most well-known brands have embraced the lean business philosophy in order to build a more sustainable, agile, data-driven, and productive organization.