Lean Operations

Lean Operations is a production management philosophy and practice derived from the Toyota Production System (TPS) that seeks to maximize the value creation of products and services to customers and society. Anything not adding value in the production flow is waste and targeted for elimination. Taiichi Ohno, architect of TPS, identified seven types of muda (waste),

  • Transport (moving anything not required to perform the operation)
  • Inventory (all supplies, work in process and finished product)
  • Motion (people or equipment moving more than is required to perform the operation)
  • Waiting (waiting for the next step in the operation)
  • Overproduction (producing more than what is demanded)
  • Over Processing (doing more than is required)
  • Defects ( errors in processing including work required to detect)

Essentially, Lean Operations is centered on doing more with less. Efficiency is created by optimizing flow, decreasing waste, shortening the lead and cycle times of operations and using empirical methods to achieve these ends.