Lean is a process management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System (TPS). It is a powerful method that allows organizations to improve the productivity, efficiency, and quality of their products or services. Companies today, from a wide range of industries, government agencies and other areas are finding ways to apply the principles of lean as a means of producing goods and delivering services that creates value for the customer with the minimum amount of waste and the highest level of quality.
A lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste.
To accomplish this, lean thinking changes the focus of management from optimizing separate technologies, assets, and vertical departments to optimizing the flow of products and services through entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies, assets, and departments to customers.
Eliminating waste along entire value streams, instead of at isolated points, creates processes that need less human effort, less space, less capital, and less time to make products and services at far less costs and with much fewer defects, compared with traditional business systems. Companies are able to respond to changing customer desires with high variety, high quality, low cost, and with very fast throughput times. Also, information management becomes much simpler and more accurate.