Where does the Lean Manufacturing philosophy / tool set come from?

andrewg

Inactive Registered Visitor
#1
Help Please?

I am a new quality auditor and have spent the past few years learning that role. My organisation is starting a 'lean programme' and I have to confess to knowing very little about it. Could someone please provide some basic background knowledge on this tool? Where does it come from? What it is used for? How it operates? When auditing this function, what to look for?

Your advice and knowledge are very welcome.

Thank you and Regards,

Andy:confused:
 
G

gszekely

#2
P

Pazuzu - 2009

#4
Re: Where does Lean come from?

Help Please?

I am a new quality auditor and have spent the past few years learning that role. My organisation is starting a 'lean programme' and I have to confess to knowing very little about it. Could someone please provide some basic background knowledge on this tool? Where does it come from? What it is used for? How it operates? When auditing this function, what to look for?

Your advice and knowledge are very welcome.

Thank you and Regards,

Andy:confused:
In a nutshell...it's trimming the waste from your processes to leave behind the value-added events that the customer is 'willing' to pay for. Think of a T-Bone steak from your grocery store. Say you spend $15 on the T-bone (and keep in mind that meat is sold by weight). 1/2 the weight is bone, and a bit more is the fat surrounding the meat. The bone and fat (no value) is waste yet you're buying it because it's part of the package with the meat (value). $15 for $6 of meat is not customer friendly. Learning how to identify the bone and fat, eliminating it from your process, and then concentrating on the meat is more efficient for you and is what the customer is willing to pay for.
 
D

DAB68

#5
Re: Where does Lean come from?

Help Please?

I am a new quality auditor and have spent the past few years learning that role. My organisation is starting a 'lean programme' and I have to confess to knowing very little about it. Could someone please provide some basic background knowledge on this tool? Where does it come from? What it is used for? How it operates? When auditing this function, what to look for?

Your advice and knowledge are very welcome.

Thank you and Regards,

Andy:confused:
Henry Ford. Toyota took Ford's concepts and improved them. Study the Toyota Production System and you'll learn lean. Just understand, it is NOT a tool. It is a business strategy and a corporate culture. For your company to be truly lean, lean must be lived at all levels of the organization.
 

Wes Bucey

Consultant/Advisor
Moderator
#6
Re: Where does Lean come from?

In a nutshell...it's trimming the waste from your processes to leave behind the value-added events that the customer is 'willing' to pay for. Think of a T-Bone steak from your grocery store. Say you spend $15 on the T-bone (and keep in mind that meat is sold by weight). 1/2 the weight is bone, and a bit more is the fat surrounding the meat. The bone and fat (no value) is waste yet you're buying it because it's part of the package with the meat (value). $15 for $6 of meat is not customer friendly. Learning how to identify the bone and fat, eliminating it from your process, and then concentrating on the meat is more efficient for you and is what the customer is willing to pay for.
Pretty good analogy.

I might also add American Society for Quality (ASQ) has a Division devoted to Lean. The members of that Division are currently working on creating a Body of Knowledge (BOK) about Lean.

A BOK is a listing of the facts, history, and techniques that a competent practictioner should have in his "toolkit" for working in a particular field. An ASQ BOK also include resources for acquiring that knowledge. Eventually, the Division will create a "competency test" for Lean resulting in formal certification for those who pass the test.

Readmore about BOK and Certification at ASQ's website about the revision underway for the BOK of Six Sigma http://www.asq.org/certification/six-sigma/prepare.html

Check out the work in progress of the very new Lean Division (less than one year old!) at http://www.asq.org/le/
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Re: Where does Lean come from?

In a nutshell...it's trimming the waste from your processes to leave behind the value-added events that the customer is 'willing' to pay for. Think of a T-Bone steak from your grocery store. Say you spend $15 on the T-bone (and keep in mind that meat is sold by weight). 1/2 the weight is bone, and a bit more is the fat surrounding the meat. The bone and fat (no value) is waste yet you're buying it because it's part of the package with the meat (value). $15 for $6 of meat is not customer friendly. Learning how to identify the bone and fat, eliminating it from your process, and then concentrating on the meat is more efficient for you and is what the customer is willing to pay for.
One difficulty of this analogy (which can be the source of frustration with lean when misapplied) is that if this was really a case in a butcher shop, the butcher would likely end up charging more than the original $15 for the resulting trimmed meat! There is no such thing as a cow without bone or fat. So the butcher is going to have the same cost for the raw material, plus they must now pay for labor to trim the fat and bone. The butcher isn't going to take a loss on this, so they will probably charge the original $15 plus labor. So, the price per pound will more than double.
 
P

Pazuzu - 2009

#8
Steve...thank you for the insight but I was merely illustrating the basic concept for the originator of this thread who is, by his own admission, new to the lean practice. The bulk of us do understand that there are much more complex underlying dynamics to lean, labour, profit, fixed and variable costs, etc...I just wanted to put it into plain English by using a clearly understandable depiction with hypothetical figures.
 

Wes Bucey

Consultant/Advisor
Moderator
#9
Re: butcher analogy
I'm pretty experienced with a knife in a kitchen setting, having learned from commercial chefs and butchers while working as a "kitchen slave" prepping and cooking banquets at my Shrine functions throughout the 70's and 80's. I may be able to trim out multiple cuts of meat efficiently, but I feared for the safety of my hostess's digits when she was trying to carve a roast last Sunday. I had to stop her and sharpen her knife which was so dull, she would have had the same result using the back of the blade. She still persisted in "sawing" at the turkey carcass, even though the knife was then sharp enough to slide through on one stroke.

For most people, tending to "core competencies" is a smart and Lean thing to do, outsourcing the work (like trimming meat) which can be done either more efficiently, more expertly, or less expensively by outsiders than in-house.

For example, I may be able to write computer programs, but I find it less stressful to concentrate on defining the end functions I want and letting someone else write the code, letting the value of my peace of mind counterbalance the cost of an outside code writer.
 

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