Design 4 Lean Solutions
 Think Simple. Think Different

Lean Principles have been implemented worldwide in many manufacturing environments as a way of building sustainable and profitable workplaces. Today we find these same principles being applied in several other areas and sectors such as hospitals and corporate office environments. There are 5 core Lean Principles at work in all true Lean work environments. These 5 principles serve as guidelines and rules that drive the activities and choice of tools necessary to building and sustaining Lean practices in any organization. These can be anything from Workplace Organization, Kaizen events to Strategic Management through Leadership. We hope you will be inspired by learning about the 5 core principles and are encouraged to learn more in order to embark on a lean journey of your own.
The five principles help any organization, whether knowledge work or hands-on manufacturers address the constant need to deliver products and services to customers more efficiently. This means serving customers faster, with the best value to them and certainly saving them time and money.

The five principles help to not only meet customer needs more effectively, it also improves an organization’s own ability to remain competitive and grow profitably into the future.

Lean Principles Defined

  1. Defining Value – Value is up to our customers to determine. Customers are only willing to pay for what they want. Added features that they do not perceive a need for is not what they want to pay for. They also do not want to pay for a supplier’s inability to remove sufficient waste from their processes to deliver a more economical product or service. It is up to us to make sure we can remove the wastes, there are at least 8 of them, and up to us to offer exactly what the customer wants. (Click here to request our 8 Wastes Worksheet)

  2.  Mapping the Value Stream – Using what is important to your customer as a guide, you should be able to track all the activities that help you meet their need. Doing so allows you to identify where the non value added activities(wastes) are. Some wastes are inevitable and necessary yet these can sometimes be minimized where possible. All other wastes should be eliminated. The only activities that should happen are those that directly result in meeting the client’s need as efficiently as possible.   

  3. Creating Flow – Efficient flow is evident when operations run smoothly with none or very little interruption or delay. This includes a review of changeover times, amount of work waiting or scheduled, building cross-functional teams and ensuring our equipment is regularly maintained to operate at capacity when needed.

  4. Pull Systems –The effective way to manage both inventory and the amount of Work in Progress (WIP) is to establish Pull Systems. When well established, there is the opportunity to reduce our inventory levels, be able to have sufficient information and materials only as needed and Just-in-Time(JIT). They also support in smoothing our process flow in every step of our Value Stream and in guiding us to build only what and only when our customer has ordered and wants their products delivered.

  5. Strive for Excellence – Lean is a journey and not something you do and forget about once implemented. Lean transformations require respect for our people, involving everyone, keeping our client top of mind at every step and a need for a Continuous Improvement mindset that is either part of your organizational culture already or needs yet to be developed with everyone starting with Senior Leadership.

Excellence is not achieved over night and it must be pursued daily.  Like anything else worthwhile, it takes work. Your journey begins with a commitment to transform and succeed. Lean holds the key to your success using tried and true disciplined activities and tools. It can immediately provide visible results towards remaining competitive, providing value to our customers, decreasing our own costs and improving our profitability.   

Not sure where to start in your organization? 

Transformations can begin as simply starting with some Workplace Organization, also known as 5S initiatives, or going all the way by emptying your entire facility to improve layout, processes and work flow. Strategically setting goals and managing the change effectively based on your unique needs is what will help you achieve organizational excellence faster. 

Our job is to hold you accountable to strategic planning goals and objectives you say are important. 

Our 90 minute Discovery meeting will help unveil where your priorities are and where the most positive impact can be realized quickly. 

We hope you will consider Design4Lean when you are ready to explore and begin your transformation.