There is a difference between Lean Thinking and Lean Production
Lean thinking is a mindset and, by itself, doesn’t do much. However, taking action on that mindset — after Lean Education — will change your world.
Lean production is simply production performed with the least amount of wasted effort and materials.
When I really began to get into this, it affected all areas of my life. For example, I did all of the grocery shopping for our family. First, I used a standard list of grocery items to pick up at the store. That was a small advance in productivity.
Then I added another step to the process and segmented the list of grocery items into categories like dairy, bread (including bagels and muffins), canned vegetables, fresh vegetables, and meat.
After a while, I began to order my list of categories into a pattern that matched the layout of the store. So, in my store, the bread items are first and the lunch meat is the second category in order. Do you get the picture?
The next step was to create an accurate map of the store on my computer so I could eliminate any false starts or useless trips down any aisle that didn’t have any stock that matched my list.
OK. So, the final enhancement to my lean shopping system was to add a stopwatch to the procedure. Every shopping trip was timed from the time I walked into the store until the time I cleared checkout. Little old ladies with cash and change purses always ruined my time!
Lean production, in any field, is removing wasted steps, time and materials to increase efficiency and productivity. Ultimately, you can arrive at a production process that yields the best productivity and outcomes that don’t drive you crazy in the process.