The key to acquiring and keeping customers is by offering value. To do this, we must first understand our customers and what they are willing to pay for – this is what we call “value”. By definition, everything else is waste, diminishing value to the customer and reducing profitability. Put simply, Lean Thinking (or Toyota Way トヨタウェイ) is delivering value from the customer’s perspective and eliminating waste (or muda 無駄).
Lean is a suite of four complementary, interconnected principles, each geared towards increasing value to the customer by improving efficiency. By applying these simple principles, any business in any sector can not only provide a better service or product to their end users, but also make fundamental, sustainable improvements in profitability.
One Piece Flow
Avoid over-production and stockpiling, thereby saving working capital, by letting demand dictate the rate at which goods or services are delivered. In this way the customer, or the next step in the chain, “pulls” value through the process.
ONE PIECE FLOW
Value should be added in a smooth, uninterrupted flow, from the start to the end of the production process. The ultimate effect of this principle is that all process steps are focussed and aligned to adding value, one piece at a time, removing all wasteful and unnecessary activities from the process.
One Piece Flow
The starting point in Toyota’s success story, Zero Defects is all about identifying errors or defects as closely as possible to where they occur. By so doing, and by neither accepting nor passing on defects, issues are resolved quickly and efficiently, avoiding subsequent re-work and quality issues.
The German word for timing, Takt refers to the rhythm at which goods or services are produced to meet customer demand. With a consistent, continuous rhythm providing a heartbeat for your production processes, it is far easier to regulate, responding flexibly and effortlessly as demand rises or falls.