A productivity tool that transforms mediocrity to greatness
Lean is a world-renowned problem solving methodology and business solution. The primary objective of Lean is to eliminate waste while maximizing customer value. It’s a transformational tool that promotes organizational success, including streamlined processes and increased employee engagement. When embraced systemically, businesses experience astounding shifts that propel them to meet their goals and achieve greatness.
What is Lean continuous improvement?
- The basic premise of Lean is to simply and effectively problem solve to eliminate waste and maximize customer value
- Lean promotes learning together and building a new community; it adopts a unique approach by inviting partners to share and work together to build a relationship of improvement
- Lean is an organizational journey of sustained continuous improvement providing problem solving tools and techniques for everyone.
How does Lean work within your business?
Lean engages all levels of your organization and promotes multiple transformative behaviours:
- Fostering an atmosphere of continuous improvement and learning
- Identifying root causes of processes that currently don’t work
- Grooming leaders from within rather than recruiting them from outside
- Creating an environment where employees feel safe to learn from mistakes (rather than blamed) where challenges to the status quo can be made and received respectfully
- Teaching all employees to become problem solvers
- Learning, sharing knowledge, and building relationships to develop sustainable, continuous improvements
- Ensuring systemic changes, incorporating accountability, and measurable results
- Satisfying customers and eliminating waste at the same time
- Getting quality right the first time
- Growing together with suppliers and partners for mutual benefit.
How Lean helps achieve sustained continuous improvement
Lean makes great companies better through a systematic approach to problem solving known as PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle. Ultreia applies the implementation of process improvement across the organization using the PDCA model and a Lean focus. The PDCA cycle of activities approach is designed to drive continuous improvement and long-term sustainment, because it is continuously repeated.
The five tenets of Lean (from Toyota Way)
- Define customer value
- Eliminate waste & flow
- Go and see and reflect
- Respect and empower
Founded by Toyota more than eight decades ago
In the late 1800s Sakichi Toyoda, a thinker and inventor, dedicated endless energy to inventing a mistake-proof loom. Sakichi Toyoda was a great engineer and was later referred to as Japan’s “King of Inventors.” In 1929 he sent his son, Kuchiro Toyoda, to England where he sold the patent rights of the mistake-proof loom technology to the premier maker of spinning and weaving equipment for 100,000 pounds sterling. Kuchiro Toyoda used this capital to start building the Toyota Motor Corporation.
Lean is about a quest for continuous improvement
Kuchiro built Toyota on his father’s philosophy and management approach of continuously seeking to improve, but he added his own innovations. Supported by many Toyoda family members and leaders, Toyota developed The Toyota Production System (TPS) through careful examination of Ford and GM assembly lines and a fierce determination to do it better. This quest for continuous improvement permeated the organization and propelled Toyota to local and global recognition for superior quality. It was not until 1988 that the term “Lean” was coined by John Krafcik in his article, “Triumph of the Lean Production System.” Krafcik was a quality engineer at Toyota in California, before going to MIT for MBA studies.
Lean is a world-class standard
Lean has been developed through the compilation of word-practices, primarily from Toyota’s successful measures and impressive work, and has been evolved globally in countries including Germany and the United States. Although it originated in the manufacturing industry, recently it is being used with great success in the service industry.
To learn more about Lean contact us today.