Lean is defined as a set of management practices to improve efficiency and effectiveness by eliminating waste. The core principle of lean is to reduce and eliminate non-value adding activities and waste. It has its origins in manufacturing, but today lean thinking is a wildly popular approach for optimizing operations in any business setting.
This article explains how lean thinking and Real TIme Networks' secure asset management and safety products can help your organization eliminate waste and operate more efficiently. First, we focus on the 7 categories of waste, and second, we highlight how lean thinking have helped our customers streamline operations by eliminating inefficient or ineffective processes.
Lean Methodology Aims to Remove Waste and Reduce Variance
Lean thinking focuses on optimizing business processes, specifically identifying and removing waste and eliminating variance in how your people and systems carry out those processes. In addition, it focuses on finding any opportunities for process improvement, especially through automation.
Lean thinking is not intended to be a one-time activity. Instead, lean is intended to become a part of a company’s culture where it seeks to make continuous improvements to every process it carries out.
"Lean waste" is any activity in a business process that does not directly lead to value being created for a customer. To eliminate lean waste, businesses following a lean methodology seek to get the right resources to the right places at the right time.
Lean originated in Japanese manufacturing
The core ideas behind lean thinking originated in the Toyota Production System, which Toyota engineers and executives developed between 1948 and 1975. The company published its first official descriptions of the System in the 1990s. Adoption spread rapidly from there, evolving into the lean methodology we know today.
The 7 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing
Taiichi Ohno, father of the Toyota Production System (TPS), defined three categories of waste: mura (unevenness), muri (overburden), and muda (waste). The purpose of lean manufacturing is to find and eliminate muda, mura, and muri, to improve quality, safety, and efficiency.
- Muda - Any activity that consumes resources without creating value for the customer
- Mura - Unevenness in an operation
- Muri - Overburdening equipment or operators by requiring them to run at a higher or harder pace with more force and effort for a longer period of time than equipment designs and appropriate workforce management allow.
There are 7 types of waste in lean manufacturing: transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, overprocessing, and defects.
Lean Business Use Cases for RTN Products
Real Time Networks produces various management and safety solutions that help you protect your people, assets, and keys. They’re networked and automated, making them ideal support tools for organizations looking to foster a lean culture.
Here are just some of the most recent examples of RTN customers in different sectors using our products to support their lean business practices.
Real Time Networks’ management and safety solutions may be just the tools you need if you're looking to develop a lean culture at your workplace.
About the Author
Jay Palter, VP of Marketing