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With LEAN, all necessary processes can be optimized, all unnecessary steps can be eliminated.
01. 03. 2023.
All at once it is a corporate approach, a culture, and a methodology to improve efficiency: LEAN. Continuous improvement is the main driver of this approach, which applies to both the members of the organization and the improvement of the company’s processes. The essence of the methodology is that operations can always be improved. In this case, the word does not mean lean, but no-loss, which is also the main value of the approach.
Creating customer-oriented, waste free value adding
LEAN basically helps in change, moreover it efficiently supervises processes, products, and services. It is based on simplification: the goal is eliminating unnecessary steps with optimization. This method and thinking can be successfully applied to the optimization of a wide variety of business processes – such as healthcare, finances or IT solutions − with the full support of eNET’s expert consultancy team.
Originated in Japan, the philosophy is strongly linked to the automotive industry, but today it is a management approach that can be successfully used to eliminate wastes and optimize processes. The LEAN philosophy’s base is the Toyota Production System (TPS), and in Western culture we know this approach as LEAN management, which is based on the same principles. Client value, people, and respect – these three are the most important centred things. In the case of companies, this is also reflected in the way they value their employees, who are the main asset and the ones who create the value.
LEAN in business operations
The value creation of Six Sigma statistical methodology is reflected in increased customer satisfaction. This can only be achieved by a process-oriented management where all unnecessary factors are eliminated to create the most efficient workflow, reducing the variance to the average tolerance-value expected by the customer. The LEAN philosophy is characterized by the fact that, beyond the workflow, it treats the entire company architecture as a single, interwoven entity that can be visualized with flowcharts.
Key to success in five steps
‘ The LEAN principles are in line with the Toyota-philosophy and could be found in several names in various ways depending on the authors and also the organization which is applying them. However, everyone agrees that the two main principles are respect for customers and elimination of wastes. In order to achieve the basic goals, 5 basic pillars are accepted. ’ (1)
Lean&TPS (Tóth, 2013) —uni-miskolc.hu
The basic goal is to achieve the best quality by matching the shortest lead-time with a given cost (QCD). The first is the definition of customer value, which is based on understanding customer needs. Identifying and eliminating wastes and their sources is critical to the process. The next step is to implement the flow of the outlined process, which means a continuous, balanced operation. It can be achieved through Just in Time and, for example, through decision automation (jidoka) and KANBAN (produce and deliver only the right product, at the right time, in the right quantity), or with the help of many other tools, which haven’t been listed here. Instead of push thinking, LEAN prefers the development of pull production control, which favors the development of a production, producer or service provider system that adapts to customer needs over the push approach. The aim is to meet customer needs on time, to a given quality and at a given cost. And the fifth pillar is improvement, i.e. the implementation of continuous improvement (KAIZEN): even for well-functioning systems, a control phase is necessary! If the basic pillars are implemented, the company will be able to use the most efficient and effective operating model.
What is needed to implement LEAN successfully?
Continuous improvement is essential for the successful application of LEAN. This change is most notably demonstrated by the KAIZEN approach. It is based on the PDCA approach. Always Plan (P)! Once you have done (D) your plan, always check (C)! Always compare your plan with the result (P-D)! If there is a discrepancy, act immediately (A) int the case of value-adding! Introduce standards until the next big plan! And most importantly, always incorporate the lessons of the correction into the next plan (P) to ensure continuous improvement!
How effective is RPA without LEAN?
Today’s RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is an essential branch of IT development. However, the use of RPA alone does not always mean automatic optimization of operations, as there is a common risk of unnecessary automation of processes that were originally unprofitable. This leads to a situation where losses due to operational failures still occur after the RPA project has been implemented at high costs. RPA and LEAN share the common values of optimization and waste elimination, but it is important to emphasize that if there is no LEAN before RPA, wastes can be injected into the process!
Therefore, eNET Consulting Ltd. has set a goal to recommend its clients first to review their operational activities with a LEAN approach before implementing RPA. eNET is outstanding because we provide professional consultancy in both areas!