Lean Operations And Supply Chain

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Introduction Lean operations and supply chain originated from the Toyota Production System in Japan and have influenced manufacturing over the past two to three decades. Lean is described as the product of applying the Toyota Production System to all areas of an industrial process. Toyota’s strategies are based on Just in Time manufacturing, continuous flow, reducing lead times, eliminating non-value added waste, and excess inventory, a pull system centred on customer demand and continuous improvement (Liker, 2004). These integrated processes became the basis of Lean manufacturing and have recently extended to include all aspects of the supply chain process. Raw materials arrive Just in Time for production based on the demand of the…show more content…
In order to capture the market, Toyota evolved unique processing strategies so that a flexible variety at low cost, a realizable quality and small lot sizes could be reached (Liker, 2004). This was the start of the lean enterprise which comprises of lean process, lean culture and philosophy and lean supply chain process. The main characteristics of lean operations and philosophy and their difference with the traditional approach are discussed below. Lean Processes Continuous Flow by eliminating non value added waste In lean processes, it is important to identify and eliminate the following seven non-value added waste.  Overproduction and storage  Time on hand of workers  Pointless transport  Over processing, excess inventory  Unnecessary movement  Unused employee activity  Defects In a supply chain process, the value added activities would be those that add value to a customer. Eliminating waste creates a continuous flow by reducing lead time from the raw material to the finished good, improves quality, lowers cost and if there are any problems, they become visible (Liker, 2004). In the traditional approach, instead of eliminating waste, an improvement is made in the value added time. Either the value added stream is replaced by machinery or uptime is added making it a just little more efficient. The process does not really add to much improvement. The difference between this approach and the lean approach is since the value added
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