The term Lean Management describes the achievement of lean structures and processes in the entire value chain. Accordingly, one of the main goals is the optimization of processes. The aim is to uncover and remedy optimization potentials such as bottlenecks or process loops. The company and the entire value chain should adhere to the following basic principles:
1) Creating added value for the customer (from the customer’s point of view)
2) Avoid wastefulness
3) Continuous improvement
How can you continuously improve your work?
An improvement, for example in production, is possible through the application of the so-called Kaizen 5S. The 5 S stand for the Japanese words seiton, seiri, seiketsu, seiso and shitsuke. These translate to align, sort, standardize, polish and maintain. The methods behind the individual terms are as follows:
“Sort” stands for the subdivision of objects of a segment into “needed” and “not needed”. “Align” means that all required items must be arranged in such a way that they can be used quickly and easily. It is important to select positions and arrangements of items in such a way that every employee can find them quickly and return them after completing their work. ” Polish ” aims at the clean and usable maintenance of workplaces as well as the used articles. For example, defects can be detected at an early stage. “Standardize” means that the three previous steps are carried out regularly and on the basis of defined regulations. “Maintain” describes the continuous checking and improvement of the defined steps and rules.
All these methods are aimed at improving the workflows and thus the processes. If this improvement is carried out regularly, the status of a Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) is achieved. In addition to minimizing waste and improving processes, the focus of the changes is also on customer orientation. Furthermore, teamwork is to be promoted through decentralized structures with openness, exchange and feedback.
Further methods to implement Lean Management are Kanban and Six Sigma.