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The Origin of Lean Management

The term Lean Management, short Lean, has developed from the thinking, methods and procedures of the Toyota Production System (TPS). TPS aims at meeting the customer’s requirements in terms of quality, delivery time and price. The fulfilment of these requirements is the basis for a lasting and successful company development.

Through the holistic view of production factors such as personnel, resources and supplies as well as the customer-orientated planning and organisation of all company activities, the TPS has established itself as a globally recognised management philosophy that specifically focuses on the consistent, efficient and resource-saving use of all production factors – and has done so since the beginning of the 20th century!

The Lean Philosophy’s key aspect is the prevention of waste. Taiichi Ohno, who played a major role in shaping TPS, writes in his book „Toyota Production System“:

The basic concept of the Toyota Production System, as I have emphasized several times, is a thorough elimination of waste.

A system designed for lean processes begins with a needs analysis of the customer’s requirements and, based on this, the efficient design of the entire value-added process. All processes, both administrative and production, are designed to produce only what is really needed and what meets the quality and delivery demands.

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The Lean Philosophy key aspects

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  • Knowing and meeting the customer’s requirements
  • Increasing the added value
  • Recognising and eliminating the waste
  • Synchronising processes (Tact – Flow -Pull)
  • Reduction of lead time
  • Reduction of material stocks
  • Failure prevention (Poka Yoke)
  • Standardisation of processes
  • Employee qualification and training
  • Continuous Improvement Process – CIP


Advantages of Lean implementation

  • Reduction of delivery time
  • Increase in productivity
  • Improvement of delivery reliability

  • Simplification of work processes
  • Synchronising operating cycles
  • Reduction of storage space
  • Prevention of extra work

  • Reduction of lead time
  • Reduced use of resources
  • Increased productivity


Die Lean Management Philosophie lässt sich auf alle Bereiche, sowohl Administration als auch Produktion mit allen begleitenden Funktionen, eines Unternehmens übertragen.

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