Lean Process

Best Practice Overview

Organizations leveraging an approach to “Lean” that incorporates Total Quality Management (TQM) concepts have achieved sustainable results. The quality aspects of a good lean implementation are embedded throughout the process and result in “real-time” quality measurement not just control.

Unlike many 1980’s quality fads, lean is a bi-product of what “really” worked.  Kaizan, Kanban, and Hoshin as well as other Japanese principals used to be alternatives to TQM or at least components of a rounded program.  The AMS approach to Lean allows clients to leverage the most important aspects of all of these programs and achieve sustainable results.

AMS has back dropped Lean implementations with existing quality programs including ISO and Six Sigma.  Lean concepts are driven by waste reduction.  These concepts bring us back to the days of Deming and Juran but the approach is very different.  The quality aspects of a good lean implementation are embedded throughout the process and result in “real-time” quality measurement not just control.

Best Practice Implementation Considerations 

The Toyota Production System defines seven types of waste:

  • Overproduction: to produce more than demanded or produce it before it is needed. It is visible as storage of material. It is the result of producing to speculative demand;
  • Inventory or Work In Process (WIP): is material between operations due to large lot production or processes         with long cycle times;
  • Transportation: does not add any value to the product. Instead of improving the transportation, it should be minimized or eliminated (e.g. forming cells);
  • Processing waste: should be minimized by asking why a specific processing step is needed and why a specific product is produced. All unnecessary processing steps should be eliminated;
  • Motion: of the workers, machines, and transport (e.g. due to the inappropriate location of tools and parts) is waste. Instead of automating wasted motion, the operation itself should be improved;
  • Waiting: for a machine to process should be eliminated. The principle is to maximize the utilization/efficiency of the worker instead of maximizing the utilization of the machines;
  • Making defective products: is pure waste. Prevent the occurrence of defects instead of finding and repairing defects.The AMS approach to Lean will help to reduce waste and increase productivity.  Our methodical and structured approach has helped clients realize immediate and sustainable results.

Best Practice Summary

LEAN is no longer an alternative organizational structure, it has become and integrated way of doing business.  AMS can help you transform through optimization of the people, process, technology and organization that drives the output of your efforts.