Lean is a business philosophy applicable to any kind of work process at any kind of business. The premise: driving out waste in all of its forms will lead to better value for the customer.
It means giving customers what they want and when they want it, at a price they are willing to pay. Simply stated, Lean is an avenue for achieving greater customer satisfaction, all while expending fewer resources.
Researchers coined the term Lean in the late 1980s when naming Toyota Motor Corporation’s systemic approach to improvement. The company had developed a collection of revolutionary tools and organizational techniques, built upon a foundation established more than 50 years earlier by Henry Ford.
Today, organizations are using a variety of Lean concepts, such as: