The Elements of Lean Manufacturing

7/11/19 10:30 AM

As many manufacturing operations struggle with the concept of improving efficiency within their operation as a whole, many operations find themselves seeking the lean methodology. Lean manufacturing can easily aid your production facility through cost reduction, profit increase, proper inventory management, and more.


Lean manufacturing is a set of practices that are designed to reduce the amount of time and cost of production while maintaining high quality standards. Henry Ford is often referred to as the father of lean manufacturing in America, while new strategies have been introduced over the years in the U.S. and Japan. All manufacturing operations have the ultimate goal of minimizing waste and product defects and creating optimal efficiencies during every stage of production. Before implementing the lean methodology, it is important to understand the elements of lean manufacturing. Without further adieu, here are the elements of lean manufacturing. 

The Elements of Lean Manufacturing 

The elements of lean manufacturing include the following: 

    • Kaizen - Kaizen is the Japanese term for “change” or “improvement”, which serves as a blueprint for lean production. Kaizen is based off of the philosophy that production improvements should be continual and line-worker involvement is critical because they have the best view of the situation. The ultimate goal of lean and Kaizen is to reduce waste and improve process flow. Each step of current production is document, with factors such as production time, distance traveled, scrap rate, changeovers, bottlenecks, and quality being carefully measured. 
    • 5S Workplace Organization - The philosophy behind 5S workplace organization is that inefficient workplaces can’t yield efficient production. Plant Management must take the following five steps to organize physical surroundings before real changes can be made. Sorting involves designing stations for smooth and efficient work flow. Each tool is analyzed and scrutinized for its value to the job and irrelevant items are then removed. 
    • Cellular Manufacturing - Cellular manufacturing, which is also known as “continuous product flow”, recognizes that for maximum efficiency, each stage of production must work in smooth unison with adjoining stages. With that in mind, manufacturers configure their plant so that production can flow quickly and easily from one workstation. Machinery and equipment are regularly maintained to avoid downtime and the plant is designed for the efficient staging of inventory. 

It is important to understand these concepts in order to maximize efficiency within your manufacturing operation. A software that can easily be implemented with a lean methodology production facility is PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software. Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software (APS) provides insight within your operation through allowing you to have a visual representation of the entire process as a whole. It allows you to manipulate areas of production that are in need of process improvement and efficiency enhancement and boost your facility through cost reduction, profit increase, and more. PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software (APS) has become a must for manufacturing facilities around the globe. 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software has become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations due to customer demand for increased product mix and fast delivery combined with downward cost pressures. APS can be quickly integrated with a ERP/MRP software to fill gaps where these system lack planning and scheduling flexibility and accuracy. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) helps planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans.

  • Create optimized schedules balancing production efficiency and delivery performance
  • Maximize output on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
  • Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
  • Provide company-wide visibility to capacity
  • Enable scenario data-driven decision making

Implementation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency, taking advantage of the operational data you already have in your ERP.

Related Lean Video

 APS Resources

Topics: Lean Manufacturing


Download the APS Shootout Results


PlanetTogether APS: A GPS System for your Supply Chain - See Video

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all
Download Free eBook
Download Free APS Implementation Guide
Download Free ERP Performance Review