Lean Manufacturing: Origin, Definition, Development

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These principles were first coined by John Krafcik in 1988; these principles were invented in his master thesis. John Krafcik was a quality engineer in Toyota-GM NUMMI joint venture before he started his master in Sloan School of Management (MIT). So, it can be said that lean principles came from the Japanese manufacturing industry. Lean principles were tested on the IMVP (the International Motor Vehicle Program) in the Toyota Company by John Krafcik. (Holweg, Matthias ,2007)

1.2 Definition

Lean manufacturing is defined as a generic manufacturing process management philosophy that was derived from Toyota Production system (TPS), then after that in the 1990s it became known as "Lean". It is also defined as an operational strategy that aims to achieving the possible shortest cycle time by eliminating waste. Its way to the value adding process is done in two ways (eliminating waste, reducing incidental work). Lean manufacturing is coined to represent:

Half of the human efforts.

Half the investments in tools.

Half of hours that use to develop a new product.

Half of the manufacturing space.

1.3 Development

As any principle in the world when it become famous and useful for people and for the companies using it, it should be developed and improved to meet any new requirements in its field to keep it efficient and to keep its place between another principle. Now the demand on goods are increasing in comparison with the number of goods that is produced from factories and companies, so Lean manufacturing process should be deployed to meet these requirements and this increase in the number of goods. As explained before in section 1.2, Lean manufacturing principle aims to eliminate the waste to get the shortest cycle time. The development of the Lean manufacturing principle should be done by making new tests and new studies on some companies to see what are the new requirements for the companies, these studies and tests aims to keep the companies work in the same level or to improve it to new level. (Daniel T. Jones ,2003).

1.4 Future of the Lean Philosophy

Lean philosophy was introduced and developed by one of the biggest companies in the world and also in the big market in the world till these days. This philosophy should be improved and spread widely more in the world to keep it in the top of investments philosophies. Many companies around the world in many markets wants to develop and introduce new philosophy depending on their companies and on there infrastructure. So to keeping this philosophy in the top of philosophies around the world some improvements and studies should be done on this philosophy to make it going with any new requirements for the companies all around the world.

The future of Lean philosophy depend of its capability to meet the demand of the markets, since keeping its success depends on fulfilling any demands in the market and also should solve any problems face it. This philosophy future can keep it success if it's deploying with the deployments of the markets and when new philosophy introduce by some company. Lean future will make companies future growth and going to the top between the other companies.

1.5 Comparison

Lean manufacturing principles are presented to remove the mass production principle and give new things to the companies all around the world. The main differences between Lean manufacturing principle and mass production principle are:

Risk: the risk in applying Lean principle it less than the risk in applying mass production principle since the wastes in the mass principle are more than that in the Lean principle.

Size of production: Lean principle can adjust the production quantities depend on the market demand but in the mass production it is so hard to adjust the quantities depending on the market demand.

Handling changes: Lean principle offers a good response with change in anything in the company, since there is a direct link between the employees and the higher management.

Labor skill: employees in the Lean principle have high skills in work and they can work multiple jobs not like the company in the mass production where every employee should work in certain job only.

2. Obstacles facing Lean

Lean principle may face some problems, but any successful principle should solve any problems facing it to prove that it is capable to solve any thing face it. One of the main obstacles that faces Lean principle the cultural value of the countries that's Lean is spreading and is being applied to it, because some countries want there principles to be applied in all companies to prove there principles are the best and there market are the top among other markets, in other words, the available rules fight for its existence in a way or another.

To apply this principle a new design should apply in the companies want to use it inside its environment, this is one of the obstacles that may face Lean principle in the companies and also some times the old minds in the companies who they think in very old way.

Redesigning the companies to by compatible with Lean management, it is also considering as one the problem that faces Lean principle in the companies. The higher management ideas that will change with time changing also one of the problems that will effect on the success of the Lean principle.(Adsit, Dennis,2008).

Employees problem consider as one of the main problems that faces Lean since employees will have direct link with the higher management which could make some conflicts with the upper level employees which may affect their position in the company, also some conflicts can occur between lean organization employees with other non-lean organizations due to the different understanding of concepts.

3. Actual Case Study

To understand all previous sections and to make the idea clear for all an actual study should be consider here. Orange the trade mark of the France telecom company will be the case study which will be analyze here.

3.1 Key Problems

Since Orange spread all over the world so it will face a lot of problems, the main two problems are high competency with other competitors and the number of countries that Orange serve.

The first problem makes orange want to create new method and strategies to face this problem form all sides, since orange wants to be the first operator in the countries that serve them but in the other side the competitor also want to be the first operator in that countries. Orange serve in many fields like (mobile, fixed, data) fields so every one of the previous fields want special mind and special principles to be used in it. The reader will say where is the products that orange introduce to peoples there are some factories that Orange establish to produce some products that serve the communication field like (Live box, orange 3G+ dongle). So these factories should work in some principles help it to be between the best factories in their fields.

The big number of countries that Orange serves is one of the problems that should be taken into consideration to keep this company between the top in the world. So some quality and control system should be use in the Orange branches all over the world to make everything going easy and to keep the name of this company in the top of hierarchy. It can conclude that any problems face Orange should be analyze and studied carefully to make it compatible to solved by Lean principle.

3.2 Suggested Quality System

Orange should embrace the Six-Sigma approach because it aims to minimize the variation in the services methods applied presented to the customer and increase the reliability of these services by reducing the errors made. It also will increase customer satisfaction because it requires feedback from the customer to decide if there is any problem in the production process.

Orange company apply higher quality system in its branches all over the world and this quality system done and applied by a full professional team in the quality system department where this department work to ensure that higher level of quality applied in the company. Also auditing department helps quality department helps in applying the quality system in the company. It can conclude that the best method that can help Orange to apply its own quality system is establishing new department that contains both quality and auditing departments together.

3.3 How this quality system is going to help it in the future?

Applying this quality system in Orange and establishing the new department which contains quality and auditing departments will help Orange to keep its success and also improve its place between other companies. Also the quality system will help Orange to control the behaviors and skills of the employees all over the world.

Increasing the loyalty of the customers will come if the company represents the high quality of services to the customers that will come from applying the best quality system which will make employees to give the best services to the customers. The profits of the company also will increase if the customers become more loyal to it.

4. Managerial Approaches

4.1 Kaizen

Kaizen it is a Japanese concept that means "improvement" or "the change for the better" which referees to the practices or philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement of the manufacturing process and also in the business process supporting. It also referees to these activates that improve all functions and also making a new line between the employees and the higher manager of the company. This concept aims to eliminate waste like the Lean manufacturing process. Kaizen, like Lean manufacturing principles, was first implemented in the Japanese business after the world second war. (Liker, J. 2006).

The cycle of the Kaizen (Shewart cycle) defined as:

Firstly standardize an operation.

Measuring the standardized operation which also means finding cycle time and the amount of the in-process inventory.

After that the gauge measurements against the requirements take its place.

To meet the requirements and to increase the productivity done by employees innovate.

Finally improved the operations by the new standardize.

Cycle continue.

The main five elements of Kaizen are:

Improved morale.

Improvement suggestions.


The quality circles.

Personal discipline.

4.2 Just-In-Time (JIT)

It is an inventory strategy used to improve the business's that return on the investment by two ways (reducing the in process inventory and also associated the carrying costs). Just -In-Time is also used to improve a manufacturing organization and its investment returns, efficiency and quality.

Just- In-Time has many benefits the main befits of it are:

Improve the flow of the goods from the warehouse to shelves.

Reduce the setup time.

Emphasis increased on the supplier relations.

The employees with high skills are used more efficiently.

Work hours and work schedule synchronized with demand.

4.3 Total Quality Management (TQM)

It is defined as a management concept defined and coined by W. Edwards Deming. It is basis on the reducing of the errors which produced during the manufacturing and service process. This concept aims to increase customer satisfaction and making a new modernization of the equipments and to ensure that all workers have the highest level of training. Business process required development, maintenance of organizational and deployment all of that associated with Total Quality Management. (Thareja P,2008).

4.4 Six Sigma

Six sigma, defined as a strategy that used in the business management. It was developed by Motorola Company in the United States of America (USA) in 1981. it seeks to improve the process quality by removing the defects causes and also minimizing the variability in manufacturing and in the business process. Six Sigma use a set of methods in quality management which including the statistical methods and also creates an infrastructure for peoples within the organization.

There is a main difference between Total Quality Management and Six Sigma where Total Quality Management tries to improve the quality by ensuring the conformance to the internal requirements, in the other side Six Sigma also tries to improve the quality but with reducing the number of defects.

4.5 Discussion

If any company wants to keep its place between other companies and wants to be the leader in its markets, it should use some approaches like (kaizen, Just-In-Time, Total Quality Management, and Six Sigma) where these approaches can help it in keeping its name and to improve it's self for the better. Sometime the solutions of the problems which approaches can't fix should be done by some high professional team know companies situation in the market and know what the market needs in the present and in the future. All previous approaches developed and presented by a leading companies in their field which make there in the top of the approaches in the world.

5. Conclusions

(1) Lean manufacturing techniques represent by Toyota to decrease the time between the customers order all around the world and the shipment time.

(2) Lean management is designed to improve employee moral and through put time.

(3) Mass production principle started to fade away because Lean principle takes its place in the companies.

(4) Managerial approaches like (kaizen, Just-In-Time, Total Quality Management, and Six Sigma) should be use in the companies which wants to be the leader in its work.

(5) The obstacles which face Lean principles should be studies and solving by a high professional team to help Lean principle as one of the best principle all over the world.