LEAN Misconceptions – Part 3
In Part 2 we shed light on the fact that Lean is not a process to reduce the number of employees, which followed from the initial myth that was debunked being that Lean is all about cost reduction. In this article we explore the myth that Lean is only applicable to manufacturing.
Misconception # 3: Lean is only applicable to manufacturing organisations
The origins of Lean can be traced back to Henry Ford in the 1920’s when he developed the assembly line for the Model-T Ford. In the 1950’s, we then had the quality crusade driven by Deming and Mitrofanov’s Group Technology which was further enhanced by Burbidge in the 1970’s. In the 1980’s the Just-in-Time, Zero Inventory and Total Quality Control (JIT/TQC) era rose to the forefront, and finally Lean took center-stage with Ohno and the development of the Toyota Production System (TPS) in Japan. So while neither Ford, Deming et al, called their methodologies ‘Lean’, their approach always focused on the elimination of all forms of ‘waste’…the very essence of Lean. It was only in the 1990’s that these various approaches to process improvement were finally amalgamated and called ‘Lean’. Read more