Businesses in all industries and services, including healthcare and governments, are using lean principles as the way they think and do. Many organizations choose not to use the word lean, but to label what they do as their own system, such as the Toyota Production System or the Danaher Business System. Why? To drive home the point that lean is not a program or short term cost reduction program, but the way the company operates. The word transformation or lean transformation is often used to characterize a company moving from an old way of thinking to lean thinking. It requires a complete transformation on how a company conducts business. This takes a long-term perspective and perseverance.
Caveat: Blitzes are all too often un-targeted, . done with little concern as to the overall impact on the total company. The results of such un-focused blitzes typically have a significant local impact, microcosms of excellence , but little or no impact on overall company well being. See “Solutions Looking for a Problem” below.
Kanban Just-In-Time at Toyota: Management Begins at the Workplace
will also help increase your knowledge of lean manufacturing principles. It is a good book for someone looking to understand the basic concepts of the Toyota Production System (the basis for lean manufacturing). It doesn't go into much detail about how to implement, but it does a good job of explaining the fundamentals in an easy to understand way (in true Japanese style using analogies).
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