Many organizations are undertaking some form of lean initiative, but if one were to ask one hundred different people, one would probably different explanations from each person. With a variety of methods, techniques, and terms bandied about, many are forced to use the same definition that the late Justice Potter Stewart used for pornography: “I know it when I see it.” Shop floor practices that move inventory to the point of consumption, like kanban, are also associated with lean. But what really is lean? And does it go beyond the shop floor to impacts all areas of the business?
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