You know the statistics—lean can shorten your lead times, reduce inventories, cut operating costs, free up resources, and more. But countless surveys have confirmed that most lean initiatives fail to deliver expected and needed results. Why? Are successes confined to a restricted list of industry sectors? Are only "lean experts" capable of leading an organization through a successful implementation?
context flow diagram inventory
help put these into context, let's review some of the more traditional approaches to starting a lean implementation. 5S 5S. Many companies begin lean by employing a technique called 5S, or Workplace Organization. The 5 and S come from the five Japanese words; seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. The English equivalents (keeping the 5S theme in mind) are: sort, set, shine, standardize, and sustain. Essentially, this is a process to organize a work area, focused on improving efficiency, safet