You hear a lot about lean in the corporate sector. It is a method for maximising the efficiency of your production and logistics process. So without waste, superfluous actions or costs, with the intention of producing a top product with a low cost price and high quality. You can learn about lean at all kinds of courses and workshops, up to academic level. You can fill many metres of shelves with all the books that have been written about lean.
Lean is something you can learn by doing it
I believe in lean. But not because I studied it. In my opinion it simply makes sense. Lean has everything to do with simple common sense. There is no good alternative. That’s why all the processes at ITS have always been structured in a way that maximises efficiency. We are always watching out for waste, before it even happens. And we train our staff to think and act logically.
Keen to be lean
During guided tours of our great factory we are frequently asked how we have achieved this level of lean production. I always say that logical action forms the basis of all those processes. Lean is simple. Think of your own garden shed. You wouldn’t fill it up completely, so that you then have to empty the whole shed each time you want to cut the lawn because the lawn mower is right at the back. You will put the lawn mower at the entrance. This is lean in its most simple form. You have to be keen to be lean.
Improve? Not alone, but together
There is one aspect from lean that appeals to me enormously: lean is about continuous improvement. What is good today will be a challenge for further improvement tomorrow. You never finish improving. It is a continuous process representing a permanent method. This requires the full cooperation and commitment from your staff. You can’t improve alone, you have to do it together. So lean is based on human effort. Do you consider this a weak link? In that case I challenge you to regard your staff as a strong link. If you are able to motivate them to achieve a maximum result on the basis of their own professional conduct, you will get an unbelievable flow in your company. Lean as a way of life. I hope you will also achieve that with your people. Or perhaps you can teach me something about lean.