What Is Lean Management? Everything You Need to Know

Do you want to ensure your employees have the best working environment?
Do you want to maximise resources and minimise waste?
Do you want to maximise efficiency, product, and customer satisfaction?

If so, lean management is a method aimed at accomplishing all of these objectives.

Here, we’ll dive into why lean management can be used to manage your business more effectively, help your employees excel, increase revenue, and optimise customer value.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What is Lean Management?
  • Principles of Lean Management
  • Benefits of Lean Management for Your Organisation
  • Examples of Lean Management
  • How to Implement Lean Management
  • Essemy’s Lean Management Workshops

What Is Lean Management?

Lean management, also known as lean manufacturing, is aimed at increasing quality, output, and efficiency. Lean accomplish this by reducing wasted effort, money, and time in the workplace.

The 5 Principles of Lean Management

1. Identify Value

The value your business delivers is determined by the need you solve for your customers. In simple terms, what solution do you offer that customers actively need and are willing to pay for?

Lean management identifies the value your organisation offers, defines it clearly, and determines active needs. Clarifying value can streamline your efficiency by delivering exactly what clients need, saving time, and reducing waste.

2. Mapping the Value Stream

Once you identify your organisation’s value to your customers, the next step is mapping your company’s value stream. Value mapping should evaluate all people, processes, and steps involved in producing the end product and getting it to the customer. By closely examining all aspects of the production and delivery process, you can pinpoint processes that generate value.

Along with recognising what creates value for customers, you can also identify parts of the process that are unnecessary. Any steps that do not improve the workflow can be eliminated, saving time and money and improving overall efficiency.

3. Ensure Continuous Workflow

Once you map your value stream, the next step is taking a closer look at workflow. Although this step can be time-intensive, it is one of the most essential steps in removing roadblocks that waste time and resources.

Getting a service or end product into a customer’s hands consists of a collaborative effort, often involving multiple departments. By taking a close look at each task involved in creating the product or service and everyone involved, it is easier to recognise and remove any obstacles, unnecessary steps, and interruptions. It can help to identify non-value-added activities that can be taken out of the process as it is a cost that is not needed.

This will ensure a continuous workflow that runs smoothly, efficiently, and free of roadblocks.

4. Create a Pull System

Once you’ve ensured continuous workflow it is important to look at how services or products are delivered and create a pull system.

This involves only producing a product or service if there is a marked customer demand for it instead of producing before there is an order and holding too much stock. This technique is aimed at preventing overproduction, decreasing waste, and optimising resources.

5. Continuous Improvement

Once you complete these first four steps, you’ve developed, built, and implemented your lean management system. Now it’s time to keep learning and working toward continued improvement.

There are several ways to maintain and improve your lean management system, such as:

  • Schedule daily meetings for teams or departments to have a quick discussion about what to prioritise for that day, areas that need improvement, and obstacles to watch out for
  • Lead by example
  • Keep your improvement methodology straightforward so everyone can play a role in identifying and implementing improvement opportunities
  • Ask for feedback from employees
  • Prioritise small, measurable improvements
  • Be ready to identify obstacles that arise and address them immediately
  • Get to the root cause of problems
  • Celebrates successes with ongoing recognition for teams and individuals who contributed to the improvements

Lean management principles have expanded beyond manufacturing and are now applied in various industries.

Benefits of Lean Management for Your Organisation

A proficient lean management system can create a workplace that makes employees feel valued and respected while reducing overhead costs and increasing revenue. It’s a true win-win!

Benefits of lean management for your organisation include:

  • Improved employee engagement and focus, leading to higher productivity
  • Continuous improvement in all areas, including process improvement, improved profitability, efficiency and product quality
  • Higher customer satisfaction rates
  • Encourages shared responsibility and leadership
  • Actively reduces lead times and cuts wasteful processes A decrease in activities that are unnecessary or unclear
  • Better use of resources and more targeted efforts
  • Improved ability to adapt to ever-changing market conditions
  • Helps teach your employees lean management skills and applications that will help them excel in their current role
  • Identifies and resolves problems
  • Helps employees feel empowered and respected
  • Encourages a problem-solving, solution-focused workplace culture

How to Implement Lean Management

The goal of lean management is to reduce errors, streamline processes, apply standardisation and produce the highest value products and services for customers while creating the best work environment for employees. Fostering an exceptional work environment and producing quality products and services naturally improves efficiency and creates a more sustainable business.

If you’re ready to streamline your business processes, increase efficiency, and boost productivity we offer a variety of workshops to give your organisation the tools needed to excel.

We offer a wide range of lean management workshops, including:

Essemy offers both off-the-shelf workshop solutions you can easily book through our Essemy platform or our customised solutions, where we collaborate with you to ensure we engage the delivery team that will help you reach your desired outcome.

Whether you are interested in a single workshop or want our experts to tailor a multiple workshop solution that fits your goals and needs, contact Essemy today to find out which workshop solution would be ideal for your organisation.