Lean manufacturing and its focus on creating customer value, eliminating waste and increasing efficiency has proven so powerful over time that it’s been applied across everything from education to healthcare to software development. Lean manufacturing has important applications in choosing and maintaining communications equipment and solutions.
Lean Manufacturing is Derived from the Toyota Production System (TPS)
To understand lean manufacturing, what it means for communications and how communications can help drive efficiency, let’s start by taking a quick trip back in time to the turn of the 20th century at Toyota headquarters in Japan, where many of the principles of lean manufacturing were born. Toyota is known for using the method and philosophies of lean manufacturing to transform itself from a small loom-making company to the world’s largest automaker.
In the 1920s, Toyota was a manufacturer of automatic looms, including a novel weaving machine that automatically stopped production when it encountered a problem. That focus on not wasting time and material is the seed of what became the Toyota Production System (TPS), which is what lean manufacturing is derived from.