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Lean six sigma

Lean: creates customer value through efficient use of resources

Six Sigma: identifies root causes of problems using quality control tools

Lean Philosophy

Tenets of Lean Philosophy:


Elimination of waste: eliminate non value adding activities


A broad view: overall goals should drive all tasks


Simplicity: The simpler the solution the better


Continuous improvement: Apply the idea of never ending



Visibility: Visible problems are identifies and solved


Flexibility: Quickly adapt to changing customer needs

Elements of Lean

Lean Production

The Pull System

Traditional system- push approach- forecasting of goods and

anticipation of it to match the demand

Lean- Pull approach- starts with last workstation and works

backward through the supply chain- the precise amount of
products- see inventory as cost- try to eliminate excess inventory

Visual Signals- communication between work centers and channel

partners and between channel partners- kanban: A signaling
system (product name, part number and the quantity that needs
to be produced)

Kanban square: it indicates that more goods are needed

Flag: that is raised to indicate it is time to produce next

container of goods which is called Signal Kanban

Small Lot Production:

Primary way of elimination inventory (for ex. 10 vs 1000)

Shortens manufacturing lead time (actual time to produce)

Give flexibility to respond more quickly to customer demand

(need to manage set up time)

Uniform plant loading:


Disruptive changes can results into inefficiency and waste


Lean set a production plan for shorter period of month ,

that is known as uniform plant loading or leveling

Respect for people

Role of workers

Lean relies on cross functional skills of worker

Lean considers those closest to the problems best suited to make


They are given autonomy and their opinions are highly valued

They are responsible for inspecting their own work as well as the material
received from previous operation

Jidoka- authority of every worker to stop production process and fix problems
as they occur

Quality circle- group of 5 to12 employees who come together to solve quality

Role of management- to make cultural change to make lean success, culture

of close operation and mutual trust, workers must be empowered, they make
workers to feel secure in their jobs

Role of suppliers

Lean emphasizes on long term supplier relationship

No. of suppliers smaller than traditional system

Single source supplier for different parts

With few suppliers- easy to develop stable and repetitive

delivery schedules