Sorry, But Lean Is About Cost Reduction… | Rob van Stekelenborg | LinkedIn

“It seems to be popular these last years and more recently to explicitly state that Lean is not (only) about cost reduction or cost cutting. See the recent posts by Mark Graban or Matt Hrivnak. So let me be somewhat controversial in this post (which I think is allowed to spark the discussion) and drop a bombshell: I think Lean is about cost reduction.”

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Michel Baudin‘s comments:

I know that much of the TPS literature is about “reducing costs,” but it never includes any discussion of money! Ohno is even quoted as saying “Costs are not there to be measured, but to be reduced.” On the face of it, it makes no sense, because cost is an accounting term intended to represent the monetary value of all the resources spent to achieve a result.

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Waste audit form from Toyota Material Handling UK

Toyota Material Handling UK Muda audit formSee on Scoop.itlean manufacturing

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

This form is of interest because it comes from Toyota. Note that, in Toyota literature, to “add value” means physically changing the product. It is not used in the US Lean sense of something a customer is willing to pay for.

The labels for some of the waste categories are unusual. “Defects” is here labeled “Rework,” which seems to exclude the option that defective products are just scrapped.

This audit form has no checkboxes, but instead blocks of space to enter free text. It is even followed by an overall “Notes” section.

What this says is that the purpose of the form is to prompt teams to observe and record their findings. It is not about scoring areas or lines on any scale. It is to help improvement efforts, not benchmark against others.

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