Farhan Al Shammari*

What is LEAN?

Lean is a methodology in implemented in organizations (most famous company applying it is TOYOTA) that focuses on eliminating waste to deliver what the customer wants with the highest possible margins. 

Lean methodology is a way of Optimizing:

- People.

- Resources.

- Effort.

- Energy. 

Lean is based on two guiding tenets:

1. Continuous improvement.

2. Respect for people.

Lean Value:

- The customer, not the producer, defines all value.

- The price is based on the customer's willingness to pay.

The seven wastes in LEAN

 Everything that does not add value that the customer would be willing to pay for is considered a waste need to be eliminated.

Every employee in every organization needs to improve their work results in a sustainable culture of continuous improvement and they should have the ability to identify and eliminate waste in their work. Empowering staff to be change agents by providing them with :

- Leadership.

- Methodology.

- Tools. 

1. Motion

Motion waste includes the movements of people, materials, or machines are more complicated or occur more frequently than necessary. This kind of waste can cause harm to equipment, product, or employees.

2. Inventory

Inventory of products or materials that is not immediately needed to fulfill customer needs is targeted for elimination. Too much stock creates waste in terms of storage, management, and loss of value over time.

3. Waiting

The waste of waiting occurs when processes become out of sync and the flow is interrupted. People and equipment are idle as they wait for work-in-progress to catch up. Waiting is a costly inefficiency.


The waste of defects include quality errors that invariably cost you much more than you expect, as each defective product necessitates more work or replacement, wasting resources and materials, and can lead to lost customers.

5. Overproduction

Overproduction is an insidious waste because it contributes to many of the other wastes, including inventory, motion, and transportation. The antidote is to produce only what is needed when it is required.

6. Transportation

Lean leaders consider transportation a waste when materials are moved from one place to another in a way that does not add value for the customer.

7. Over-processing

This can be considered the worst of all the wastes because it leads to other wastes and hides the need for improvement. This waste occurs when production exceeds customer requirements, which in turn leads to high levels of inventory which, as you will see, hides many of the problem-areas within your organization. Your goal, therefore, should be to only do what is required when it is required.

The five Lean improvement methods:ESCAP

Lean improvement methods is indicated by ESCAP: Eliminate, Simplify, Combine, Automate, & Parallel (Rearrange), Sometime it comes as ECRS which stands for Eliminate, Combine, Rearrange, and Simplify. The way here is to look at the process and ask ESCAP questions and then execute to remove/reduce waste.


1. E: Eliminate 

Identify the steps in a process that can be eliminated without decreasing production value.

 Ask :

- Can we eliminate the root cause?

- What is the problem/ reflection with this situation currently?

- Do we need a new process?

2. S: Simplify

Simplifying steps can make complicated tasks much easier to understand. For example, this can be done by providing visual aid or better equipment. Simplifying a process has the potential to improve completion times and improve accuracy. 


- Why do we need this detail?

- What is the objective of the process?

- How do others do it?

3. C: Combined

If the process cannot be eliminated, see the possibility if it can be combined.


- Can the same person do both steps?

- Can we merge this step with another?

4. A: Automate

Automation is to set up and programmed equipment produces parts within tight tolerances and can provide automatic alerts if the process veers toward upper- or lower-tolerance limits. This eliminates scrap and rework — two of the gravest sins of lean manufacturing.


- Is this the process can be automated?

- Can we automate these process steps?

5. P: Parallel/ Rearranging

 Parallel / Rearranging steps may make the process faster, easier, or safer. 


- Is this the best sequence of progression?

- Can we rearrange the process steps, process flow, or training?

Therefore, you can see and understand how you might be able to apply Lean approach to improve in your work and also, utilize it for our life perform it and share it with our family and convey it to our society. 


Farhan Hassan Al-Shammari

Twitter: @farhan_939

Email: fhshasn@gmail.com

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