Lean Operations
Perform a research of Lean operation. It must include clear example such as Toyota,Ford,…etc and their effort to accomplish the lean techniques.

Introduction
The lean operations philosophy has gained a lot of popularity recently owing to the competitive nature of the modern business environment. Manufacturing companies have to adopt an effective and efficient process to remain competitive, and the lean operations philosophy promotes this ideology. With lean operations, companies seek to adopt practices that eliminate waste in their production process while at the same time being able to increase the output of a given production process. This approach enables companies to do more production work with fewer resources and time but achieve higher results regarding the quality and quantity of their products. This paper will discuss the history and ideology behind lean operations, its benefits and drawbacks, and how modern companies are applying it in different ways to improve their daily operations.
Historical Background of Lean Operations
The origin of lean manufacturing philosophy is often attributed to many predecessors in the field of manufacturing most noticeable of them being the Toyota Production Model, Henry Ford and the “Just in Time” production ideology (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). By borrowing the same ideas from different manufacturing companies; lean operations ideology has developed to what we understand it to be today. The lean operations model continues to evolve even today following the principles that by eliminating wastage, a company can be able to achieve maximum production potential.
The idea of lean operations was being applied by most large companies involved in mass production, way before even Toyota had started to use it as a manufacturing concept. For instance, the Ford Car Manufacturer was already using an idea close to lean manufacturing when developing the Ford Model T car (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). By that time, Henry Ford was already using the ideas of low systems and assembly lines to guide the operations at Ford Company, and these ideas formed the building block of lean manufacturing. However, though the lean operations concept was already in practice, its real impact began to be felt when it made its way to Japan with the Toyoda family (Hernández & Castillo, 2016).
In the 1940s Japan was undergoing through a very tough economic situation as a result of the effects of World War 2 (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). As such, most Japanese manufacturers were undergoing through a lot of challenges such as limited raw materials and capital to carry out their daily business operations. These developments made it very hard for Japanese manufacturers like Toyota to compete with western manufacturers like Ford or General Motors especially in international markets (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). This challenges forced Japanese companies to concentrate on their local markets which were very small in size but diversified. To satisfy its local customers, and attempt to gain some footing in the international markets, Toyota sought the services of Taichii Ohno. Ohno responsibility was to come up with a car manufacturing model that would overcome the tough challenges manufacturers were facing in Japan with the hope of making Toyota a competitive force both locally and internationally (Hernández & Castillo, 2016).
Taichii Ohno worked closely with his friend Shingo to develop a manufacturing model which came to be known as the Toyota Production System, and later the lean operations model. The ideology behind the Toyota Production System had been derived from the Fords production model where Ohno and his colleagues admitted that they learn some of the fundamental principles of their system by copying what Ford had been doing to become so successful in the auto manufacturing industry (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). However, Ohno and his team didn’t copy Ford’s production model blindly, but they customized it to fit into Toyota’s business objectives and Japanese market needs at the time. Owing to the enormous success that the Toyota Production System brought to Toyota, other manufacturing companies globally mainly in Europe and USA take note and started to adopt the principles of this new system into their production models (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). As such, the lean operation philosophy was born, and it has been evolving ever since to meet the current needs of the market.
The Concept of Lean Operations
The concept of lean operations is aimed at having a company take a systematic approach to eliminate wastage and increase efficiency in the production process (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). As such, a manufacturing company has to evaluate its production model to identify the leading causes of wastage so that appropriate action can be taken to minimize them. The lean production model identifies that while an organization can have many objects of wastage derailing its operations, there are eight common causes of wastage that it need to look at.
One of the wastages that the lean production model seeks to eliminate is overproduction. In most cases, manufacturers are likely to engage in the production of a product which there are no customers to purchase. In other words, wastage results when companies participate in the production of a product without evaluating its demand in the market, a practice referred to as “stockpiling,” and was very common before lean manufacturing came into play (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). Most manufacturers often engage in overproduction because it is perceived to be a safety measure especially when the demand is exceeding supply, but this technique can often result in a lot of wastage when the demand fails to match the supply (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). By adopting lean operations, manufacturers seek to produce products only when there are ready customers to purchase them to eliminate wastage and maximize profits.
Another form of wastage that is likely to occur in a manufacturing process is time wastage. In most cases during a production process, workers are often forced to halt their operations to wait for the delivery of materials or certain machines to be set up correctly (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). However, studies show that situations are resulting in employees halting their operations for avoidable circumstances often hurt the efficiency of a given production process. For this reason, the lean operations model often seek to avoid time wastage to enhance ability in the production process.
Conveyance and unnecessary motions are also other forms of wastage that the lean operations model seeks to eliminate in the production process. This kind of wastage occurs when there is a superfluous movement of information or parts during a production process. These movements may include activities that are not adding value to the overall outcome of a given production process. Moreover, moving different parts such as production machines unnecessary may slow down or cause disturbances during the production process (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). For this reason, the lean operations model seeks to encourage organizations to have everything in order before the production process begins to avoid any unnecessary movements that might cause avoidable disturbances which end up derailing the overall production process.
Other forms of inconveniences develop from processing failures and space wastage during a production process. Failure of a given production system to consistently produce goods and services efficiently often leads to defective products (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). As such, a lot of time is usually spent rectifying these defective products or mistakes which can lead to delays in the production process and wastage in resources. Space wastage occurs when a company has to use more space than it is required to produce a given product (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). In such cases, unnecessary resources are spent paying for the extra space which could have been avoided had the required amount of space had been purchased in the first place. Such practices often lead to increasing the overall cost of production.
The lean operation model primary goal is to eliminate all the above types of wastages to ensure that an organization carries out its operations effectively and minimize production costs. However, in most cases, companies engage in wastage practices that often derail their production process either knowingly or without consent. For instance, an organizations failure to evaluate the demand of a particular product may lead to wastage either due to overproduction (Hernández & Castillo, 2016). Other types of wastage such as time, conveyance and unnecessary movement collectively contribute to an organization inability to have an effective and efficient production process. However, adopting a lean operations model help manufacturers to minimize wastages because all the inefficiencies and inconsistencies that cause wastage in a production model have been addressed. This explains why modern originations have embraced the lean operations system because of the many advantages it offers a production process.
Applications of Lean Operations
As we evaluate how different companies apply the lean operations model, it is important, to begin with, a case study of Toyota which is the company credited for developing this philosophy to what it is known today. The product development and manufacturing process of any company can be credited for its success. Today Toyota is considered one of the most successful automobile companies globally with a majority of this success being attributed to its lean operations model.
Toyota has applied the lean operations model by creating a global manufacturing representation where it has moved its productions sites to different parts of the world to service the needs of a particular market segment accurately (Brunner, 2014). By doing this Toyota has been able to eliminate overproduction wastage and minimize unnecessary movement during the production processes which are some of the challenges preventing an effective and efficient production process. Toyota has been able to cut substantial production costs that are often associated with mass production from one setting. As such, the lean operations model has enabled Toyota to produce quality and safe cars at a lower cost compared to the traditional production models. Also, Toyota can customize its car models to suits the needs of a specific geographical location because their production plants are based in different regions of the world, which leads to customer satisfaction and quick delivery of its products (Brunner, 2014).
Though the lean operations philosophy began in the auto manufacturing industry, it has been adopted by organizations in other sectors to improve their operations of doing business. One such company is Nike, a brand that is associated with the manufacture of sportswear like shoes and clothing (Bhasin, 2015). Nike has been able to achieve massive success in its business model as it is considered one of the best sportswear manufacturing companies worldwide. Much of this success is attributed to its ability to apply the lean operations model to its production process. One way the company has been able to use the lean model is by introductions quality assurance standards in all its manufacturing factories in different parts of the world (Bhasin, 2015). By adopting this approach, the company can enhance consistency regarding the quality of products produced in all its different factories which helps to reduce any misunderstandings that might arise. Also, this model allows Nike to minimize processing failures and time wastage that might result from the production of inferior goods (Bhasin, 2015). This approach has enabled Nike to remain competitive in its industry over the years because it has embraced the lean operations model effectively.
INTEL, the computer manufacturing giant, is also another company that has fully embraced and leveraged on lean operations model to stay at the top of its industry. INTEL has been able to successfully apply the lean operations model to produce high-quality computer products in an industry that is very competitive and sensitive to the quality of the product produced. One way the company has applied lean manufacturing practically is by streamlining its processes to minimize on time wastage. For instance, the company has been able to cut the time it takes to deliver a microchip to its factories for other production purposes from three months to just less than ten days (Moroz, 2018). Given that Intel is operating in an industry that is very conscious of the quality of a product produced, the company realized that increasing the quantity of production wasn’t the right technique to achieve profitability. Instead, it focused on adopting lean operating techniques that would help it minimize wastages such as time, conveyance and unnecessary movements (Moroz, 2018). Utilizing this technique has help Intel to remain competitive and vibrant it the computer manufacturing industry.
The Benefits of Lean Operations
There are many benefits associated with lean operations model, key among them being the ability to help organizations minimize on wastage and cut down on their production cost. For instance, organizations apply the lean operations model can reduce on time wastage. In most cases during a production process, workers are often forced to halt their operations to wait for the delivery of materials or certain machines to be set up correctly. However, studies show that situations resulting in employees terminating their operations for avoidable circumstances often hurt the efficiency of a given production process (Smart, 2013). For this reason, the lean operations model is beneficial to new organizations because it helps them to avoid time wastage to enhance efficiency in the production process.
Another critical benefit of lean manufacturing is that companies can manufacture products based on the customer’s needs. The lean production model helps to eliminate overproduction which often occurs as a result of a company producing products that customers do not need (Smart, 2013). In other words, overproduction results from companies engaging in the production of a product without evaluating its demand in the market. Most manufacturers often engage in overproduction because it is perceived to be a safety measure especially when the demand is exceeding supply, but this technique can often result in a lot of wastage when the demand fails to match the supply (Smart, 2013). By adopting lean operations, manufacturers can produce customized products which are easy to market, and it helps eliminate wastage and maximize profits.
Lean operations have also benefited the manufacturing industry by eliminating unnecessary movement of information or parts during a production process which can lead to a lot of inefficiencies. These movements may include activities that are not adding value to the overall outcome of a given production process. Moreover, moving different parts such as production machines unnecessary may slow down or cause disturbances during the production process (Smart, 2013). For this reason, the lean operations model encourages organizations to have everything in order before the production process begins to avoid any unnecessary movements that might cause avoidable disturbances which end up derailing the overall production process. By eliminating unnecessary movement of information or parts during a production process, most organizations can deliver their products efficiently and within the set deadlines.
Other benefits of the lean production model include helping organizations improve on the quality of their products, and develop new tactical strategies that meet the current market’s needs. For instance, a company like Intel has employed lean manufacturing to remain competitive in an industry where products have to be upgraded or changed on a regular basis (Moroz, 2018). Using lean manufacturing, Intel can remain flexible and adaptive to the ever-changing market needs thus responding to changing market trends effectively. Another example is with the lean operations model applied by Toyota to produce quality and safe cars at a lower cost compared to the traditional production models. Toyota can customize its car models to suits the needs of a specific geographical location because their production plants are based in different regions of the world, which leads to customer satisfaction and quick delivery of its products. As such, the lean operations model is a useful tool because it helps companies improve on the quality of their products, and develop new tactical strategies that meet the current market’s needs.

Conclusion
In conclusion, the lean operation offers manufacturing companies an effective and efficient model which helps them to remain competitive in their respective industries. The lean operations model helps companies to adopt practices that eliminate waste in their production process while at the same time being able to increase the output of a given production process. This approach enables companies to do more production work with fewer resources and time but achieve higher results regarding the quality and quantity of their products. Classic examples of where the lean operations model has been applied are with Toyota which has been able to eliminate overproduction wastage. Toyota has been able to cut substantial production costs that are often associated with mass production from one set by having many production plants in different parts globally, a practice that helps it produce customized products and eliminate wastage. Other examples include the case of Nike which introduced quality assurance standards in all its manufacturing factories in different parts of the world. By adopting this approach, the company can enhance consistency regarding the quality of products produced in all its different factories which helps to reduce any misunderstanding. This model allows Nike to minimize processing failures and time wastage that might result from the production of substandard goods. From the preceding, the benefits of lean manufacturing are many, and any organization should seek to adopt it as a useful production model.

References
Bhasin, S. (2015). Clarification of the Lean Concept. Lean Management Beyond Manufacturing, 11-26. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-17410-5_2
Brunner, F. J. (2014). Toyota Productions-System TPS. Japanische Erfolgskonzepte, 103-131. doi:10.3139/9783446439993.007
Hernández, J. G., & Castillo, M. T. (2016). Lean Manufacturing- A Tool for Improvement of Production System. GBAMS- Vidushi, 8(02). doi:10.26829/vidushi.v8i02.9727
Moroz, E. (2018). Computer aided manufacturing processes using Lean Management and Lean Manufacturing methods. Mechanik, (7), 535-537. doi:10.17814/mechanik.2018.7.76
Santoso, G. E., Ayu, G., & Septivani, N. (2013). Lean Strategy Implementation to Improve Throughput in Assembly Line: Dul-Db21ssc Manufacturing Process at PT. X. ComTech: Computer, Mathematics and Engineering Applications, 4(1), 371. doi:10.21512/comtech.v4i1.2749
Smart, N. J. (2013). Lean compliance and considerations connected with enabling Lean manufacturing. Lean Biomanufacturing, 273-294. doi:10.1533/9781908818409.273

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