You may have heard of “lean operations” at your workplace.
Lean is the process of zero resource wastage. Developed by Toyota, it uses 5 important principles to achieve this state of zero resource wastage operations:
- Define what value means to the customer.
- Map the value stream and re-engineer the process to reduce issues.
- Ensure the seamless flow of processes by fostering cross-functional collaboration.
- Establish a state of customer pull for the product.
- Incorporate lean principles and philosophy into your corporate culture.
The objective is to provide the highest value with the least wastage.
What is lean digital?
Digital manufacturing has become an integral part of organizations today. CAD/CAM software, 3D printers, simulation tools, and other such innovations are being used more often than ever before. There is a great scope for wastage – of memory space, of power, of technical capabilities, of time spent on fixing bugs, – in the sphere of digital manufacturing.
Lean digital is the process of applying lean principles to your digital operations and technologies.
Lean digital practices seek to eliminate these wastages by re-engineering your entire operational process and taking a fresh look at the type of network & infrastructure, digital manufacturing tools, ICT and cloud technologies you’re using currently.
In simple terms, the idea behind lean digital is two-fold:
- If any activity can be digitized – do it and avoid labor waste.
- If an already digitized activity can be improved (in terms of speed, quality, or precision) – do it and save on other resources.
In lean digital, you take a close look at the granular details of the processes and technologies you use to develop products and services. Doing so gives you a fresh perspective of how you can use these technologies in a better way, so they add higher value.
According to a study commissioned by the Boston Consulting Group, companies that implemented lean digital manufacturing practices experienced a 40% overall cost reduction, plus a 30% reduction in work-in-process inventory.
Why today’s companies need to go lean
Most companies in today’s world are digital natives. They scale faster and are at higher risk of digital transformation failure than companies of old times. This makes it essential for them to apply lean digital practices. Simplifying digital manufacturing practices and sprucing up technical capabilities can help companies become more autonomous and innovative.
In fact, adopting lean manufacturing in today’s digital corporate environment can actually be easier than ever before. The ability to collaborate across geographical boundaries, to access a variety of open-sourced tools, and to see the impact on innovations in real-time, have made it easier to implement lean principles.