Lean Process



AndonCord Principle

Andonis a principle that involves alerting the employees or employersthrough a signal whenever a problem arises within the productionsystem or quality-control stream. For an activated Andon, apull-button is used to automatically halt the manufacturing processso that the management or workers can gather the root causes andquickly provide a solution. The warning signals are integrated to anobservable and overhead signboard which specifically identifies thearea with a problem. Andon principle performs well in a manufacturingprocess. Toyota Company uses Andon in the manufacturing of vehiclesand Amazon also uses the principle in serving its customers (Davis,2009). It prevents a production company from continuing to producedefective products. Andon boards can also be applied to inventorymanagement, storage, shipping, picking and receiving. Andon guides acompany team by monitoring and ensuring productivity of qualityitems.

TheKaizen Principle

Kaizenis the routine of persistent improvement. In Kaizen, a sequence ofsmall improvements is made continuously in long term process andresult in great improvement in industrial processes. Kaizen principlewas invented in Japan and was used by many companies to produce goodsand services. Kaizen was later utilized in the United States from1980. The primary characteristic of Kaizen is identifying the causesof mistakes made and rectifying them. Errors are considered as theopportunities to the key of improvement. In Kaizen principle,processing of products and services is more focused than the resultsor outputs (Davis, 2009). Human resources are inadequately improvedas compared to operating systems in Kaizen principle. For example,when a worker commits an error in his or her job, the management doesnot blame the individual but focuses on what went incorrect withinthe process.

Kaizenpractitioners utilize a lot of time in measuring error rates andcustomer satisfaction. The members use data to get facts about thebusiness performance. The data can be enquired from the clients andsuppliers and later compared with the output so that the managementcan take essential steps for incremental improvements. Meetings areoften conducted to discuss various avenues for improvements (Davis,2009). It becomes easier to adjust or implement small improvementsbecause only minor changes are made in operational processes. InKaizen, employees are involved in giving proposals for theimprovements, hence no resistance during the implementation. Instead,the workers enjoy such changes. The philosophy of work in theprinciple is to give the employees the opportunity of participatingin the decision-making process. Kaizen is practiced continuously as alifestyle, but cannot be achieved within hours or a day.

ThePrinciple of Lean Six Sigma

LeanSix Sigma Principle is a strategy that involves the teamwork effortsof improving company’s performance by precisely removing the wastein a production process. The lean enterprise or lean manufacturing iscombined with the Six Sigma Principles to eliminate different typesof wastes that may occur during transportation, waiting or motion(Davis, 2009). Over-processing and over-production also contribute tothe wastage of resources. Process maps, affinity diagrams, and valuestream mapping are the tools required to implement lean Six Sigma inany type or size of an industry. Five principles of Lean Six Sigmashould be applied to eliminate wastage in various fields. In anenterprise, it is nice to know its market, flexibility, focus,velocity, and complexity. Employees should welcome and respect thecustomers in their business premises whenever they enquire servicesor purchase products. The process should be made simple to avoidcomplications. Velocity in the lean process means that work inputshould correspond with the outputs.

MyUnderstanding of Lean Principle

Inmy understanding, a lean principle is a process of adding value forconsumers by use of fewer resources. A lean company always focuses onincreasing the customer value by providing absolute value with zerowaste. I will use the five lean techniques applicable to businesses.The first technique is value identification. The value of goodsrelies on the customers’ tastes and preferences, but not the choiceof the manufacturers. The second method is identifying the valuestream where the raw materials are processed to produce finalproducts. I think Lean Six Sigma principle can be applied at thisstage to minimize wastage of resources because we focus on addingvalue to the goods.

Creatinga flow is the third technique. In this juncture, machine setups areused in value addition to streaming products from one step to theother without delays. I recommend that Andon principle can be appliedat this stage so that the defective products can be immediatelyidentified when detected. The processing is immediately stopped usinga pull button and apply a solution. Establishing customers pull isthe fourth stage where customer orders a certain amount of productsand gets produced to eliminate inventory wastes (Davis, 2009). Acompany can set up the production process such that, if customersorder for goods, they are quickly delivered, and other commoditiesare manufactured for replenishment. Seek of perfection is the finalprocess. In this stage, you need to support and help your employeesto deliver the customers’ needs at favorable prices with no waste.I suggest Kaizen principle can be practiced at this stage forcontinuous improvement and become perfect in business.

Leanin E-commerce

E-commerceinvolves the selling of products or offering services online usingelectronic technology. The business to business e-commerce allows thecustomers to negotiate on prices before making purchasing decisions.In lean, the client is required to e-mail or make a call to thecompany and order goods or services. The advertisement of variousproducts can be done online and provide customers with chances ofchoosing the products to purchase. The customers can also get theinformation of the commodities by using smartphones or computersthrough an internet connection and apply the value stream to get thequalitative products to order. It is referred as Customer ServiceAutomation technology. For example, people can search products inToyota Motor Corporation and see live invoices, shipments, orderlevels, payments and inventory levels and order for goods at any time(Davis, 2009).

Useof e-commerce technique in selling products is a method of seekingperfection in lean process. The company tries to reduce the inventoryand related costs. Supply chain should be effective and efficient toprevent damages which can result in money loss or product wastes. Ifthe customer’s transactions are made, the distributors shoulddeliver in the stated time. Kaizen principle can be used to ensurethe suppliers are trustworthy and qualified in the delivery ofproducts. If e-commerce is fully implemented in the lean process, thedemand for products can go high, hence increase revenues. The flow inmanufacturing can occur if the product market is readily available.

Detailsof a Lean Tools in E-commerce

Kaizen,Andon, value streaming mapping, and 5S are some of the lean toolsapplicable in e-commerce. Kaizen principle in electronic commerceensures improvements in online sales. The employees should beinvolved in the creation of Web Sites where customers can access theinformation about the products to order. The employees can quicklynotice the errors or problems that may arise in online business andalert the management to apply the solution. Defectiveness may alsohappen in e-commerce. Web programs should be incorporated with Andonprinciple such that the defective products can be noticed once theyfeature on the screen and removed for customer convenience (Davis,2009). Automation is required to apply this principle in e-commerce.

Valuestreaming mapping should be interconnected with an online business.After the products are displayed on Web Sites, the customers usuallyvalue streams the products and order the best. The sites should havespace for customers to leave comments about the products and theinformation can be used for value addition to the products with lowquality. 5S can be applied in e-commerce in improving efficiency indisplaying the products at the shortest time possible. There shouldbe no delays when customers are opening the Web provided there is theinternet connection. The products names should be arrangedsystematically either alphabetically or in modernity to simplify theaccess to the products by the customers.

Inconclusion, the lean process involves many principles for anoperational business. Human resources and operations machines andsystems should work efficiently and significantly for a successfulbusiness. Time management plays a key role in lean management toavoid delays in processing or transportation of production, henceminimizing the wastes. All the principles are essential in achievingthe business objectives.


Davis,J. W. (2009).&nbspLeanmanufacturing:ImplementationStrategiesThatWork:ARoadmapto Quickand LastingSuccess.New York: Industrial Press.