The basic idea of Lean Management is to avoid any type of waste. All activities should be absolutely aligned on customer benefit. This value stream, which runs – starting from the customer – through the entire company and all divisions, needs to be freed from any unnecessary burden.

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Only 10% of Companies Apply Lean Management

A study conducted by the University Baden Wüttenberg (DHBW, Germany) in 2013, which had surveyed 1,000 strongest German market leaders with the highest revenue, showed that just 10% of the interviewed companies actually apply Lean Management.

Lean has its origin in the production of material goods and became known through the Toyota production system. It has been developed constantly over the last years and now it can be applied in all areas of a company.

The strength of ScS is to develop such concepts, customize them and make them accessible to our clients. Based on the approaches from Lean Management we developed our own project method Concalix that represents a combination of PMI method and Lean Management.

Lean Management: Focus on customer benefit

Lean concepts

We have developed these concepts further for many divisions and combined them with modern methods to increase the efficiency. Some examples are:

  • Lean Budgeting
  • Lean Enterprise Planning
  • Lean Human Ressources
  • Lean Procurement
  • Lean IT
  • Lean Operation
  • Lean Controlling
  • Lean Real Estate
  • Lean Project Management (Concalix ™)
  • Lean Innovation

Principles of Lean Management

There are 5 main principles

Value for the customer from the customer´s point of view

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  • Development of a deep understanding of customer benefit and needs
  • Development of products, processes and methods which even exceed the customer expectations
  • Development of concrete methods for identification and measurement of customer benefit
  • Maximum focus on customer needs

Working in value streams

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  • All processes are organized around the value stream
  • The processes are audited and analyzed from beginning to end
  • Production, control, measurement and improvement through the entire value stream
  • Examination of the value stream starting from the first customer contact through order processing, production, delivery and payment up to customer support
  • The Value Stream Manager is responsible for the end-to-end perspective

Maximization of the flow to the customer (flow principle)

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  • Uninterruptible flow of material, information and money
  • Avoidance of any unnecessary processes, delays, overproductions or mistakes
  • The entire process from the production to delivery is coordinated, harmonized and oriented on customer demands
  • The faster the production and other processes the lower the costs

The main task of Value Stream Manager is to give its employees further qualification and training.

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  • All processes are characterized by standardized activities
  • Visualization of processes to offer better decision-making options on all levels
  • All employees are aware of the issues or errors which can occur and know potential solutions
  • The employees are enabled and motivated to improve their performance continuously
  • All processes are oriented on customer benefit

Striving for perfection

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  • Establishment of improvement processes until the highest possible performance, quality or value of any process has been achieved
  • Lean is a long-term strategic and not just a short-term tactical measure
  • Not everything has to happen at the same time. It is enough to achieve 60% in the first step.
  • Lean improvements can be achieved by alignment and empowering of employees and by small daily changes
  • PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT in short cycles

Challenges in introduction of lean management

There may be obstacles and circumstances that make the implementation difficult. These hurdles have already been summarized by v. Eckardstein:

  • Traditional thought and working structures
  • Lack of knowledge and limited understanding of LM
  • Lack of support from the top management
  • Stereotyped concepts
  • Excessive speed in the introduction and implementation process
  • Strong opposition at middle management level
  • Lack of teamwork
  • Role problems at management level
  • Limited process and customer orientation as well as wrong quality comprehension

(Source: Wikipedia, v. Eckardstein et.al. (Hsg.) Management; Schäffer Poeschel, 1999)