In a recently released report, McKinsey & Company attributes almost 50% of all US productivity growth since 2000 to manufacturers. The manufacturing industry also experienced a lower amount of job loss during the recession than any other industry. These statistics are likely reflective of the fact that manufacturing companies are increasingly developing lean manufacturing processes to develop more agile, efficient operations.
What does lean manufacturing really mean?
A quick Google search reveals that lean management, also known as lean production or lean thinking, is a production practice for maintaining product value while doing less work.
Beyond the literal definition, lean manufacturing is really a company culture or philosophy centered around finding ways to:
- Reduce waste and overhead costs
- Improve worker efficiency
- Manage inventory