Lean Thinking is a business methodology that originated in the Japanese automotive industry during the late 1980s. The core idea is to maximize customer value while eliminating waste from all processes. Simply put, Lean means creating more value for your customers with fewer resources.
In the logistics sector, being lean is simply a way to recognize and eliminate wasteful activities from the supply chain. The goal is to increase product flow and speed. This concept is known as Lean Logistics and has become a popular term in supply chain management.
Lean Logistics is all about improving operations at all levels and optimizing the supply chain by reducing waste, which is important for supply chain control. This is achieved through better inventory and material management, and by eliminating unnecessary steps in delivery, such as:
A lean logistics approach is not a program or short term cost reduction program. It is rather a way of operating to eliminate waste along entire value streams, where the ultimate goal is to provide a perfect value to the customer.
Womack, James P., Daniel, T. Jones (1996) Lean Thinking
In order to achieve Lean Logistics, start the above process again and continue until a state of perfection is reached, in which perfect value is created with no waste.
In today’s market, logistics companies are embracing Lean initiatives to uncover and deal with waste and inefficiencies. Implementing Lean Logistics into your business brings significant improvements not only to one specific area of the supply chain, but to the entire value chain as a whole. It enables you to respond to fast-changing consumer demands with higher quality, lower cost, less need of working capital, and faster throughput times.
Wondering where to start? Take a look at our paper on cloud solutions to start your journey towards lean logistics!