Lean manufacturing principles look at the manufacturing process in a unique, but straightforward, manner. The Lean approach directs management and workers to speed up the flow of product through the manufacturing plant by reducing or eliminating those activities that add no value to the product. By focusing on the movement of the raw materials as they are converted into product in the manufacturing process, manufacturing will achieve reduced costs, improved quality and reduced manufacturing lead time.

  • Investigation
  • Developing Corrective Actions
  • Results of Implementation


Implementing lean manufacturing principles in a plant, department or work center begins with investigation. Using a flow diagram and collecting key data produces a visual representation of the manufacturing process under investigation. Data is collected on the amount of time spent working on material; the amount of time material is not being worked; the number of operations and the number of workers involved in the process; inventory levels at each stage of the process; and rework.


From this clear data picture a clear diagram will show the delays in the process that impede the flow of the product. A series of corrective actions can be developed to eliminate these delays and improve the flow.

These corrective actions are usually relatively quick to implement. Most improvement actions take less than two weeks to complete and involve no major capital expenditures. After implementation of the first set of corrective actions the diagramming process is repeated to yield a new set of corrective actions. The measurement of the flow speed, rework, inventory levels and lead time both before and after the corrections will give management and the work force a clear recognition of their changes. This prompt, positive feedback creates a desire for further improvements.


The results of implementing lean techniques are striking in their scope. Plants typically see reductions in floor inventory; faster throughput (lower manufacturing lead time); reduced rework, lower scrap rates; improved employee morale; better on-time delivery and better customer service. These benefits are measurable both in the financial statements and in production data.

A secondary benefit of utilizing Lean Principles is a better understanding of the worker and work centers interaction.

Cogent Management Resources has experience in a wide variety of industries and manufacturing processes. We are prepared to:

  • Train management and the work force in Lean Principles
  • Coach the implementation of Lean Principles in the factory or office
  • Guide a business through each stage of the process
  • Provide feedback on the progress and offer suggestions for improvement.