Lean Six Sigma thinking originated at Toyota Company with the Toyota Production System (TPS). The original concepts were given by Sakichi Toyota in the year 1920. Taiichi Ohno began to see these ideas getting implemented in the system in the year 1940 but there was a transformation only in the year 1950. The concepts for lean Six Sigma came from American supermarkets where only small amounts of selection of inventory is filled by the customers and they pull them from the shelf. This is also known as Kanban System.
The hardest part of using Lean Six Sigma was to leave and abandon the old ideas about the mass production which is based on the demand of the projected customers. This is also known as push system. Quality is also checked for such products. In Lean Six Sigma approach certain parameters like low cost, quality and productivity come from producing small modules or batches for the given product. The principles of Lean Six are very simple, whether you apply these principles to manufacturing, service, or administration.
Customers today need accuracy and customized solutions for their business problem. While Ford was mastering speed, Toyota was working mastering Lean production along with speed.
Core Ideas for Lean Six Sigma approach includes:
- Determine and create value depending on the need of the customer.
- Try to use “pull” system instead of “push” systems in order to avoid large production.
- Use one piece flow to make proper work flow and to avoid wastage of time and materials
- Try to eliminate the seven wastes by using five S’s – sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain.
- Try using the “five whys?” as a problem solving approach in Lean Six Sigma to eliminate defects.