How to Implement Lean Manufacturing and Transform Your Business

how lean principles can be applied to a manufacturing process, here’s a real-life example of lean principles in action

Example: Toyota Production System

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is a prime example of lean principles in action. It was developed by Toyota in the 1950s and has since become a widely adopted methodology for manufacturing and production.

The TPS is based on two core principles: just-in-time (JIT) production and the kanban system. JIT production is a system in which parts are produced only when they are needed, rather than being produced in advance and stored in inventory. The kanban system is a visual management system that uses cards or other indicators to signal when parts need to be produced or delivered.

Together, these principles help to minimize waste, reduce lead times, and improve efficiency in the manufacturing process. They also promote continuous improvement by encouraging teams to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments as needed. This translates into lower costs, improved quality, and a better overall customer experience.

Differences between Lean and Six Sigma:

Lean Six Sigma


Waste reduction Variation reduction


Streamlined processes

High-quality, consistent output


Value stream mapping, Kaizen, 5S, Kanban

Statistical process control, DMAIC, DFSS

Approach Bottom-up


Scope Entire value stream

Specific processes or projects

Culture Teamwork, continuous improvement, respect for people Data-driven decision-making, process discipline, project management

Note that this is not an exhaustive list, and there may be other differences depending on the specific context and application of Lean and Six Sigma. Additionally, it’s worth noting that there is often overlap between the two methodologies, and they can be used together in a complementary way to achieve even greater improvements.