Lean 101 

Curious about Lean but not sure where to begin? Lean 101 is for you. 


What is Lean?

At its core, Lean is a method to continuously remove waste by maximizing flexibility and engaging people on the shop floor in solving problems.

Lean is about reorganizing your processes to make the product (whatever the customer buys) flow from the beginning to the end of the process as quickly as possible. Lean is applied in many industries from distribution and logistics to healthcare, services, government and more. 


Why You Might Need Lean

As a business, you must keep cash flowing, and every driver to make that happen is touched by Lean. 

  • Reduce Costs: Lean is different in the way it reduces cost, by engaging the people closest to the process in identifying and then reducing waste
  • Free up cash: In lean, this is achieved by reducing the need for inventory. Inventory absorbs a lot of cash and lean can drastically shorten the cash conversion cycle
  • Grow sales: Beat your competition at giving customers what they want, which is quality, delivery and cost. Lean drives improvement in all three areas, but is especially powerful in reducing lead times. A rule of thumb is that reducing lead times by 75 % means growing at 2 to 4 times your industry's growth rate.

middle aged warehouse worker lifting case of texas ale beer in warehouse at distribution center

How You Can Get Started With Lean

Lean can be intimidating but it doesn't have to be. Lean is fundamentally about seeing the waste and engaging your workforce into reducing the waste. Because waste is local and specific to local conditions, involving workers is key. That's why your first step is to communicate heavily that lean doesn't cause layoffs. If employees fear that their ideas result in them or their colleagues losing their jobs, they won't participate.

As you can see in this case study, there's no need to make it more complicated than just seeing the seven wastes (transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, over processing, overproduction and defects). Actually seeing the waste as it happens is half the journey to solving it.

How Veryable Can Help

A key part of being lean today is to apply the just-in-time principle to labor, your most critical factor of production.

With Veryable's on-demand labor solution, you can accurately match capacity to demand on a daily basis. This provides two business benefits: first, you maintain maximum productivity at all times, and second, you can respond to business opportunities that you would have otherwise ignored–either because they were too last-minute, or too small to justify the fixed costs of hiring temporary personnel.

Explore the new frontier of Lean by signing up with Veryable today.

Brush Up on The Basics of Lean

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