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12 May 2021

Lean Thinking and its principles

To be able to follow this article you must first read the previous article, in order to understand what Lean Thinking is: click here.

Lean Thinking is a methodology that prioritizes two factors and management objectives: Adding value to the customer and reducing waste.

But what are the principles of Lean Thinking?
The methodology has 5 principles:
  •     Value;
  •     Value Stream;
  •     Continuous flow;
  •     Pulled production;
  •     Perfection.

It is very common for companies to bet their "chips" on developing a functionality, features, or even a complete product that is not seen as of value by the customer. This, besides being a waste of time and resources, prevents the company from having enough time and staff to develop what is really perceived as of value by the customer.

Value to the customer is basically what the consumer is willing to pay for. The rest is waste and must be eliminated.

Thus, the first principle of Lean Thinking is to identify what is value to your customer. To do this, you should develop a persona and conduct satisfaction and trend surveys with your target audience.

Value Stream
You must eliminate the steps, processes, and resources that are not perceived as of value. This will automatically reduce the company's waste and consequently eliminate costs.
Use the Value Stream Mapping tool, important in organizational process management.

Continuous Flow
The principle of continuous flow is related to uninterrupted production.
The idea is to respond to customer needs quickly, with shorter time to process orders and low stock. This is one of the most difficult steps to achieve fully.

Pull Production
One of the principles of Lean Thinking is to produce only what the customer wants. This means that stock and "leftovers" are not welcome, at least not in large quantities.
Idle stock is idle money, and wasted stock is wasted money. Since the goal is to decrease waste. Therefore, in a pull production, the best technique is to produce according to demand.

Perfection or continuous improvement can be seen as synonymous. Even after the "cleaning" in the processes, it is important to maintain the culture of improvement, whether in the area of processes, management, or people.

Lean Thinking and methodology is a permanent activity because when we talk about "improving processes" there is always something to be done.

Lean Thinking in customer satisfaction
The value that the customer expects to receive from the company is the center of the whole mentality about what Lean Thinking is.

In that sense, this is a tool that contributes to increased customer satisfaction. Hand in hand with Lean Thinking is customer relationship management.

The entire customer experience must be monitored and optimized before, during, and after the project is delivered. Therefore, combining project management techniques with customer relationship management systems is fundamental.
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