A business practice characterized by the endless pursuit of waste elimination. A manufacturer that is lean uses the minimum amount of manpower, materials, money, machines, space etc. to get the job done on time.
Initiative focused on eliminating all waste in manufacturing processes. Principles of lean include zero waiting time, zero inventory, scheduling (internal customer pull instead of push system), batch to flow (cut batch sizes), line balancing and cutting actual process times.
A overall methodology that seeks to minimize the resources required for production by eliminating waste (non-value added activities) that inflate costs, lead times and inventory requirements, and emphasizing the use of preventive maintenance , quality improvement programs, pull systems and flexible work forces and production facilities.