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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ryder’s Five LEAN Guiding Principles

Frequent readers of this blog know I like to share good Lean examples as well as resources you can use to keep learning. Today's post combines both elements into one.

Ryder System, Inc., a provider of leading-edge transportation, logistics and supply chain management solutions, defines their Lean thinking process and principles.

The key to delivering long-term customer value and outstanding business performance, quarter after quarter, year after year, is to implement a lean culture. Lean practices improve quality and productivity by taking cost and waste out of all facets of an operation, from the procurement of raw materials to the shipment of finished goods. In a lean culture, every step in every process must add value for the customer. If it doesn't add value, you strive to eliminate it. At Ryder Supply Chain Solutions, five lean guiding principles govern every activity the company conducts in its own and its customers' warehouses.

People Involvement The most important of the Lean Guiding Principles is People Involvement: engaging every employee to root out waste, eliminate problems and make improvements. Nothing happens in a company without people to drive it forward.

Built-in Quality Principle 2 is Built-in Quality: building quality into every process in the production and distribution of products. With processes designed to make work flow correctly, and tools available to eliminate small problems before they grow large, employees can focus on increasing overall customer satisfaction.

Standardization Principle 3 is Standardization: ensuring all work follows established, well-tested procedures. With processes designed to make work flow correctly, employees have the instructions and tools they need to meet customer expectations.

Short Lead Time Principle 4 is Short Lead Time: improving quality and profitability with a steady flow of inventory arriving exactly when it's needed. Implementing short lead time ensures that a facility can meet increases in customer demand without having to ramp up resources. This results in significant savings, ultimately, strengthening the company's bottom line.

Continuous Improvement Principle 5 is Continuous Improvement: small incremental, ongoing changes that combine to deliver significant gains in quality and efficiency. The stream of continuous improvements creates a powerful and constant force, promoting high performance throughout a facility and producing tremendous employee pride.

Through Ryder's LEAN Guiding Principles, they strive to empower all team members to eliminate waste, complete work correctly the first time, and challenge every aspect of the business to improve. Their end goal is to move the supply chain as fast as possible by raising productivity and increasing inventory turns, all of which delivers operational excellence and measurable ROI to our customers.

So what do you think, does Ryder understand Lean thinking?

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  1. I think the center of Lean is 7 wastes. Their principles sounds like ISO/TQM things to me. Anyway, these things are good foundation of Lean Thinking.

  2. Lean is about customer value. The 7 wastes is only one of 3 major areas that affect customer value associated with reducing the time from paying to getting paid. I agree this example does demonstrate a good foundation of Lean Thinking.