Today is Earth Day 2013 whose theme is the Face of Climate Change. I am not an expert in this topic and nor I am going to talk about it here. However, in celebration of the environment today I thought I would share some thoughts on the use of Lean and Green together for the better.
I have talked about how Lean eliminates downtime before. DOWNTIME is a acronym I use to remember and explain the eight wastes of processes.
Excess ProcessingBy focusing on reducing or eliminating the Eight Wastes associated with DOWNTIME we can shorten the lead time to the customer. This will result in lower costs, higher capacity for more demand, and increased customer satisfaction which are all desirable to grow your business profitably.
Green is a synergistic concept to Lean where the focus is on eliminating environmental waste. WASTE is another acronym I shared to explain and remember the 5 key environmental wastes. It could also be said that Green adds FEWER:
Full use of raw material
Elimination of toxic/hazard material
The most obvious benefits of Green and Lean are cost savings which are synergistically coupled with value creation opportunities. Cost savings may include energy savings, productivity savings, and savings from improved utilization of materials. Value creation opportunities may include innovations that involve creation of new products out of waste materials and finding ways, in service delivery processes, to enhance customer’s experience.
Lean eliminates DOWNTIME by reducing those wastes. Green adds FEWER by reducing WASTE. The key to being successful at Lean and Green is to focus on FEWER WASTE causing DOWNTIME.