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The Lean Manufacturing term appeared for the first time in the nineties and refers to a new philosophy that must be imposed on manufacturing companies to organize everything related to productive activities through the application of various techniques.

Lean Manufacturing represents a series of techniques and methods by which a company’s performance can be optimized by eliminating waste in manufacturing procedures to generate improvements throughout the process.

Jones and Womack (1996), in their book Lean Thinking, conclude that the Lean Manufacturing philosophy can be summarized in the following principles:

Lean Thinking

● Specify precisely the concept of value for each specific product

● Identify the value stream for each product

● Make the value flow without interruptions

● Let the consumer attract to himself (‘pull’) the value from the manufacturer

● Pursue perfection.

Lean Thinking is an extensive and classic work that explains both the foundations and practical cases of what has been called ‘Lean production’ or, more generally, “Lean management” and which is inspired by the famous TPS (Toyota Production System).

TPS is a philosophy of work based on decision patterns (techniques) whose objective is to produce things efficiently to generate benefits that ensure the survival of the company.

These techniques can be grouped into four general groups:

1. Create a continuous flow of products in the production chain in a way that brings problems to the surface (make quality problems visible).

2. Avoid doing unnecessary things (Muda).

3. Standardize tasks so people can get better at them by setting a stable standard.

4. Consensus decision-making, thoroughly examining all the options.

So, The “Lean Manufacturing management”, aims to improve the quality but, above all, the efficiency of production systems by eliminating any type of waste (‘Muda’), achieving spectacular improvements in performance. Muda, which translates to waste, refers to inefficiencies within processes that need to be reduced or eliminated altogether.

The eight types of waste or 'Muda' identified by 'lean' Thinking are:

● Underutilized Staff

● Overproduction

● Wait time

● Transportation

● Over-processing

● Inventory

● Movement

● Defects

Eigh Wastes

Specifically, Lean Manufacturing is a set of operations that allows the elimination of waste, that is, of all the activities that do not contribute any added value to the final product, in order to increase the value of each of the operations by eliminating all the factors that are extra or that harm the process.


Operational Excellence consists of “A way to improve customer satisfaction through better quality and efficiency in its processes.”

This is achieved through a set of practices aimed at continuous improvement, focusing on the elimination of operations that do not seek to add value to the processes (defects and cost reduction).

The main practices, tools, and methodologies that companies are using to achieve Operational Excellence are continuous improvement, customer satisfaction, defect reduction, cost reduction, quality, systemic approach to customer-centric processes and leadership, communication and teamwork.

These methodologies are aligned with the fundamental precepts of the Lean Manufacturing Philosophy, such as the creation of value, the elimination of waste and the imminent search for perfection.

Operational Excellence and Lean Manufacturing share similarities in their methodologies. Lean, under the model of the Toyota Production System (TPS) that focuses on eliminating waste, creating flow and the continuous improvement of the operation and then maintaining the improvement through standard work; and for its part, Operational Excellence that focuses its attention on growing the business in a systemic way, taking the operation to a place where all employees can see the customer’s value flow and correct any deviation to prevent it from being interrupted.

Excellence means keeping the processes right and using the right guidance.


For a company to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage over its competitors, it is necessary to create a strategy that interconnects all the actions that are carried out in it.

How to get the entire organization aligned around a successful strategy?

The deployment of the strategy translated into objectives and action plans for the entire organization guides people and allocates the resources that will allow us to put it into practice.

The effectiveness and efficiency of our organization will depend on the quality of the process of said deployment.

Management systems have tried to respond to the best way to carry out a strategic deployment.

The most relevant contributions can be summarized as follows:

Peter Drucker developed the concept of management by objectives. In this methodology, the implementation of the strategy is based on the definition from top to bottom, in a cascade, of objectives for the organization in such a way that the business objectives are the result of the sum of all the individual ones. The daily work is based on the objectives and each person knows their own.

Japan developed the Hoshin Kanri, which aims to align the entire organization with innovative goals. It is based on the involvement of the employees and the deployment of the objectives based on their adaptation at each level, not with a concept of cascading translation but rather following an interactive top-down process of an inter-functional nature. 

Andy Grove developed the OKR methodology (an acronym for Objectives and Key Results) that combines management by objectives and the SMART concept of objectives. Focuses on the simple alignment of “what” (Objectives) and “how” (Key Results) to be applied throughout the organization

Robert Kaplan/Norton contributed the concept of a balanced scorecard with economic and non-economic objectives.

Companies that are successful in deploying the strategy can be characterized by the following aspects:

Balanced scorecard

● They apply some of the aforementioned methodologies or a combination of several depending on their culture.

● They prioritize a small number of specific objectives that are displayed in detail to prepare the team and individual action plans.

● They establish mechanisms for continuous evaluation and adoption of corrective actions for the solution of deviations from the established plans or agile and flexible adaptation to environmental variations

● They implement systems of result indicators and monitoring at team and individual levels, usually supported by visual management tools and performance evaluation procedures.

● They strengthen communication with all the people in the company to give continuous feedback on the operation and results obtained.

● They recognize the results obtained.

The success in deploying the business strategy is greatly influenced by the culture of each organization and, above all, by the prevailing leadership style.


Process excellence is about improving the way companies create and deliver value to their customers and is much more than process improvement techniques. It’s about learning how to solve problems and manage change, performance and workplace culture to align with the overall business strategy.

Process, operational, and business excellence form a hierarchy, beginning with process excellence as a subset of operational Excellence and itself as a subset of business excellence.

Process Excellence deals with the process itself: making processes more efficient and effective through design and testing.

The main goal is to deliver positive and consistent results with minimal variation (which Six Sigma addresses) and waste (according to Lean Manufacturing).


They are made up of employees with a remarkable ability to work in a team and, at the same time, take on specific responsibilities without the need for strict supervision. They also tend to have motivating leaders with a clear vision of what is expected to be achieved.

One of the main challenges for managers, directors, or team leaders is the formation of high-performance work teams.

In order to build a high-performance team, an environment of trust, leadership, good communication, defined roles and responsibilities, a clear understanding of the objective to be achieved and the participation of each member trying to make the most of their strengths must be created.

Some of the main elements identified in high-performance teams are:

● They have interdependent members.

● They try to make their members work more efficiently together than alone.

● They work so well that they generate their own magnetism.

● They do not always have the same leader.

● They have members who support the leader and vice versa.

● They have a high level of trust among their members.

High Performance Teams


What is production monitoring?

Production supervision is a product inspection that is carried out daily throughout the production process. An inspector surveys the factory, enforces its specifications, randomly selects units for examination, and identifies and eliminates defects.

Without adequate production control, nothing guarantees that our manufacturing processes and the final product meet the necessary quality.

Production control is a sum of actions and responsibilities that guarantee quality conditions, costs and delivery times in the creation of our services or products.

Through this process, we monitor production and apply both preventive and corrective measures. In other words, we check that the progress in manufacturing is in line with the estimates made in production planning, but we also make the decisions to ensure that this is the case.

Five goals that can be achieved with production control:

● Ensure inventory levels are correct.

● Monitor that each process has the materials it needs.

● Readjust production planning according to advances or delays, as well as knowing their causes.

● Guarantee the delivery of orders within the periods and quantities requested.

● Generate product traceability, that is, the ability to identify the origin of each item as well as its destination at each stage of the supply chain.

This way, the benefits obtained with production control are:

● Use production capacity correctly through proper programming of tools and machinery.

● Maintain the inventory level at optimal levels at all times and, therefore, reduce your costs.

● Meet production time and increase productivity.

● Have the ability to respond to possible unforeseen events to meet delivery deadlines.

● Know in advance if we can meet delivery deadlines.

● Being able to get suppliers to deliver the raw material in advance.

● Reduce the total cost of production and control possible waste.


Performance management is the set of procedures, techniques and criteria used in a company to assess workers’ performance.

The basic enterprise performance management model integrates processes for strategic goal setting, performance measurement, performance analysis and reporting, performance review, and alignment with our employees and business culture.

Performance management enables management and employees to better achieve organizational goals through a structured process of employee development, through planning, monitoring, review and reward.

Benefits of using this performance management method include increased competitiveness, more structural flexibility, and increased employee motivation.

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