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What is Lean Enterprise?

Lean Enterprise represents a radical rethinking and redefining of those processes that optimize the production of products or services. The term “lean” was first used in 1984 at MIT in an international conference on the future of the automobile. It referred at the time to production methods pioneered by Toyota. One of the first full blown applications of lean processes in the United States was at the New United Motors Plant in Fremont, California, a joint venture of Toyota and General Motors. However, even though lean manufacturing processes were championed in the mid-twentieth century by Toyota, many of the key aspects of lean manufacturing were described by Henry Ford in his 1923 book, My Life and Work, and used at Ford’s Highland, Michigan Plant early in the twentieth century.


Over time, the lean approach to work process improvement has been expanded to apply to many industries. Lean Enterprise is now recognized as the term for a set of fundamental operational improvement services that can help any organization improve its ability to produce products or services of the highest quality, at the lowest cost, in the shortest amount of time.

Why Invest in Lean Enterprise?

Organizations invest in lean operations for one simple reason: Their long-term survival and success depend on them. Those organizations that understand and apply lean values, principles, and processes have experienced very significant benefits such as the following:

  • Productivity up 31%
  • On time delivery rate up from 84% to 92%
  • Space utilization improved 15%
  • Scrap reduced by 75%
  • Lead time reduced by 50%
  • $6,000 monthly savings in office supplies
  • Machine down time reduced 60%
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Contact Information


For more information, please contact

George Friesen, Business Practice Leader for

  • The 5S System
  • 5S for Safety: New Eyes for the Shop Floor
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Lean e-Learning

at 314.539.5376 or

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