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blog | January 20, 2016

8 Inspiring Lean Manufacturing Quotes

The term “Lean Manufacturing” has been around for more than 25 years, and to this day, it remains one of the biggest buzzwords in the manufacturing industry. That’s because...

By Wayne Wedell

The term “Lean Manufacturing” has been around for more than 25 years, and to this day, it remains one of the biggest buzzwords in the manufacturing industry. That’s because the concept of “lean” is one of the most effective ways for manufacturing companies to become more productive, reduce their waste, and improve their efficiency.

The concept of Lean is focused on continuous improvement of the companies’ processes and becoming as efficient as possible. When the methods and concepts are applied correctly, companies can become much more competitive and significantly increase their profits.

But that doesn’t always mean it is easy to get to that point. There are a number of difficulties that companies can run into while implementing a lean process, and sometimes, seeing that journey through the end can turn out to be a major challenge.

If your company is currently on your own journey for continuous improvement, first of all, well done!  You are on the path towards a more efficient and productive workplace. Even if you run into some roadblocks along the way, don’t get discouraged. The benefits you’ll gain from implementing lean will more than make up for it, I promise. It will all be worth it in the end, I promise!

In the meantime, here are some fantastic lean manufacturing quotes from some of the greatest thinkers, artists, and innovators of their time to keep you inspired.

1. “Don’t water your weeds.” – Harvey McKay

Lean Manufacturing Quote Harvey McKay

Stop devoting time and energy to processes and procedures that are sapping efficiency. Like weeds, if these processes and procedures are allowed to go unchecked they can quickly wreak havoc and cause all kinds of problems along the production line.

2. “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Henry Ford

Lean Manufacturing Quote Henry Ford

Why did you get started on this lean journey in the first place? It was probably because your company noticed that there was room for process improvement. If you keep repeating those flawed procedures, you won’t get results that are any better than what you had before.

3. “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” – Mark Twain

Lean Manufacturing Quote Mark Twain

It’s always better to constantly work towards continuous improvement of your processes. And remember – you’ll never reach absolute perfection. It’s just not possible. But you can control the next best thing: the best, most efficient process possible for your company.

4. “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree

Lean Manufacturing Quote Max DePree

Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends. Work on making progress and improving a little bit every day.

5. “If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.” – Steve Jobs

Lean Manufacturing Quote Steve Jobs

The first step towards solving your productivity issues is defining what the problem is in the first place. First figure out what you want to improve, and specifically, how.

6. “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

Lean Manufacturing Quote Vince Lombardi

Ultimately, reaching true perfection in your continuous improvement  processes is an unattainable goal. But don’t let that be a source of discouragement. Instead, realize that by aiming for true perfection, your process will be the best it can possibly be.

7. “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gough

Lean Manufacturing Quote Vincent Van Gogh

Remember – even small changes can make a huge difference. No process improvement you can make will ever be too small.

8. “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill

Lean Manufacturing Quote Winston Churchill

One of the most important concepts in lean manufacturing is the focus on continuous improvement. It’s important to constantly evaluate your processes and determine if they’re still working. The only true indicator of a good strategy is good results. If you aren’t’ getting good results, than it’s not a good strategy.

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