Lean concept obtains its genesis from the Toyota Production System (TPS). The TPS model is typically well suited for a High Volume Production environment. However, Lean finds its application in any environment where process wastes are evident and can be applied to manufacturing as well as service industries. There is no doubt that, nowadays, Lean is being widely adopted by service sectors.
Process waste identified by the Lean Methodology is known as "Muda". Muda is a Japanese name for wastes introduced by the Japanese engineer Taiichi Ohno of Toyota in the 1960s. Using the Lean methodology, you can remove eight types of waste as listed in the following table where "DOWNTIME" is the acronym for the eight wastes.
Definition of Waste
The efforts involved inspecting for and fixing errors, mistakes through reworks.
Producing more products or services that the customer needs or downstream process can use.
Idle time created when material, information, people, or equipment is not ready. It includes high job set up time in manufacturing. Or excessively high data processing time in the service industry.
Not adequately leveraging peoples' skills and creativity. Employee empowerment can counter this waste as advocated by Japanese quality pioneers.
Moving products, equipment, material, information, or people from one place to another, without any value addition to final product or service.
Unnecessary/Unwanted stocking or storage of information and/ or material (e.g., Work in Progress, Work in the Queue)
Unnecessary movement of people or machines that takes time and uses energy. It may cause fatigue to workman due to unwanted movement of a body.
Process steps that do not add value to the product or service, including doing work beyond a customer's specification.
Table 1: Explanation of Eight Deadly Wastes