Answered Essay: b. Why does improving material flow alone have the potential to increase waste?

b. Why does improving material flow alone have the potential to increase waste?

     c. What does Pull mean in its simplest terms?

     d. What does envisioning and pursuing Perfection do for an organization?

     e. Why is competitor benchmarking only minimally useful in a lean organization?

f. According to Drew Locher what is one of the most formidable obstacles to applying lean thinking to office processes? Why?   

Expert Answer


b) Material flows are the physical flows related to supply chain and concerning parts, componenst, raw materials and finished goods. Improvements in the flow of materials from the generation, material recovery and collection, to final disposal and the unaccounted flow of municipal solid waste, the waste generation increased to a massive amount whereas the total material recovery was insignificant. Understanding waste flows within an urban area is important for identifying the main problems and improvement opportunities for efficient waste management

c) A pull in its simplest from is a planning technique that is used to develop coordinated plan for one phase of a project as part of the last planner system. The purpose of pull planning is to design a project-based production system in conformance with lean principles.

d) Pursuing perfection help in creating a more dedicated workforce in the organization who are always committed to give their best in order to find ways to make things better. Envisioning helps in showing direction towards the goals of the organization so that resources are efficiently utilized in the proper direction with minimum wastage of resources as well as manpower.

e) Benchmarking is a strategy tool used to compare the performance of the business processes and products with the best performances of other companies inside and outside the industry. Competitive benchmarking refers to a process when a company compares itself with the competitors inside its industry. It is not used much because it is very hard to find a competitor, who wants to share sensitive information and one will never outcompete his rival if he is using his strategy or processes. It can only be used with performance benchmarking.

f) One of the most formidable obstacles to applying lean thinking to office processes is the organizational structure because most of the organizations work on functional or departmental structures which impede the flow of information as it has little relationship to the information being processes.

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