CHAPTER 2

The Motivation for Implementing Lean

We begin this chapter by establishing the link between process lead time and work-in-process inventory. Specifically, we explain how reducing process lead time also reduces work-in-process inventory. While reducing work-in-process is a fundamental goal of some Lean projects, it is not the main goal of all projects. So in the remainder of the chapter we document how reducing lead time improves many other important business metrics in various industries.

Lead Time and Work-in-Process

We begin with an intuitive example that serves as an analogy to the business contexts that we will subsequently discuss. This analogy considers a pipe that carries water, which might be the water that fills a swimming ...

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