The flow represents the basic difference between lean and traditional operations. Lean operations place the flow on the sacred altar, while traditional operations totally disregard the flow and pursue volume and speed of operations.

In the lean production, every time the flow is disrupted, it is regarded as a sign of a problem. Maintaining a smooth, uninterrupted, and swift flow is the easiest way to minimize cost, stabilize quality, and shorten total production lead time because every time flow is disrupted, cost is increased, inventories are created, quality deteriorates, and lead time is prolonged.

The lean approach aims at continually sustaining smooth, uninterrupted, and swift flow of operations and has built a robust operational ...

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