The essence of the Lean Manufacturing lies in the philosophy according to which the management system of an organization yields maximum output levels while eliminating waste (Forrester 1995). The degree to which Lean Manufacturing is intricate can be perceived from the fact that while many organizations attempt to implement Lean Manufacturing, very few manage to establish a Lean Manufacturing based management system that fully incorporates Lean Manufacturing tools and techniques. It is essential to note that a system cannot be considered to be applying a Lean Manufacturing system unless it is making use of minimal inputs but is producing the same outputs that it would produce if it was making use of the traditional inputs.
Needless to say, lean manufacturing implementation centres on the achievement of the minimum possible cycle time in the production system of an organization and therefore actively incorporates waste reduction, increasing of value added work operations, employee motivation and certain elements that one would expect to find in manufacturing philosophies such as just-in-time manufacturing, continuous flow, world class manufacturing and the like (Forrester 1995). All these elements come together to enable the organization to carry out its functions such that the following attributes are observable in the outputs: Lower costs, shorter lead time and higher quality.
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