Ask the Expert - The meaning of lean


How does the Institute of Industrial Engineers define "lean manufacturing?"


I am not aware whether IIE has defined lean in its own terms. However, in the sessions that I have conducted for IIE, the following definitions of lean have been used:

  1. “A systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value-added activities) through continuous improvement by flowing the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection.” – MEP Lean Network
  2. “A business system for organizing and managing product development, operations, suppliers, and customer relations that requires less human effort, less space, less capital, and less time to make products, with fewer defects to precise customer desires, compared with previous system of mass production.”

– Lean Enterprise Institute Merwan Mehta, Ph.D.