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Lean process definition

What is the “Lean” concept and how can I use the principles to improve profits? 
The Lean process is a management philosophy focusing on reduction of seven common wastes to improve overall value, as seen through the eyes of the customer. The elimination of waste and bottle-necks greatly increases productivity, reduces costs and improves profits.

Evolving first in Japanese manufacturing, the Lean process has been translated into a wide range of industries, including services. The seven wastes are :

- Transportation
- Inventory
- Motion
- Waiting time
- Over-production
- Processing itself
- Defective product (Scrap in manufacturing or any type of business) 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Instant Profits: Making Your Business Pay
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AskJim ID: 2010