Originally Posted by pvrhye
Isn't lean manufacturing just about finding ways to work the hell out of your staff? As I understand it, it's incrementally giving them fewer and fewer resources to work with and forcing them to get more efficient or get cut.
Nope, you are 100% wrong and whomever taught you that has no idea what they are doing. Lean is about analizing a process and finding the wasteful activities and then eliminating those activities.
An example of this is a quality inspector at the end of the production line. The customer is not paying for a quality inspector, he/she is paying for a quality product. The step of inspecting the product is considered "non value added" as there is no additional value added to the product (eg. you can't charge .50 more because you have an inspector on the production line). In addition, an inspector will only catch around 80% of the defects.
So, what do you do. You look at the data that has been collected and go back to the source of the defect. You then implement certain tools and teams to eliminate that defect and create a process that cannot produce that defect.
This os one of the many tools used, and no one is saying to pull the inspector from the end of the line, simply work toward 100% quality. If done correctly, lean manufacturing makes everyones job easier and it is about working smarter not harder.