What is Lean Lab?
The term 'lean' was coined in 1990 by MIT researchers studying the highly successful Toyota production system. Since then, the understanding and implementation of lean principles have permeated many sectors aiming to eliminate mistakes, reduce delays, lower costs, and improve the overall quality of a product or service. The successful implementation of ‘Lean Manufacturing’ in several fields has inspired many businesses to adopt this model in laboratories as well. Laboratories have different challenges compared to manufacturing environments; while most of the key principles of traditional lean still apply, there are many unique points to be adopted in laboratories.
Potential benefits of the Lean Lab approach:
- More defined, structured and controlled laboratory processes delivering more consistent and predictable laboratory performance
- Significantly increased productivity
- Short turnaround times
- Reduced costs
- Less work in progress
- Improved RFT (Right First Time)
- A detailed understanding of lab capacity and resourcing requirements
- Greater empowerment of laboratory personnel
- A culture of proactive performance management and continuous improvement
- Improved customer service levels