The term “lean” was coined to describe Toyota’s business processes during the late 1980s by a research team headed by Jim Womack, Ph.D., at MIT.  It refers to the perpetual reduction of waste (non-value adding goods and service) in processes by a highly disciplined approach to innovation, and in turn, deliver more value to the customer.   The characteristics of a lean organization are described in Lean Thinking, by Womack and Dan Jones.

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