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The idea of lean principles was first taken from the Japanese manufacturing industry. It is well-known as the basis of Toyota's management philosophy. The principles have evolved through the years with the infusion of differing cultures as it got applied into other industries in other parts of the world.

In a general sense, the concept of lean manufacturing works on the principle of efficiency. It encompasses the ideas of skills competence, the productive use of resources, and good organization to create value as an end result.

On the whole, the principles of lean manufacturing are considered as business improvement tools or methods. There are many different tools included in lean manufacturing. Not all these tools will appropriately apply to a business. The key to making the lean manufacturing principles work for your business is in recognizing what areas of the business you need to apply these tools to and how to use these tools to improve those areas. These steps are the correct approach for putting into operation the principles of lean manufacturing:

1.   Identify the business needs
2.   Identify the best tools to be utilized
3.   Apply the appropriate tools to solve the issues

The tools are not to be enforced into the business with the assumption that it worked for so many other businesses. Every business is unique; therefore, the needs and challenges of each business will determine what lean manufacturing principles are to be utilized to resolve the problems of that particular organization.

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