Lean manufacturing refers to the manufacturing system which is based on the principle of minimizing waste and maximizing value in the manufacturing process. A widely held view of lean manufacturing or lean production is that it is just a means for scheduling production that results in minimal levels of inventory. But in the truest sense, the system represents a philosophy that includes every aspect of manufacturing, from designing to after the sale of a product. The philosophy is to pursue a system that performs well with low levels of inventory, minimal waste, minimal space, and minimal transaction- laterally, a ‘lean’ system. As a result, the system is not prone to interruptions and is flexible in terms of product variety and range of volume that it can handle.
World class manufacturing refers to adopting industry best practice. If any company wants to achieve it, the company has to be the best in the areas of competitive priorities like price, quality, reliability, lead time, innovation, flexibility etc. It is not possible for a company to secure the first place in all the areas because of resource constraint. As a result, the company must concentrate on areas that will enhance its competitiveness in a short time and with comparatively less expenditure. In the course of time, the priorities may call for change and, therefore, must be adjusted.