Inspiring Lean Manufacturing Quotes

“Lean Manufacturing” is still one of the most popular buzzwords in the manufacturing business today.
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Published on:
10 February 2022
Updated on:
21 February 2024

The lean concept is one of the most successful strategies for manufacturing organizations to increase productivity, reduce waste, and enhance efficiency.

Lean is a philosophy that emphasizes continuous improvement of a company’s operations in order to become as efficient as possible. Companies may become considerably more competitive and greatly boost their earnings if the methods and concepts are utilized effectively.

However, this does not always imply that getting to that point is simple. First and foremost, kudos to your organization for embarking on its own road of continuous improvement! You’re on your way to a more productive and efficient workplace. Don’t be disheartened if you hit some barriers along the way, but it will all be worth it in the end!

Meanwhile, to keep you motivated, here are some inspiring lean manufacturing quotes from some of history’s greatest philosophers and lean pioneers.


Taiicho ohno is considered to be the father of Toyota Production System (TPS), which became the cornerstone of American Lean Manufacturing.

“The workplace is a teacher. You can find answers only in the workplace.”
“Waste is hidden. Do not hide it. Make problems visible.”
“Re-improve what was improved for further improvement.”

Henry Ford

Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, was a major supporter of the creation of the moving assembly line method of mass manufacturing, which is the basis for TPS and Lean.

“Today’s standardization…is the necessary foundation on which tomorrow’s improvements will be based. If you think “standardization” as the best you know today, but which is to be improved tomorrow – you get somewhere. But if you think of standards as confining, then progress stops.”
“Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage. The easiest of all wastes and the hardest to correct is the waste of time, because wasted time does not litter the floor like wasted material.”
“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

W. Edwards Deming

Edwards Deming is widely considered as the leading management thinker in the field of quality. His theoretical strategies contributed to the development of Six Sigma and lean manufacturing.

“If you don’t understand how to run an efficient operation, new machinery will just give you new problems of operation and maintenance. The sure way to increase productivity is to better administrate man and machine.”
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
“A bad system will beat a good person every time.”

Shigeo Shingo

Shigeo Shingo was a Japanese industrial engineer who was actively involved in the development and promotion of the Toyota Production System (TPS), particularly tools like SMED, Poka-Yoke, and Zero Quality Control (ZQC).

He continues to have an influence on Lean Six Sigma concepts including waste reduction, meeting customer needs, increasing operational efficiency, and cultivating a culture of continuous process improvement.

“The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.”
“Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before.”
“A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.”

I hope these manufacturing quotes and advice help your team leverage its unique skills and insights. Be sure to check out our other blog posts if you are hungry for more lean manufacturing insights or other industry 4.0 articles.

Make Your Operations More Lean

Most manufacturers want to be lean, but not all of them are prepared to put in the effort to get there. By supporting efficiency, time-saving measures, and innovation in your corporate culture, you’re on the right route to an improved and lean production.

The rise of Industry 4.0 has given birth to new technologies that can enrich traditional lean strategies. With a purpose built tool like Azumuta, you can create effective standards and be more collaborative while focusing on continuous improvement. Learn how our customers are enhancing their lean strategies by streamlining all production processes.

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