15 June 2020


The theme “Lean Production” or “Toyota way” has been addressed by many articles, case studies, courses, seminar. Articles that illustrate the principles of Lean, narratives that show the beginning of this philosophy, master of specialization to become guru of Kaizen, testimonies of those who have put into practice the Toyota Way.

It is all very interesting and very enriching, but when it comes to having to put these principles into practice, the risk is to miss the mark of concreteness and simplicity.
Because in the end, simplicity is the only way to effectively achieve the objectives as it allows to break down into basic elements any idea or project – no matter how vast and ambitious it may be – and to prioritise them.
So where do you start from if you want to have a “Lean” Purchasing Department?

The Kaizen principle of continuous improvement says that waste must be eliminated; starting from this assumption and building a goal that is SMART, here is a list that breaks down and shows 9 basic steps:

  • List
  • Classify
  • Choose
  • Engage
  • Timing
  • Identify
  • Verify
  • Enable
  • Restart

Maybe it is not enough to make it to the Top Ten of the Toyota Way companies, but it can be the starting point for improvement, that little incipit that leads us to say: “Ok, let’s start doing that”. The most important thing is to start.

Click here to download the Checklist “Where to start for a Lean Purchasing Department”.