Lean Manufacturing vs. Agile Manufacturing

Difference between Lean Manufacturing and Agile Manufacturing 

All businesses aim to be more productive and cost efficient than they already are. Because of this, different approaches were developed. Two of the most popular approaches are lean and agile manufacturing.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing, which appeared before agile manufacturing, places great importance on creating value for the customer. Resource expenditures that aren’t able to do this are considered as wasteful. Its goal is to eliminate waste from the process as much as possible and to optimize workflow to achieve maximum efficiency. This approach, also called Toyotism, was first adopted by Toyota Motors and is now also used in software development. Its advantages include:

  • Identifying opportunities to improve quality
  • Risk reduction by product testing and feedback
  • Cost factor reduction and increased productivity
  • Environment of continuous learning and improvement

What is Agile Manufacturing?

Companies that use agile manufacturing introduce new products in a rapidly changing market in order to see opportunities and effect changes so that they can be ahead of other companies. Agile manufacturing has the best features of lean, and focuses on how operations respond to changing environments. Its advantages include:

  • Getting solutions in the market faster
  • Avoiding huge losses by cancelling failing projects quickly
  • Easy and quick priority changes with minimum waste

In summary:

  • Lean focuses on waste reduction while agile focuses on looking for opportunities in the market
  • Lean believes in frugality at all costs while agile deals with cost reduction by reducing losses