Glossary of Lean Management and Supply Chain Management terms

For mutual understanding: short definitions of important terms from the world of continuous improvement and Supply Chain Management


Click on one of the letters beneath to check the glossary for terms beginning with that letter.


Cardboard Engineering

Cardboard engineering is used to optimize and simulate working systems within a team. Cardboard engineering is used to redesign working systems as a cardboard model, by simulating the work processes, and to verify them as a whole. Over the course of a 3 to 5-day intensive workshop, the creativity of all participants is used to significantly improve workspace design, ergonomics and best-point preparations with respect to material and tool readiness.

Chaku-Chaku line

Japanese for „load load“

Chaku-Chaku is a standard term that applies to a lean production cell that has several features. The most significant of these features is multi-machine operation and highly standardized body and hand-movements, to achieve consistent and safe operation. Each machine in the cell has an > LCIA-type ejector, so that all the operator has to do is load the part.

Change agent

Change agents are those people who initiate change within an organization.


Name of Chief

CIP (Continuous Improvement Process)

Continuous improvement within an organization can occur on different levels and therefore requires different platforms.

We differentiate between:
Employee CIP for smaller, daily problems and ideas
12-week projects for medium-sized improvements (achievable within 12 weeks at most) that are defined and executed in one or several Workshops
Large projects, for bigger changes within an organization that require more than 6 months and require corresponding cost, deadline and resource management.


The learning and performance ability of the coachee is improved when the coachee is motivated by the coach to develop solutions to the problems encountered. This is called coaching. The coach is not an expert, but, under certain conditions, is often seen as a technical point of contact and is asked for advice or a personal opinion.

Cycle time

Cycle time is the actual time needed to carry out a work process. For an optimum production cycle time, the operator’s cycle time matches the customer cycle time.