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.


LCIA (Low Cost Intelligent Autonomation)

LCIA is the automation of manual activities using the easiest methods available in the facility. In a multi-step process, existing manual activities are first made easier and then standardized. LCIA is set up so that it will stop when there is an error, to prevent the defective component from continuing down the line. When implementing LCIA, automated and manual work is to be kept separate. Low Cost Intelligent Autonomation is primarily used in assembly, mechanical processing and internal transport.

Lead time (also throughput time)

In lean philosophy, lead time is seen as the key indicator. Lead time is proportional to the level of > excess production and > inventory in the value stream. It is based on the time that a component needs to get from the raw material stage to the customer.

To calculate lead time in ...
... Batch production:
processing time + transport time + idle time
... Single-piece production:
Time from order input to operation

Lean Office

Lean Office


Leveling is a component of > Heijunka. Customer demands are leveled, kept the same or introduced into the production line based on the average amount needed: the same amount is to be produced every time unit, e.g. shift or day. If the actual customer requirements differ from the leveled amount, these differences are balanced through a finished goods supermarket. A balanced dispatching of demand (leveling) is required to smooth production quantities.

Lighthouse project

The so-called lighthouse is the subsector of an organization consisting of those processes and structures that are the first to come as close as possible to reaching the ideal state when lean methods have been implemented. As a prominent forerunner, this sector serves as an example for a companywide implementation. It provides direction, shows what is possible and therefore establishes the foundation of a successful roll-out.