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While the core concepts of Lean have been around since the early 1900's, it didn't become the dominant strategy until the 1990's. In short, Lean is about eliminating waste in any business process. Waste comes in many forms. Materials, time, idle equipment and inventory are all factors in waste.

The Lean concept takes a system approach to business processes. The core elements of a plant or facility: people, machines, and materials are all interdependent.

Technology plays a major role in helping businesses achieve 'Lean' status. It is only through the use of information that companies can identify and eradicate waste in their operations.