There is great value in applying lean philosophies and methods to the product creation process, especially in today's competitive environment. Customers now demand better quality (especially a better fit with the product's intended use) and new products with even greater frequency than in the past. The integration of lean methodology throughout product creation is an obvious choice as a systematic way of meeting customer demands. Lean methods result in shorter time to market because understanding and meeting customer wants and needs is an integral starting point in the process. A more in-depth use of lean methods results in better quality and a reduced cost of product creation. Because of more frequent product changes, the cost of the product determined during product creation becomes even more critical. Further, if product creation costs are not reduced, the cost to the customer will increase, putting the product and the company in a less competitive position.
Yet there is even greater value in applying lean philosophies and methods to the entire customer satisfaction cycle, especially the Design process.