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The variables that influence a production system to produce value for customers. The first three are resources; the fourth is how the resources are used.

In a Lean system, the four M's stand for:

  1. Material - no defects or shortages.
  2. Machine - no malfunctions, defects or unplanned interruptions.
  3. Human - good work routines, necessary skills, punctuality and no unannounced absences.
  4. Method - standardized processes, maintenance and management.

Lean Lexicon

Explanation of key Lean terms online
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