"Who designed this wasteful, incapable, unavailable, inadequate, inflexible, uneven, and disconnected value stream in the first place? And who is responsible for its performance now? "The answer in most cases is that usual suspect, No One"
- Jim Womack, author of Lean Thinking"

Organizations in pursuit of process excellence don't go lean in the operations alone, but, would also make sure that the manner in which value is delivered is designed for lean. The throughput that delivers the said value would be in a facility that is designed with the throughput in mind.

What is DFL?

Design for Lean (DFL) is an approach for designing any facility that has a product or a service as an output. The objective is to set and operationalize a minimal waste, minimal loss process for a product or a service. Through DFL, process excellence is built-in in the system.

Why is it needed?

A facility with the throughput 'fitted-in' would typically demand high investments in material handling, require the product to travel long distances in its value stream, frequently suffer from shortage of space, have unplanned storage points and unplanned inventory, is likely to have unbalanced capacities which would lead to bottlenecks and congestion; would have higher supervision requirements and the operators are likely to cover higher distances for their operation.

All these may or may not mean the customer is suffering, but, this definitely would mean that the organization has money locked in, in the form of one or more types of waste inside the facility.

SiFacilities that are designed for lean would not just cater to customer demand but ensure a healthier cash-flow with minimal cash locked-in in the system.

Where is it applicable?

DFL can be applied in any context where there is a process delivering a product or a service. More specifically, this would be ideal in setting up new plants - Greenfield Projects (Discrete / process manufacturing, Services etc). It is also applicable in setting up new processes or new product lines or while revamping existing layouts. DFL is also useful when setting up plants based on product family and PQ Analysis or setting up warehouses, retail marts, super markets, transport hubs, etc.,


To reinforce, DFL can be applied to any process that has an output catering to a customer demand. This unit of output can either be a product or a service.

BMGI Methodology for DFL

BMGI Methodology for DFL

Our approach to DFL follows a three step structured methodology

DFL deployment process may be different for large and small organizations or departmental engagements, but the result is always the same - BMGI helps their clients uncover their greatest opportunities for improvement and devise a strategy for accomplishing them. BMGIs would be responsible for designing the entire line for the value being delivered be it a product or a service.

The customer may have information on product demand, in addition to some constraints like floor space available, assembling/process cost per product/document, available or max manpower and budgets for setting up of the entire line.

These inputs are usually captured for deriving additional requirements and designing the entire line. Some of the parameters taken into consideration while setting up of an end to end manufacturing/ service line are as follows:

  1. Customer demand (Takt Time, Lead Time, etc. for the process
  2. Optimized Layout plan based on floor space available for building line
  3. Designing of Stations for assembly/processing (# of stations, CT, # of operators, etc.)
  4. Sequencing of processes/activities (Optimal sequence, etc.)
  5. Application of Assembly/Processing Principles
  6. Ergonomics study for stress-free operations
  7. Application of Lean Principles
  8. Safety analysis to achieve industry standards
  9. Quality Conformance and error proofing
  10. Identifications of Machine/Tools/Fixtures (Selection, ease of maintainability and operability)
  11. Logistics for Material (Optimum travel routes, part presentations, bins, frequency, etc.)
  12. Standardization (Video, Pictures, standard work instructions, etc.)

Process Development Cycle

Process Development Cycle

BMGI's DFL team will work with you to design your facility through DFL approach that will set the platform for process excellence in your organization. To know more, call us.