Becoming "Lean"—developing shorter lead times, improved quality, reduced cost, increased profit, improved productivity, and better customer service—has been a goal of most companies over the last few years.

This paper sets out to define Lean and to explain how Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) can help companies get there. It outlines the five principles necessary to a Lean initiative, and discusses how they can be supported and enhanced by comprehensive information control and the management tools of an end-to-end enterprise software suite.