The Ultimate goal for Lean manufacturers is to attain One Piece Flow. In this video Bill explains that striving towards One Piece Flow, rather than actually reaching that theoretical state of perfection, is what's important.
"What we are doing is looking at the timeline between when a customer places an order and when they pay for that order and reducing that timeline by eliminating all of the non-value adding waste" -Ti'ichi Ohno, Toyota Motor Company
The functional basis of Lean is to maximize the flow of information and materials through the organization by reducing or eliminating all of the non-value adding waste that has been introduced into the production process. To this point, the supply chain, as it flows into, out of, and through the factory is the lifeblood of the organization and any decision made with regards to one area of the supply chain will have an effect on other areas of the supply chain as well as having effects on the company as a whole. The goal of Lean Supply Chain Management is to see the supply chain holistically and to formulate a supply chain strategy that works in conjunction with the overall business strategy.