Lean practices are used by many organizations who are trying to optimize the efficiency in their supply chains and eliminate non-value-adding activities and costs. The purpose of this Critical Issues report is to provide insight into how lean practices have emerged and are utilized in firms and in their supply chains. The report provides two case studies with regard to the lean practices that exist within these firms. It also examines the role of metrics in creating lean supply chains, and describes some of the obstacles as well as successes that firms obtain in their journey toward creating lean supply chains.

 

Metrics used for the purpose of implementing lean practices should be tied to generally established measures of corporate performance in order for the benefits of lean processes and practices to be truly understood throughout the organization. Lean is about going to the customers (internal and external) and most importantly, the consumer about what adds value and what is waste.

 

Organizational culture is also an important factor when incorporating lean strategies. By starting small and creating success stories, eventually lean practices can become part of the everyday practices of a firm.

 

This report is based on a CAPS Research Critical Issues Partnership Event. Critical Issues Partnership Program Conferences come from our sponsors’ desire to bring subject-matter experts (and those wanting information) together on a current crucial issue in supply, in a one-day focused meeting, organized by CAPS Research and held at a sponsor company’s site.

 

Click on the following link to access the Critical Issues report, “Lean Supply Chain Strategies and Implementation”:

http://www.capsresearch.org/publications/pdfs-protected/cir092008.pdf

 

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CAPS Research is a non-profit research organization founded in 1986 to provide leading research to our strategic-minded corporate sponsors and to the public. Our mission is to work in partnership with a global network of executives and academics for the discovery and dissemination of strategic supply management knowledge and best practices. CAPS Research is jointly sponsored by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and the Institute for Supply Management.