Despite the substantial progress many organizations have made using lean management techniques to improve internal operations, they have paid little attention to launching lean transformations in their external links to downstream customers and upstream suppliers.

Now, in the pioneering new workbook, Building a Lean Fulfillment Stream (Lean Enterprise Institute, May 12, 2010, $50.00), lean logistics veterans Robert Martichenko and Kevin von Grabe describe a proven approach for applying lean principles to supply chains and logistics.

Using the example company ABE Corporation as their model, the authors illustrate both the implementation process and the benefits to ABE’s bottom line from applying lean principles. Plus, they show how the conversion process is a win-win for every company along the supply chain. The narrative is supported by 41 charts and illustrations, including value-stream maps, calculation details, and financial analyses.

Readers will learn:

  • How to calculate the critical total cost of fulfillment so you make decisions that meet customer expectations at the lowest possible total cost, no matter where costs occur in the supply stream.
  • How to apply the eight guiding principles for implementing lean fulfillment, even when all the data and variables are not known.
  • The seven major types of waste in logistics and supply chains.
  • How a fulfillment stream council comprised of representatives from internal departments, customers, suppliers, and transportation providers critical guidance and support.
  • The “eight rights” used to measure perfect order execution.
  • What lean metrics to use to measure progress, such as why average-days-on-hand of inventory is a better measure than inventory turns.
  • A method for collaborating effectively with customers.
  • How to identify waste in shipping, receiving, and yard management.