Lean concepts are being extended throughout the supply chain by innovative enterprises according to a new Aberdeen Group benchmark study released this week titled "The Lean Supply Chain Report." For the study, Aberdeen surveyed more than 300 enterprises and discovered that early adopters of lean concepts have seen significant results. These results include cutting manufacturing and delivery times from several weeks to several days, and operating with virtually all inventories either in process or in motion while achieving delivery reliability that approaches 100 percent. According to Aberdeen, best-in-class performers are able to quantify the value of lean and measure their efforts towards initial investment with ROI at 33 percent.
Lean is a philosophy that espouses continuous improvement, the elimination of all forms of waste, and simplification / standardization of business processes. Its initial applications have focused on manufacturing processes. According to Aberdeen, the time has come to extend lean throughout the supply chain in order to transform from a "push" to "pull-based" model. Aberdeen identified the following as the top functional supply chain areas ripe for lean adoption:
· Supplier management and collaboration
· Supply chain planning toward demand pull
· Demand planning and demand pull lean supply chain processes
· Enterprise inventory optimization
Aberdeen further comments that enabling technology is key to orchestrate lean activities throughout the supply chain. Aberdeen recommends that lean adopters consider Web-based solutions, analytical tools and tools providing access to real-time data to further their lean supply chain efforts.
"The Lean Supply Chain Report" is available for download at http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410001&cid=3450