Lean Supply Chain Leaders and Laggards

New study from Aberdeen Group (www.aberdeen.com) (Boston) examines the current state of lean adoption in manufacturing plants and supply chains, Roadmap to Lean Success: Measurement and Control Benchmark Study (www.aberdeen.com/summary/report/benchmark/RA_LeanMeasure_MB_3179.asp). The research firm identified three key attributes of leading lean companies: senior management involvement and support across the enterprise, multiple value stream mappings across enterprise entities, and a consistent and pervasive attention to waste elimination and other non-value added activities.

Study participants are at various stages of their lean deployments. About one third have lean manufacturing programs while less than 20% have deployed lean throughout the enterprise or supply chain.

Relative Lean Maturity of Respondents

Source: Aberdeen Group.

The Aberdeen study defines enterprises into one of the three levels of practices and performance: Laggards (30%, practices that are significantly behind the average), Industry Norm (50%, practices that represent the average or norm), Best-in-Class (20%, those employing the best practices currently available and achieving superior results). Better performers are reportedly leveraging measurement and control capabilities to not only improve manufacturing performance, but also support customer requirements, industry legislation and compliance requirements.

Becoming a best-in-class lean company reportedly requires an overarching strategy, a lean operating model based on a differentiated value stream, continuous improvement, and scorecards that cascade throughout the company.

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