9 Steps to Establish the Lean Supply Chain: A System of Interconnected & Interdependent Partners

9 Steps to Establish the Lean Supply Chain: A System of Interconnected & Interdependent Partners

Top management knows that lean can add value, but many still haven’t moved past the initial education stage into full-scale lean supply chain implementation. One reason may be that they haven’t made the paradigm shift as to how to implement lean. The Lean Supply Chain is a system of interconnected and interdependent partners that operate in unison to accomplish supply chain objectives. There should be metrics involved to monitor these objectives to ensure success across the supply chain. These metrics should be reviewed frequently to ensure supply chain success. These objectives are accomplished as follows: 1. Eliminate All Waste in the Supply Chain So That Only Value Remains Creating a smooth flow of products downstream in a lean supply chain requires all departments and functions in the organization to work in collaboration. In the supply chain, the seven wastes translate to: o    System complexity—additional, unnecessary, steps and confusing processes o    Lead time—excessive wait times o    Transport—unnecessary movement of product o    Space—holding places for unnecessary inventory o    Inventory—inactive raw, work-in-process, or finished goods o    Human effort—activity that does not add value o    Packaging—containers that transport air or allow damage o    Energy-(Sometimes called the eighth waste): eliminate wasteful energy in the supply chain: minimize electricity, gas, utilities, etc. 2. Consider Advancements in Technology To Improve The Supply Chain The following are a great list of technology investments that should be at the top of the list in the quest for the lean supply chain: Workforce Management throughout the Supply Chain, Omni-channel fulfillment, RFID, Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems, Electronic Data Interface (EDI), Trading Partners Interface (TPI-Retail Value Chain Federation), Customer Order Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Cloud Solutions, Transportation’s Yard...
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