Essays on Lean Manufacturing Assignment

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The paper 'Lean Manufacturing' is a great example of a Business Assignment. Different scholars, for instance, Liker (2004) and Womack (2003) among others have recognized the massive pressure to enhance productivity and quality concurrently with reduction of costs on modern organizations, obliging them to implement lean manufacturing. This has led major businesses to try and adopt LM aimed at remaining competitive in the market which is increasingly becoming global (Rajenthirakuma & Thyla, 2011, p. 1). This is based on diverse benefits entrenched in this system as outlined below. Firstly, lean manufacturing (LM) has been credited with decreasing the lead times for consumers (Melton, 2005, p.

663). In this case, lean manufacturing has been attributed to increasing the production velocity (the required time in processing a product from the initial raw material to delivery to the consumers). This is usually done through the elimination of process steps, wait for times, movement, and downtime (Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd, 2003, p. 8). In actual sense, scholars like Ferdousi and Ahmed (2009) among others have cited that lean manufacturing has the capacity of reducing the product lead times for consumers by 8%-50%. The second benefit of LM is that it culminates in less process waste (Melton, 2005, p.

663). This benefit is underpinned in the key objectives of LM which is aimed at compressing time by eliminating waste which eventually results in the improvement of the overall production process. In this case, waste can be perceived as all the elements in production which serve the purpose of increasing the cost without necessarily adding value which the consumer is willing to produce (Rameez & Inamdar, 2010, 585).

This has led different scholars like Taj (2005) to define LM as manufacturing without waste. The other benefit of LM is reduced inventory for manufacturers (Melton, 2005, p. 663). In this case, inventory can be described as the storage of products, raw materials, intermediates, and so on, all of which cost money in an organization (Melton, 2005, p. 666). Most of the above benefits and their percentages have been summarized by Latin and Mitchell (cited in Rose et. al., 2011, p. 872) who determined that manufacturers can project to minimize by 90% in lead times, 90% in the cost of quality, 90% in inventories as well as 50% increase of labor productivity as a result implementing LM. The last benefit of LM which will be explored in this analysis is related to the environment.

This is founded on the determination by Sobral (2013, p. 65) that organizations are increasingly concerned about the environmental aspect of their production activities. In this case, there has been an assertion that it is natural in the lean concept, its constant focus on systematic reduction of wastes and its intrinsic value-stream fits well with the wider strategy of environmental protection (Miller, et.

al. , 2010, p. 14). Other benefits of LM include enhanced knowledge management, less rework, financial savings, and elevated process understanding (Melton, 2005, p. 663). Most of the above benefits are captured in the subsequent framework.   Figure 1.0: Benefits of ‘ lean’ Source: Melton (2005, p. 663) Lean failures Despite the diverse benefits of LM outlined in the preceding section, this system has some apparent failures. This is evidenced by diverse scholars, for instance, Bhasin et al. (2006) who revealed that only some 10% or less of companies in the United Kingdom succeed in the process of implementing TPM and other LM practices.

Some of these failures are outlined in the subsequent analysis.


Anvari, A., 2011, ‘Evaluation of Approaches to Safety in Lean Manufacturing and Safety

Management Systems and Clarification of the Relationship Between Them’, World Applied Sciences Journal, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 19-26.

Bhasin, S. & Burcher, P. 2006, ‘Lean Viewed as a Philosophy’, International Journal of

Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 56 -72.

Ferdousi, F. & Ahmed, A., 2009, ‘An investigation of manufacturing performance improvement

through lean production: A study on Bangladeshi garment firms,’ International Journal of Business and Management, Vol. 4, No. 9, pp. 106-114.

Franklin, T., 2004, ‘Changing the climate’, Manufacturing Engineer, Vol. 83, No. 2, pp. 45–47.

Graff, N., 2010, ‘Is Lean Manufacturing to Blame for Toyota’s Woes?’, retrieved 05 June, 2013,


Liker, J. 2004, The Toyota Way, Madison, WI, McGraw-Hill.

Melton, T., 2005, ‘The benefits of lean manufacturing: What Lean Thinking has to Offer the

Process Industries’, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Vol. 83, No. A6, pp. 662–673.

Miller, G., et. al., 2010, ‘A case study of lean, sustainable manufacturing’, Journal of Industrial

Engineering and Management, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 11-32.

Mehta, V. & Shah, H., 2005, ‘Characteristics of a work organization from a lean perspective’,

Engineering Management Journal, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 14–20.

Puvanasvaran, P., 2009, ‘The roles of communication process for an effective lean

manufacturing implementation’, Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 128-152.

Rameez, HM., & Inamdar, KH., 2010, ‘Areas of Lean Manufacturing for Productivity

Improvement in a Manufacturing Unit’, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol. 45, pp. 584-587.

Rajenthirakuma, D., & Thyla, PR., 2011, ‘Transformation to Lean Manufacturing by an

Automotive Component Manufacturing Company’, International Journal of Lean Thinking, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 1-13.

Rose., AMN., et. al., 2011, ‘Lean manufacturing best practices in SMEs’, Proceedings of the

2011 International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, January 22 – 24, 2011.

Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd, 2003, ‘Lean Manufacturing and the

Environment: Research on Advanced Manufacturing Systems and the Environment and Recommendations for Leveraging Better Environmental Performance’, retrieved 05 June, 2013, <>.

Sobral, MC., 2013, ‘Green Benefits From Adopting Lean Manufacturing: A Case Study From

the Automotive Sector’, Environmental Quality Management, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 65-72

Taj, S., 2005, ‘Applying lean assessment tools in Chinese hi-tech industries,’ Management

Decision, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 628-643.

Tracey, MW., & Flinchbaugh, J., 2006, ‘HR’s Role in the Lean Organizational Journey’, World

at Work Journal, pp. 49-58.

Turesky, EF., & Connell, P., 2010, ‘Off the rails: understanding the derailment of a lean

manufacturing initiative’, Organization Management Journal, Vol. 7, pp. 110–132

Womack, J., & Jones, D., 2003, Lean Thinking, New York, NY, Free Press.

Yan, B., & Jacobs, K., 2009, ‘Evaluating Employee Responses to the Lean Enterprise System at

a Manufacturing Company in Cape Town, South Africa’, International Journal of Control and Automation, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 11-22.

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