Standardization and Certification in Lean Manufacturing
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Lean manufacturing is a term that we have been hearing very often in many sectors and areas. Lean started as a manufacturing system and philosophy that was first developed by Toyota using key production principles that were introduced by Henry Ford. After successful implementations and great results in quality, cost and service levels, lean is now considered as a business system or as a culture. Lean principles and tools are widely used in every step of an entire process, from customer service to supply chain management. Although there are a lot of success stories about lean implementations, many companies are also struggling to adapt their culture towards the implementation of lean principles. In this thesis, standardization of lean manufacturing is studied and an analysis is provided to discuss if standardization would help eliminate the major obstacles that hinder successful lean implementation. Potential benefits and disadvantages of having standards for lean enterprises are analyzed. As a part of the research a survey was conducted to get feedback from lean professionals about standardization. The survey results suggest that there is an overall support for lean standardization. However, there are both positive and negative views about the potential benefits and disadvantages of using lean standards as an implementation guide. A case study is also provided to measure the benefits of lean and to understand how lean standards may help companies implement lean principles. Based on a simulation model that was develop to verify the benefits, a 15 % reduction in inventory carrying cost and a 5% reduction in total queue time was predicted.