The impact of lean methods and tools on the operational performance of manufacturing organisations.
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AbstractEvidence suggests that lean methods and tools have helped manufacturing organisations to improve their operations and processes. However, the real effect of these methods and tools on contemporary measures of operational performance, i.e. cost, speed, dependability, quality and flexibility, is still unclear. This paper investigates the impact of five essential lean methods, i.e. JIT, autonomation, kaizen, total productive maintenance (TPM) and value stream mapping (VSM), on these measures. A linear regression analysis modelled the correlation and impact of these lean practices on the operational performance of 140 manufacturing organisations around the world. In addition, structural equation modelling (SME) was used to cross verify the findings of the regression and correlation analyses. The results indicate that JIT and automation have the strongest significance on operational performance while kaizen, TPM and VSM seem to have a lesser, or even negative, effect on it. This paper provides further evidence regarding the effects that lean practices have on the performance of organisations and thus the research offers companies, and their managers, a better understanding of the relationship between the lean strategy and the performance of their operations.
CitationBelekoukias, I. et al (2014) 'The impact of lean methods and tools on the operational performance of manufacturing organisations', International Journal of Production Research, 52 (18):5346.
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research