CHAPTER   16

Lean Systems

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

images  AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO:

  • Explain how the basic elements of lean eliminate waste, create flow, and continuously improve operations.
  • Assess the benefits of lean, as well as the difficulties in implementing lean systems.
  • Explain how the complementary concepts of lean and six sigma work together for process improvement.
  • Construct and interpret a value stream map.
  • Use lean concepts and techniques to enhance environmental initiatives.
  • Create strategies for implementing lean in service industries.

LEAN RETAILING AND THE JEANS SUPPLY CHAIN

While consumers may like sales, too much merchandise with sales tags attached indicates waste, poor planning, and lost revenue. Let's see what lean retailing would look like.

It is Sunday evening and a retailer places an order with a manufacturer for men's jeans in an assortment of styles, colors, fabric weight and finish, waist size, and inseam length. The order is electronic and includes specific instructions for pricing and tagging the jeans with barcodes and sorting them into cartons so that when they are unpacked they are “floor-ready.” Delivery to the retailer is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

When retailers “go lean,” they reduce their order sizes and order more frequently ...

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