The End of Lean?: Automobile Manufacturers Are Rethinking Some Supply Chain Basics

Erika Marsillac and Tom McNamara

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA; emarsill@odu.edu

ESC-Rennes, Rennes, France; tom.mcnamara@esc-rennes.fr

Minimum inventories, consolidated suppliers, and just-in-time deliveries—these basic tenets have been the mantra of lean supply chain management for decades. But recent events are causing many automobile manufacturers to rethink the way they design and manage their supply chains.

For years, manufacturers have been trying to make their operations as lean as possible, stretching their supply chains almost to their breaking point. But two recent events showed managers that there just might be such a thing as ...

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