Lean has long been developed and utilised in the manufacturing setting. Today, lean seems to be applicable in all organisational settings; and recently, lean has been applied in the municipal sector. The purpose of this paper is to investigate lean practices in the municipal sector in a service supply chain management (SCM) context.
This paper analyses lean implementation in Danish municipalities through the use of two sets of questionnaire surveys from 2008 to 2009. Furthermore, data based on three confirmative case studies of lean implementations are included.
The paper outlines a model that illustrates under which conditions lean is deemed most appropriate according to the type of service delivered. The surveys and case studies show that lean is mainly implemented as “toolbox lean,” such as with value stream mapping, kaizen and information boards. In addition, the analyses show that the lean philosophy can be used by the public sector to be more effective in terms of cost reduction and service improvements if the assumptions for implementing lean exist.
From a supply chain perspective, data are collected only from a focal firm perspective (municipalities). Future research must investigate lean applications in public service supply chains from interorganisational perspectives.
This paper provides guidance on the concept of lean and on under which circumstances it may be applied in a public service SCM context. Furthermore, it stresses the importance of defining the customers and clarifying their demands in terms of value requirements.
This paper is the first to study the lean philosophy in the public sector from a service supply chain perspective.
Stentoft Arlbjørn, J., Vagn Freytag, P. and de Haas, H. (2011), "Service supply chain management: A survey of lean application in the municipal sector", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 41 No. 3, pp. 277-295. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600031111123796Download as .RIS
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