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A framework for implementing lean principles in the supply chain management at health-care organizations: Saudi’s perspective

Abdulaziz Marzouq Almutairi (King Saud Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Konstantinos Salonitis (Manufacturing, Cranfield University, Central Bedfordshire, UK)
Ahmed Al-Ashaab (Manufacturing, Cranfield University, Central Bedfordshire, UK)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 2 September 2019

Issue publication date: 14 May 2020



The main purpose of this paper is to present lean implementation in hospital supply chain management (HSCM) and propose a new conceptual framework tailored specifically to the needs of Saudi health-care organizations.


This paper starts with an in-depth review of existing frameworks or models for lean implementation in health care in general and in HSCM specifically. Based on the literature studies and taking experts’ opinions into account, a new framework for lean implementation in the Saudi HSCM is presented.


A new lean implementation framework is offered to decision-makers in the health-care organization for implementing a lean approach in HSCM practices.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused on health-care organizations, which were selected from hospitals operated by the Ministry of Health and only those hospitals that are accredited by both the Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions and the Joint Commission International. The framework is limited to Saudi health care.

Practical implications

The lean supply chain management (LSCM) framework is easy to understand and use without much complexity. This simplicity makes the LSCM applicable in health-care settings. Further, LSCM was validated in three different hospitals, and it helped them to identify and improve their non-added activities, thereby readying them for lean deployment in HSCM.


Little attention has been paid to implementing a lean approach by health-care providers in developing countries. This study presents a new framework that is considered the first of its kind for implementing lean in HSCM in Saudi. This framework could help HSCMs’ decision-makers to implement lean successfully in HSCM practices.



Almutairi, A.M., Salonitis, K. and Al-Ashaab, A. (2020), "A framework for implementing lean principles in the supply chain management at health-care organizations: Saudi’s perspective", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 463-492.



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