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Achieving success with Lean: An analysis of key factors in Lean transformation at Toyota and beyond

Julie Sisson (Department of Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Systems, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA)
Ahmad Elshennawy (Department of Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Systems, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 3 August 2015

16749

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to identify key interrelated components of successful, sustained lean transformation. When implemented successfully, lean not only allows for cost reduction while improving quality but it can also position a company to achieve tremendous growth. However, although many companies are attempting to implement lean, only an estimated 2-3 per cent are achieving the desired level of success.

Design/methodology/approach

A thorough literature review was conducted and the findings indicated six key constructs that can act as enablers or inhibitors to implementing and sustaining lean. A theoretical framework was developed that integrates these constructs and develops research propositions for each. A multiple-case study analysis was used to test the framework on four companies that have achieved successful lean transformations to validate the model.

Findings

Sixteen propositions were supported in all four of the case studies and one proposition was supported in three of the four case studies.

Originality/value

This research proposed and tested a model lean transformation on cases drawn from the very small number of companies in the USA that have achieved successful, sustained lean improvement. The case studies represented a broad variety of manufacturing industries, increasing the likelihood of the research being able to be broadly generalized and applied. The model provides a set of related tangible actions that organizations planning to undertake a lean transformation can focus on to help insure successful implementation and sustainment.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

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Citation

Sisson, J. and Elshennawy, A. (2015), "Achieving success with Lean: An analysis of key factors in Lean transformation at Toyota and beyond", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 263-280. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-07-2014-0024

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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