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Lean in industry 4.0 is accelerating manufacturing excellence – A DEMATEL analysis

Ravindra Ojha (Department of Operations, Great Lakes Institute of Management Gurgaon, Gurgaon, India)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 10 March 2022

Issue publication date: 7 March 2023




The purpose of this research paper is to study the digital accelerators in conjunction with lean manufacturing enablers in the technology driven Industry 4.0 (I4.0) and understand their interrelationship dynamics with a goal to accelerate the pace of manufacturing excellence.


Literature review coupled with the focus group approach facilitated to cull the key accelerating enablers to lean in I4.0. Thereafter, application of the multi criteria decision making methodology–DEMATEL (Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory) was carried out for analysis.


A total of 18 factors from the integration of lean in I4.0 were identified from the focus group approach. The analysis from DEMATEL approach reflected that big data analytics and technology driven talent were the two most important factors in the manufacturing excellence journey. Leadership standard work and continuous improvement culture were the two key cause category factors, while, just in time the critical effect category factor.

Practical implications

Analysis from DEMATEL approach has provided useful insights to industry leaders with the details of the degree of importance and type of influencing factors. It has given them direction in areas of investment to face the challenges of smart factories of tomorrow for sustainability.


Application of DEMATEL approach for analyzing the dynamics of the 18 factors in the integrated lean systems in I4.0 for manufacturing excellence.



The author is grateful to the anonymous reviewers and the editor for the constructive comments and feedback for the improvement of the manuscript.


Ojha, R. (2023), "Lean in industry 4.0 is accelerating manufacturing excellence – A DEMATEL analysis", The TQM Journal, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 597-614.



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