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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Bhim Singh, S.K. Garg and S.K. Sharma

The extant literature fails to provide an efficient method to measure leanness of any manufacturing firm. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the concept of leanness

Abstract

Purpose

The extant literature fails to provide an efficient method to measure leanness of any manufacturing firm. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the concept of leanness and to provide an efficient measurement method for measuring leanness.

Design/methodology/approach

Measurement method is based on the judgment and evaluation given by leanness measurement team (LMT) on various leanness parameters such as supplier's issues, investment priorities, Lean practices, and various waste addressed by lean and customers' issues. Further fuzzy set theory is introduced to remove the bias of human judgment and finally defuzzification is done and results are presented in the form of leanness index.

Findings

Leanness indices have been developed and presented separately on 100 points scale for all parameters of leanness i.e. LISuppliers = 47.98, LIInvestment = 50.66, LIpractices = 58.38, LIWaste = 60.01, LICustomers = 47.1.

Research limitations/implications

This leanness measurement method used the views of experts and may contain human judgment error.

Practical implications

It will be helpful to both academician and practitioners as an assessment tool for evaluation of lean status of any industry utilized.

Originality/value

Leanness measurement method based on judgment of experts is used first time for evaluation of leanness.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2021

Moustafa Elnadi and Essam Shehab

Numerous leanness assessment models were developed for both manufacturing and service sectors. However, little research effort was made to provide an instrument that can…

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous leanness assessment models were developed for both manufacturing and service sectors. However, little research effort was made to provide an instrument that can be used to measure the leanness level of the product-service system (PSS). This paper aims to propose an index to assess the leanness of PSS in a UK manufacturing company.

Design/methodology/approach

The development of the assessment model was carried out through an iterative process. Commencing from existing literature on lean manufacturing assessment and lean service assessment, the initial model for assessing PSS leanness was developed. This initial model was refined via two consecutive phases. The first one includes semi-structured interviews with academic researchers involved in lean projects where their comments were considered. In the second phase, semi-structured interviews with several experts working in different UK manufacturing industries and involved in lean and continuous improvement projects were conducted to reach the final assessment model. After developing the model, the next step was identifying a suitable company for applying the model. The case company was selected because of its commitment to implement lean practices and its ability to participate in this study. After that, data was collected from the case company and the PSS leanness index was calculated using a multi-grade fuzzy approach. Finally, areas for further improvement were identified and the results obtained were validated.

Findings

The PSS leanness index computed for the case company indicates that the service offering process provided by the company is generally lean. Areas for further improvement were identified.

Research limitations/implications

This study focussed on a single case company and is based on the experts’ opinions; this may tend to be biased. However, future studies will be performed to multiple-case studies to enhance findings and more empirical research will be conducted to catch more insights into PSS leanness.

Practical implications

This paper provides guidelines to manufacturing companies’ managers for measuring the PSS leanness index and planning for the future. This index gives information regarding the degree of lean adoption in the service offering process and identifying the gap between the current PSS leanness level and the desired state.

Originality/value

The proposed model has been developed by the opinion of academicians and industry experts. The proposed model can provide guidelines and directions for managers for PSS leanness assessment.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2020

Subrata Chakrabarty and Liang (Lucas) Wang

This study aims to suggest that firms and stock market investors are more sensitive about inventory leanness when industry information technology (IT) usage is high…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to suggest that firms and stock market investors are more sensitive about inventory leanness when industry information technology (IT) usage is high. First, when industry IT usage is high, a firm's inventory leanness is more responsive to information inputs (cash holding and sales efficiency). Second, when industry IT usage is high, the price-to-earnings ratio (indicative of stock market investors' willingness to pay a premium) is more sensitive to the firm's inventory leanness.

Design/methodology/approach

This study highlights the contextual role of industry IT usage during the 1998–2009 lost decade (wherein the steepest falls in manufacturing jobs happened in the USA).

Findings

The results highlight the significant contextual role of industry IT usage. In manufacturing industry sectors with high IT usage, (1) inventory levels of firms are more responsive to information inputs and (2) stock market investors have greater appreciation for inventory leanness.

Originality/value

The lost decade, 1998–2009, was a difficult period for the manufacturing industry. Nonetheless, there was variation in stock market valuations of manufacturing firms, with many firms outperforming others. Stock market investors were sensitive to inventory leanness. Firms that positively impressed stock market investors were strategically positioned in high IT usage industry sectors and prioritized inventory leanness. Further, their inventories were sensitive to information inputs – their inventories were leaner in response to improved sales-efficiency and/or shortage in cash.

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2020

M. Suresh, V. Vaishnavi and Rajesh D. Pai

Lean practices are one of the fundamental practices adopted by health-care organizations to improve service quality and to reduce cost. In this context, the measurement of…

Abstract

Purpose

Lean practices are one of the fundamental practices adopted by health-care organizations to improve service quality and to reduce cost. In this context, the measurement of leanness in health-care organizations has become imperative. The purpose of this study is to measure the leanness of a hospital using fuzzy logic.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of the research includes two major steps. First, the identification of enablers, criteria and attributes of leanness constitutes the measures of assessment. Second, the above measures in the case hospital are assessed by using fuzzy logic approach.

Findings

This study suggests that leanness assessment is essential to identify the current lean capability of a health-care organization. This would help the health-care organizations to improve their lean performance further. The findings of the study suggest that the leanness of the case hospital is “Lean” (fuzzy range: 5.61, 7.24 and 8.91).

Practical implications

This study brings in three important implications from managerial point of view. First, it helps the management to assess the current level of leanness of the hospital. Second, it identifies the attributes that prevent the organization from being more lean. Third, it provides suggestive measures to address the weaker attributes and enables the enhancement of lean performance further.

Originality/value

The leanness assessment framework developed in the hospital operations is found to be original, and it adds value to the leanness assessment in health-care operations.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2020

Esra Kurt Tekez and Gökhan Taşdeviren

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact of lean criteria on leanness as well as prioritize them, taking the relationships between dimensions into consideration…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact of lean criteria on leanness as well as prioritize them, taking the relationships between dimensions into consideration for manufacturing enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

This study considers leanness over quality, cost, delivery and innovation (QCDI) performance dimensions. Twenty eight criteria related with these dimensions were determined that are focused on manufacturing organizations and then fuzzy analytic network process (ANP) approach was used to determine the influence value of each criterion on leanness.

Findings

The existing literature shows a lack of studies on systematically measuring the impact of lean criteria on leanness. To fill the gap, this paper presents a fuzzy ANP approach. Firstly interactions between the performance dimensions were configured. Then, according to the relationship, weights were obtained while taking the network structure that allows dynamic multidirectional relationships for interdependencies among performance dimensions into consideration. This provides a more accurate approach for determining the impact value on leanness performance in real-life decision-making environments.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this study is that only manufacturing enterprises have been considered. Different criteria may need to be developed for service organizations.

Practical implications

This study gives a real insight to lean practitioners in the manufacturing system. Due to the fact it is difficult to achieve all the criteria at the same time for a company, this study is significant for manufacturers, indicating which criteria should primarily be focused on in order to achieve leanness.

Originality/value

Applying fuzzy ANP on interrelated QCDI performance dimensions to evaluate the impact of lean criteria on leanness is the novelty of this study in the related literature. The fuzzy ANP approach is thought to be a more suitable approach to obtain more realistic and accurate results with the power to cope with ambiguity. This study provides a systematic measurement of the influence of lean criteria, also considering interdependencies between performance dimensions. Another contribution of this study is adding innovation to the performance dimensions that are commonly known as quality, cost and delivery to assess leanness in a comprehensive manner.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2018

Abdulaziz Marzouq Almutairi, Konstantinos Salonitis and Ahmed Al-Ashaab

Numerous and diverse organizations have implemented lean principles and practices, which concentrate on improving the efficiency of business processes by reducing cost…

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous and diverse organizations have implemented lean principles and practices, which concentrate on improving the efficiency of business processes by reducing cost, waste, consumptions and effort. However, previous assessments have not focused on the leanness of the supply chain in a health-care setting. This paper aims to introduce a method for assessing the successful implementation of lean principles and tools in a supply chain. Furthermore, this paper validates the method in a health-care organization.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper starts with an extensive literature review on assessing leanness and using multi-grade fuzzy logic. Then, a conceptual model was developed to measure leanness. The conceptual model was validated by discussing the initial version with select academic experts, especially those who deal with leanness in health-care organizations. After responding to the experts’ valuable comments, the health-care organization that is the focus of this case study was chosen based on two criteria. The first criterion was the organization’s ability to participate in the study, and the second was the organization’s commitment to implementing lean principles. These criteria were important to ensure the organization had the necessary foundation for implementing change initiatives such as lean process improvements. Next, a multi-grade (multi-attributes) fuzzy logic was used for leanness measurement. A leanness index was calculated, and the results were validated using experts from the case study organization. Finally, the weaker areas of the organization’s processes were identified to point the way for further improvements.

Findings

The assessment indicated that the case study organization is not lean. The organization’s weaker attributes were identified, and improvements have been suggested.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused on a single health-care organization, which was selected from a limited pool of potential organizations, namely, organizations which are accredited by both the Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions and the Joint Commission International. The scope of future research should be extended to multi-case studies to enhance the findings presented in this paper. This paper’s findings can be used to help decision-makers at health-care providers to implement lean thinking in supply chain processes.

Practical implications

This research may be interest to practicing supply chain managers, as it proposes what enablers, factors and attributes should be emphasized in lean implementation. The proposed model can work as an assessment tool to identify the gap between the present level of leanness and the desired leanness state so the health-care organization can identify what can be improved. This model enables decision-makers in hospital supply chain to take suitable actions for improving lean implementation level.

Originality/value

This study makes an original contribution to the body of research concerning lean principles; the study developed a conceptual model for leanness assessment that can be applied to the supply chain of health-care organizations. Indeed, the conceptual model is likely to be useful for assessing leanness outside of the health-care field, which suggests avenues for future research.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

T.C. Papadopoulou and M. Özbayrak

Although leanness is certainly not a new concept it is doubtless still relevant. Interestingly, newly developed manufacturing paradigms and systems are always examined in…

Abstract

Purpose

Although leanness is certainly not a new concept it is doubtless still relevant. Interestingly, newly developed manufacturing paradigms and systems are always examined in relation to leanness. In other words, leanness serves in most cases as the landmark paradigm with which comparisons are being drawn between the latter and recently pioneered approaches. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the evolutional orbit that leanness has followed over the years and serve as a herald of the current state of this evolution, which will be discussed further, in a separate paper.

Design/methodology/approach

A great part of this paper is devoted to highlighting the misconceptions surrounding issues such as what leanness really constitutes and what are the key concepts and practices that leanness encompasses. Two successful lean transition stories are presented showing how these lean tools and techniques were implemented in the cases of two UK‐based manufacturing companies.

Findings

Because of its inherently dynamic nature, leanness has undergone and still is undergoing a process of continuous and never‐ending evolution, the current state of which is expressed in the form of the lean enterprise model. Nevertheless, despite the undiminished attention and interest for leanness, the literature has failed to keep track of this evolution. For this reason a significant proportion of the literature relies on a rather antiquated vision of leanness.

Originality/value

The paper reviews two major waves of literature criticising leanness with the first focusing on its social aspects and the second questioning its universality mainly with respect to its limited applicability in high variety‐low volume production systems.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 16 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

R. Vidyadhar, R. Sudeep Kumar, S. Vinodh and Jiju Antony

– The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual model and application of fuzzy logic for leanness assessment in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual model and application of fuzzy logic for leanness assessment in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

Lean manufacturing enables the manufacturing organizations to achieve streamlined processes. Leanness is the performance measure of lean practices. A conceptual model for leanness assessment in the context of SMEs is developed, and fuzzy logic approach has been used for leanness assessment.

Findings

The approach computes Fuzzy Leanness Index (FLI), Euclidean distance and Fuzzy Performance Importance Index for various leanness attributes. FLI is found to be (4.42, 6, 7.64), and the organization is found to be “Very Lean”.

Research limitations/implications

The case study has been conducted in a single manufacturing organization. In future, more studies could be conducted to enhance the practical validity.

Practical implications

The case study has been conducted in an SME located in Coimbatore, India. Hence, the inferences derived from the study have practical validity.

Originality/value

The development of conceptual model for leanness assessment for SMEs is the original contribution of the authors.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2018

Narpat Ram Sangwa and Kuldip Singh Sangwan

The purpose of this paper is to review various themes of leanness, leanness assessment approaches, leanness assessment areas, and their evolution by a systematic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review various themes of leanness, leanness assessment approaches, leanness assessment areas, and their evolution by a systematic literature review (SLR).

Design/methodology/approach

The eight types of literature review methodologies are identified and compared. The SLR is selected after critically analyzing the eight types of literature reviews. A four-phased SLR (i.e. plan, do, analyze/synthesize, and propose) has been carried out based on the peer-reviewed journal and conference articles on leanness assessment.

Findings

The existing literature on leanness assessment shows the lack of review-based papers on lean assessment. This study attempts to build a two-fold contribution to the field of leanness assessment: first, various types of themes, approaches, and assessment areas are identified; second, a framework for leanness assessment is proposed. The study shows that the research on leanness assessment is mainly empirical using qualitative judgment. The paper traces the changes in scope, areas, and approaches to leanness assessment. The scope of leanness assessment broadened from manufacturing process assessment to whole supply chain assessment including manufacturing process. The focus of earlier assessment was manufacturing and financial areas which now includes human resource, administration, new product development, suppliers, and customers also. Tool and technique based assessment has given way to outcome-based assessment using non-financial and qualitative parameters.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations of the study is that literature search was mainly focused on peer-reviewed articles published in English language only; therefore, some papers in others languages may have been missed. Apart from this, the SLR has been conducted for the manufacturing sector only.

Practical implications

The study is expected to be useful for the lean practitioners to identify the causes of reported lean failures. Moreover, the authors also expect that the conducted SLR will provide the passage to the practitioners for not only fostering the concepts on leanness assessment but also provide the vital and significant knowledge about the leanness assessment to the managers for enhancing organizational performance.

Originality/value

As per the authors’ knowledge, this is the first SLR on leanness assessment. It is expected that this paper will help the researchers working in the area of lean manufacturing to identify new areas of research.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 December 2017

Maryam Lotfi and Soroosh Saghiri

Regarding today’s volatile and turbulent markets accompanied by natural disasters and political upheavals, being resilient has become crucially important for many firms…

Abstract

Purpose

Regarding today’s volatile and turbulent markets accompanied by natural disasters and political upheavals, being resilient has become crucially important for many firms. It is widely accepted that the firm’s operations need to be cost efficient as well as customer responsive. Lean and agile have been proven to be pertinent strategies toward efficiency and responsiveness. But the operations also need to be resilient against disruptions to quickly return to their original state or even a better one. While the question of how leanness and agility impact operational performance outcomes has been researched, the question of how resilience can boost operational performance outcomes is yet to be investigated. The purpose of this paper is to show how resilience is distinguished from leanness and agility. It then examines the impact of resilience, along with leanness and agility, on operational performance outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A structural model is drawn up based on the literature to relate lean, agile and resilient practices to performance outcomes. Leanness, agility and resilience are measured through bundles of practices and operational performance outcomes are measured in terms of cost, quality, delivery, flexibility and time to recovery. The model is tested using SPSS 19 and AMOS 19 based on the data collected via survey from a sample of 151 automotive parts suppliers.

Findings

The results show that a higher level of resilience will lead to a better performance in terms of delivery, cost and time to recovery, while it does not have a significant impact on flexibility performance. Regarding leanness, the results confirm that lean operations positively affect cost, delivery and flexibility performances. The results also reject the hypothesis stating that higher level of leanness will lead to worse recovery performance, inferring that higher level of leanness leads to better time to recovery performance (i.e. helps time to recovery reduction).

Originality/value

The present research emphasizes the importance of operations resilience and demonstrates its contribution, alongside leanness and agility, to operational performance. The developed structural model contributes to the nascent theories around resilience, and the use of empirical data makes the results valuable practically. This may inform operations strategy decisions in terms of the results expected from resilience, leanness and agility.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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