An Empirical Study of the Application of Lean Tools in U.S. Industry

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Barton, Maitland Elizabeth
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Lean manufacturing involves implementing a variety of tools and practices for the purpose of reducing waste and increasing an organization’s overall productivity. The movement towards lean thinking that has gained incredible popularity in recent decades has changed the way businesses operate, and such tools have become essential for maintaining a competitive edge, both regionally and internationally. This paper examines the application of lean tools in various U.S. industries to further clarify the impact lean processes may have on an American business’s production and efficiency. To gather the necessary information and experiences of U.S. organizations, we executed a thorough literature review to secure topics and concerns that must be addressed in a survey. The survey derived from our findings from the relevant literature was distributed to U.S. industries spanning the nation, whose feedback provides us with a holistic view of lean process applications throughout the country. The analysis of the information collected from the survey demonstrates how lean tools have influenced American industries and allows us to see which Lean practices contribute the greatest to overall company performance, as well as observe patterns in how company characteristics (i.e. ownership, size, industry) may affect the successful implementation of Lean processes.
lean, empirical study, supply chain management, lean manufacturing, lean implementation