Title: Creating lean suppliers: an empirical study of adopting lean manufacturing in supply chains

Authors: Stuart So

Addresses: Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Abstract: Lean principle preaches simplicity and waste reduction. The bullwhip effect represents a typical manufacturing waste creation scenario in supply chains, i.e., inventory inefficiency. Synchronising production processes with suppliers with lean principles in electronic-enabled manufacturing supply chains (EMSCs) may cope with the scenario. This paper empirically examines the influence of e-supply strategy on lean manufacturing adoption in EMSC aiming to create lean suppliers through waste reduction. The influential factors including information sharing and use of e-business system in supplier integration together with policy-based supplier selection were tested with multiple regression analyses based on survey data. It was found that continued adoption of lean manufacturing is positively influenced by all these factors. Moreover, the results revealed that manufacturers may commit ongoing use of lean principle only if it has been used as regular practice. Lastly, practical implications and future research were discussed to alleviate practical concerns in the execution of e-supply strategy and explore the potential of implementing reverse logistics on this novel platform.

Keywords: manufacturing supply chains; lean manufacturing; e-supply strategy; electronic-enabled manufacturing supply chains; EMSC; supply chain management; SCM; lean suppliers; waste reduction; information sharing; e-business; electronic business; supplier integration; policy-based supplier selection; reverse logistics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRAPIDM.2010.034255

International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing, 2010 Vol.1 No.3, pp.348 - 362

Published online: 30 Jul 2010 *

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