Application of lean thinking in supply chain management by the small- and medium-sized manufacturers in China: a status survey

Lau, C and Wang, J 2013, 'Application of lean thinking in supply chain management by the small- and medium-sized manufacturers in China: a status survey', International Journal of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 1-17.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Application of lean thinking in supply chain management by the small- and medium-sized manufacturers in China: a status survey
Author(s) Lau, C
Wang, J
Year 2013
Journal name International Journal of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management
Volume number 6
Issue number 4
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Publisher I G I Global
Abstract With increasing pressure for higher wages and growing competition from other developing countries such as Vietnam and Mexico, China can no longer rely heavily on cheap labor supply as a competitive advantage to secure her position as the world's largest manufacturing base. Other competitive edges, such as lean manufacturing and lean supply chain management that help cut cost and reduce waste, have to be explored. Using a self-administered questionnaire survey, this study investigates the current status of lean thinking application in supply chain management by the small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in China. It also explores if there are benefits in the application and the challenges faced by the SMMs in implementation. The findings suggest that application of lean thinking in China is not widespread. For those firms that have applied lean thinking, the major benefits obtained include reductions in cost, waste, inventory, labor, and cycle time. The major difficulties encountered lie in the accurate communication of the requirements between workers and managers and the collaboration with supply chain members. Proper application of lean thinking in supply chain management can bring substantial benefits to the manufacturing industry. Managers can use this research to benchmark their lean thinking application and revise their supply chain strategy accordingly.
Subject Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Keyword(s) Competitive Advantage
Lean Production
Lean Supply Chain Management
Lean Thinking
Supply Chain Strategy
Waste Reduction
DOI - identifier 10.4018/ijisscm.2013100101
Copyright notice © 2013, IGI Global
ISSN 1935-5726
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