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The Lean Benchmark Report

PACE Key — For more detailed descrip- tion see Appendix A

Aberdeen applies a methodology to benchmark research that evaluates the business pressures, actions, capabilities, and enablers (PACE) that indicate corporate behavior in specific business processes. These terms are defined as follows:

Pressures — external forces that impact an organization’s market position, competitive- ness, or business operations

Actions — the strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures

Capabilities — the business process competencies required to execute corporate strategy

Enablers — the key functionality of technology solutions re- quired to support the organiza- tion’s enabling business prac- tices

When it comes to data and knowledge man- agement, close to one third of discrete and two thirds of process companies have limited internal knowledge and rely on external trainers and consultants for training and im- plementation assistance. Only one third of discrete and 14% of process companies have corporate-led initiatives in place that com- municate Lean philosophy and techniques.

In terms of process automation, today 39% of discrete and 62% of process companies still perform key functions manually (by pa- per and pencil or simplistic Excel) such as line design, scheduling, and Kanban. Ap- proximately 40% of discrete and 30% of process companies are managing production with semi-automated point solutions. While this approach may well support the task at hand, continuing to rely on these systems will make it more difficult to replicate standard Lean operations into additional plants and out to supply chain partners.

Lean Maturity: The Culture Factor

The Lean operational maturity characteristics in Table 1 are primarily focused on the use of Lean tools and techniques used in production. However, the “softer side” or cultural aspects of Lean are equally important. TPS underlying principles as specified in The Toyota Way by Jeffrey K. Liker are as follows:

  • I.

    Long-term philosophy

    • a.

      Base management decisions on a long-term philosophy even at the ex- pense of short term goals.

  • II.

    The right process will provide the right results.

    • a.

      Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the supplier.

    • b.

      Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.

    • c.

      Level out the workload (Heijunka).

    • d.

      Build a culture of stopping to fix the problems, to get quality right the first time.



Standardized tasks are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.

f. g

Use visual control so no problems are hidden. . Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people


and processes. Add value to the organization by developing your people and partners.

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