The Lean Benchmark Report
In addition to finding a correlation between relative performance and what metrics were used, we also found a correlation with how frequently results are measured (Figure 9). Close to 30% of the best-in-class measure results daily, but only 3% of laggard compa- nies measure this frequently. It is also interesting to note that 45% of laggards are meas- uring results on an ad hoc basis. The data also shows that some (11%) best-in-class com- panies are beginning to incorporate the use of real-time technologies into their measure- ment programs.
Figure 9: Measurement Frequency
Source: AberdeenGroup, March 2006
The Role of Technology
While early Lean adopters were pleased with the flexibility that paper and pencil pro- vided, there have been a number of factors that are making “technology-less” implemen- tations impractical for a number of reasons. First, customer expectations continue to esca- late, driving the need for additional variations to existing products, faster launches for new products, and decreased order cycle times; this requires increased flexibility in exist- ing plants, with suppliers, and across the supply chain. Second, pricing pressures have driven many manufacturers to outsource production, which has resulted in a lack of visi- bility into foreign operations; this is driving the need for web-based solutions that enable decision makers to see and control key operations remotely. Third, leading companies are scaling and extending their Lean processes beyond a single plant to encompass supply chain partner processes; this is driving the need for a technology infrastructure that facili- tates the design and implementation of customer-focused business processes.
Lean technology solutions should provide a solid foundation from which manufacturers can manage Lean transactions across core value streams that extend from the customer, through production, and back to the supplier. Lean solutions should support TPS by dy- namically managing key control points, scheduling and tracking critical resources, and promoting continuous improvement programs. In addition to managing transactions, so-
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