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The Lean Benchmark Report

Appendix A: Research Methodology

D Uring the month of January 2006, AberdeenGroup with Manufacturing Business Technology and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) examined Lean manufacturing philosophies, techniques, and technologies of 292 enter- prises in aerospace and defense (A&D), automotive, high-tech, industrial prod- ucts, and other industries.

Responding supply chain, logistics, and operations executives completed an online sur- vey that included questions designed to determine the following:

  • What is driving manufacturers today to adopt Lean? What are their business needs and expectations?

  • How are best-in-class implementing Lean? What are their critical success factors and how are these being measured?

  • What tools, techniques, and technology solutions are leaders using to deploy and scale their Lean operations?

Aberdeen supplemented this online survey effort with telephone interviews with select survey respondents, gathering additional information on Lean strategies, experiences, and results.

The study aimed to identify emerging best practices for Lean and provide a framework by which readers could assess their Lean capabilities.

Responding enterprises included the following:

  • Job title/function: The research sample included respondents from the following functional areas: manufacturing (42%); business process management (10%), lo- gistics/supply chain (9%), IT (8%), and others. Job titles included managers (37%), directors (18%), C-level or senior managers (13%), and others.

  • Industry: The research sample included respondents predominantly from manu- facturing industries: Industrial equipment manufacturers (16%) of the sample, automotive (10%) and finally aerospace and defense manufacturers, accounting for 10% of the sample. Other sectors responding included medical equipment, construction/engineering, and retail and distribution.

  • Geography: Nearly all study respondents were from North America, including 92% from the U.S. alone. Remaining respondents were from the United King- dom and the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Company size: About 27% of respondents were from large enterprises (annual revenues above US$1 billion); 35% were from mid-sized enterprises (annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion); and 37% of respondents were from small businesses (annual revenues of $50 million or less).

Solution providers recognized as sponsors of this report were solicited after the fact and had no substantive influence on the direction of the 2006 Lean Benchmark Report. Their

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