The Lean Benchmark Report
Chapter One: Issue at Hand
While close to 90% of respondents consider themselves Lean, less than one-third can be considered to have mature Lean deployments.
Very few companies (22% of discrete and 8% of process) have fully automated Lean op- erations.
Significant culture change remains the top challenge according to 82% of respondents.
T he history of lean can be traced back to the early 1900s with The Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Taylor and the mass production techniques first implemented by Henry Ford to make the Model T. In the 1950s Taiici Ohno began implementing the TPS (Toyota Production System), which shaped many of the principles of Lean as they are understood today. In the U.S. in the 1980s, JIT (just-in- time) programs drove Lean processes and techniques into the automotive supply chain. Lean Thinking by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones published in 1996 talked about the need to take a more focused and disciplined approach in the implementation of Lean. Over the past two decades, early adopters and Lean gurus have successfully promoted Jeffrey K. Liker’s The Toyota Way and principles of Lean into mainstream thinking, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Lean Philosophy Has Become Mainstream
Organizations Adopting Lean
More than 5 years
4 to 5 years
1 to 3 years
Current and planned activity
Total activity in next 12 months
Source: AberdeenGroup, March 2006
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