Lean Manufacturing Practices at Small and Medium-Sized U.S. Parts Suppliers-Does it Work?
The Japanese form of management, typically referred to as lean manufacturing, world class manufacturing, or total quality management (TQM), is currently viewed as the most efficient and economical way to design and manufacture high-quality products and the most effective way to increase productivity and worker satisfaction. Today, these lean manufacturing concepts a re widely accepted by U.S. companies. Embracing these practices has required American companies to make considerable changes in how they conduct business and organize their work forces. While many U.S. companies have adopted some form of lean manufacturing or implemented a TQM program, the actual benefits and significance derived from such programs has been greatly left to ad hoc justification or specialized case studies designed to investigate a specific aspect of lean manufacturing.