Step 10 – Lean Supply Chain

Step 10 is focused on the relationship between customers and suppliers. A business can only deliver products and services to their customers at the same rate that suppliers can make them available. A business will not succeed without its suppliers delivering on-time, every-time!

What is a Lean Supply Chain?

A lean supply chain is system focused on the use of lean principles for the logistics of providing and moving materials, information and knowledge between suppliers, manufacturing companies and their customers. It is important to understand that any business is only as good as its suppliers ability to deliver their materials on time, every time. It your suppliers fail, your business fails to deliver your products to your customers.

What steps are involved in a Lean Supply Chain?

There are four steps to implementing a standard work process:

1. Get your own business practices in order first by implementing lean principles.
2. Implement a pull system to improve process flow and inventory control using kanban.
3. Negotiate with your suppliers to integrate your order process with your pull system, Ask them to hold kanban quantities in their finished goods facility.
4. Negotiate with your customers to align their ordering process with your pull system by integrating it into their receiving process.

How does a Lean Supply Chain improve business performance?

A lean supply chain has a huge impact of the overall supply logistics because it lowers the amount of inventory being held by every business. This reduces costs and improves the ability of suppliers to deliver goods on time, every time. Implementing a lean supply chain will be dependent upon a company’s buying power and their ability to negotiate with their suppliers and customers.

Lean Supply Chain Video

In this short video, Chris Turner – Lean Mfg Coach gives a brief explanation about the importance of supplier customer relationships.