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An analysis of the implementation of Lean manufacturing in companies in the North East of England

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christian Hicks, Professor Tom McGovern


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The North East Productivity Alliance (NEPA) aims to improve the competitiveness of manufacturing companies in the North East of England through the transfer of Lean expertise from Nissan. A survey investigated company performance, manufacturing and training needs in 204 companies. NEPA provided training for change agents and operators in Lean manufacturing. This paper analyses the results obtained from 204 companies that participated in an initial survey and 33 companies that were assessed after they had received Lean training for one year. The aim of the paper is to evaluate the impact of the NEPA initiative on companies. The objectives are: • To analyse the data obtained from the initial survey. This provides an overview of the competitive position of manufacturing in the North East of England. It identifies company and manufacturing performance, manufacturing needs and the level of Lean knowledge amongst the workforce; • To analyse the survey data obtained after one year; • To identify the changes in manufacturing performance had occurred due to the implementation of Lean. Many companies were found to have low levels of productivity. There were also widespread problems with poor deliveries, low quality and high levels of inventory. The NEPA interventions had significant impact. For example, the total number of employees in the 33 companies was reduced by 10% and the number of temporary employees by 36%. The average stock turn ratio increased from 18.8 to 21.6; an improvement of 15%.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hicks C, McGovern T

Editor(s): Grubbstrom, RW; Hinterhuber, H

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Fifteenth International Working Seminar on Production Economics

Year of Conference: 2008