This thesis analyzes and discusses how implementing lean design and lean supply chain
management affect an organization’s innovation capabilities. Since lean concepts focus
on low risk, short-term gradual improvement of existing processes and products with an
emphasis on eliminating any and all wastes in the system, applying lean to an
organization often implies difficulties in promoting innovations that involve high risks
and dramatic changes. Little is known about how lean design and lean supply chain
management concepts might affect an organization’s innovation capability and its
responsiveness to react quickly to changes brought by radical innovations. These
relationships were investigated and analyzed based on findings from two online surveys.
Seventy-six and seventy-seven respondents were acquired from the two surveys,
respectively. Results suggest that the stressed importance of standardization in lean design has a negative effect on an organization’s radical and architectural innovation
capability. It is also shown that disruptive innovation capability will be negatively
influenced by value analysis in lean design, especially in terms of how an organization
ranks product attributes and allocates resources based on customer requirements. For the
impact on an organization’s responsiveness to radical innovations, the findings suggest
no impact from minimizing buffers in a lean supply chain but a positive impact from
increasing supplier commitment and involvement levels.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. June 2010. Major: Engineering Management. Advisor: Dr. Hongyi Chen. 1 computer file (PDF)vii, 141 pages.
Taylor, Ryan Douglas.
Exploring the impact of lean design and lean supply chain management on an organization’s innovation capability..
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