Lean automated manufacturing: Avoiding the pitfalls to embrace the opportunities

Hongyi Chen, Richard R. Lindeke, David A. Wyrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose - Over the last several months, the cries to become lean and low cost have echoed all the way from the halls of government to the smallest company's back room. In times of severe economic challenge, the natural reaction is to make decisions that can make an organization become as lean and focused as possible. This paper aims to address these issues. Design/methodology/ approach - This paper discusses the benefits and pitfalls associated with lean manufacturing management starting from the kernel idea that pleasing the customer should be at the root of all effort leading through the ravages of overzealous application of "lean to the max." Elements of lean discussed in this paper address organizational waste, human resources, distributed design, supply chain management, customer management, and the financial system. Findings - Potential solutions and recommendations are made to help organizations become lean yet remain committed to being centered on the ultimate goal of customer satisfaction. These benefits and pitfalls may be seen as outcomes based on the degree to which lean is implemented. Originality/value - This paper reviews the popular lean manufacturing environment and makes practical recommendations to new adopters to avoid failures due to the improper application of "lean" to their organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalAssembly Automation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Lean production
  • Management strategy
  • Value chain

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