Int. J. Production Economics 89 (2004) 247–260
Lean production and the Internet
Peter Bruuna, Robert N. Meffordb,*
Center for Technology, Economics & Management, Technical University of Denmark, Building 421, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark b School of Business and Management, University of San Francisco, Ignatian Heights, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA Received 2 May 2002; accepted 2 October 2003
Abstract In this paper, the implications for lean production systems of the Internet are explored. Does the World Wide Web facilitate the implementation of Just-In-Time (JIT) production systems, or alternatively, can it serve as a substitute for JIT? The possible effects on supply chains, production scheduling, inventory control, procurement, quality improvement, and the workforce are some of the issues addressed. Some case examples of use of the Internet for these purposes are presented. Constraints on the use of the Web to foster leanness are discussed and recommendations for integrating the Internet into production systems offered. r 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Production; Lean production; JIT; Internet; Supply chain management
1. Introduction In the 1990s, many manufacturing ﬁrms around the world adopted lean production as a strategy to increase their global competitiveness. Some ﬁrms have made much progress in implementing lean production in their factories while others have found it to be very difﬁcult and are still struggling with implementation, or in some cases, given up the attempt. Some of the companies that have been successful in converting their manufacturing facilities to lean production have begun to spread lean principles to other business activities (e.g. product design, payments processing, order taking) or into their supply chains. They are attempting to move
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-415-422-6408; fax: +1415-422-2502. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (R.N. Mefford).
beyond lean... [continues]
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