September 20, 2006 at 15:35 PM EDT
Aberdeen Group Finds 63% of Best in Class Delivering Customer Value through a Lean Supply Chain
60% of Laggard Companies' Lean Progress Stalled at the Plant Level

BOSTON, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- As the success of Lean grows, Aberdeen Group has identified that 41% of manufacturers five years or more along in their Lean initiatives are in the process of extending these practices throughout the supply chain. Over 60% of Best in Class companies surveyed for the Lean Supply Benchmark Report are coordinating Lean efforts throughout the supply chain and seriously focusing on the core tenant of Lean and the true path to operational excellence: being agile and responsive to the customer.

The study also found that as Lean scales supply chain-wide, the reliance on enabling technology continues to grow. "As Lean moves from the plant floor to the supply chain, it becomes more difficult to orchestrate activities without automation," said author Maura Buxton, Manufacturing Research Analyst at Aberdeen Group. Issues such as maintaining visibility for customers and suppliers and standardizing practices are driving more manufacturers to adopt technology solutions, with 60% of manufacturers strengthening their core ERP solutions, 56% investigating Supply Chain Management solutions, and an additional 32% evaluating Supplier Relationship Management solutions.

The report also uncovered that better-performing companies were having success in fostering Lean throughout the enterprise by implementing the following organizational strategies:

    * Including major suppliers, customers, and partners as part of the
      audience during the transition to Lean concepts, both in production
      operations and during Lean deployment across the supply chain

    * Striving for agile, same-day manufacturing execution capabilities with
      minimal variability in order to meet real customer demand

    * Integrating IT applications for synchronized business processes that
      connect customer demand to business execution

More than 300 companies participated in the quantitative study, including W.E.T. Automotive, TRW, Harley-Davidson, Caterpillar, and Coca-Cola.

To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3450

'The Lean Supply Chain Benchmark Report,' is made available to the public through the underwriting of: CSC, E2open, Manhattan Associates, and SAP.

Aberdeen Group, Inc. provides fact-based research and insights focused on the global, technology-driven value chain. Aberdeen's benchmarking, market and solution assessments, sales acceleration programs, and conferences support Global 5000 value chain and technology executives and the solution providers who serve them.

    For more information, visit http://www.aberdeen.com or call 617-723-7890.

    Contact:
    Maura Buxton, Manufacturing Analyst Aberdeen Group
    617-854-5216, Maura.Buxton@aberdeen.com

Source: Aberdeen Group, Inc.

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