Creating a Lean Supply Chain – Tim McLean delivered the speech in Wuxi


The 11th Lean Salon organized by Yiyouhui (Suzhou, Wuxi and Changzhou branch) was held on November 12th, 2015 in Wuxi. The Managing Director of TXM Australia, Tim McLean attended the salon and successfully delivered the speech “Creating a Lean Supply Chain”. The Consulting Director of TXM China, Justin Tao also attended the workshop and interpreted the speech into Chinese.

Tim understands that nowadays supply chains are under more pressure than ever. Shorter product life cycles and increased expectations for financial returns drive the needs for shorter lead times and lower inventories. However, with inaccurate forecasts, long lead times and batching of deliveries, ERP approach is too inflexible to meet these needs. On the contrast, Lean delivers shorter lead times, more frequent deliveries and lower inventory, which are the keys to improve the supply chain performance.

But how to apply lean in the supply chain? Tim introduced one of the most important lean tools – Value Stream Mapping. Extending from single facility to across companies, VSM helps to visualize material and information flow, facilitate the identification and elimination of waste and provide the companies a lean vision for the process.

In the meanwhile, Tim emphasized that suppliers at every level of the supply chain must embrace Lean in order to meet the objectives of the whole Lean supply chain. He gave three explicit steps to work with the suppliers.

  • Step 1 – Clear rules and service level agreement.
  • Step 2 – Supplier develops lean production systems
  • Step 3 – Share the benefits.

Almost 30 professionals in the manufacturing industry attended this lean salon with a positive response. After the workshop, Justin gave away the book “The Machine That Changed The World – The Story of Lean Production” as a gift.

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Timothy McLean

Author: Timothy McLean

Timothy McLean is the Managing Director of TXM Lean Solutions and is an author of Lean books.