McClarin Plastics has coordinated a cooperative lean certification session for their employees, customers, and suppliers. “Each segment of the supply chain must understand the others’ needs. One kink in the chain can throw off the entire process causing waste and expense as well as excessive use of energy and raw materials,” says Roger Kipp, vice president of marketing and engineering for McClarin Plastics in Hanover, PA. “This will bring everyone involved in a related supply chain together to learn how their performance affects others. The positive bottom line impact from the resulting relationships and understanding could be huge.”
According to a study commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, suppliers in lean supply chains which deliver a component in the right quantity at the right time, share the benefits of reduced cost and waste reduction as well as a higher quality part. Further, James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos report in their book, The Machine that Changed the World, that many companies can only lean their operation by 25-30% if suppliers and customer firms are not similarly leaned.