Lean Distribution: Applying Lean Manufacturing to Distribution, Logistics, and Supply Chain

  • 3h 43m
  • Kirk D. Zylstra
  • John Wiley & Sons (US)
  • 2006

Many companies in diverse industries have implemented Lean manufacturing practices and successfully reduced operating costs, slashed inventories, reduced floor space, and improved customer service. However, few companies have successfully implemented Lean principles across distribution operations. The barrier: most distribution systems are based on inherently inaccurate forecasts that “push” inventory to warehouses to accommodate fluctuations in customer demand. This book shows how to break through the forecast accuracy barrier by applying proven Lean practices that reduce costs and simplify distribution processes.

Lean Distribution addresses the most challenging issues currently facing industry: forecast revisions and inaccuracies, customer demands to limit inventory exposure, and the need to reduce supply chain costs. Compounding these issues is the global sourcing firmly entrenched in industry. Global sourcing entails longer supply-chains, compounding the chronic limitations of forecasting, planning, and supply chain optimization. While these problems appear to have mutually exclusive solutions, Lean simplifies distribution operations and processes to bring results.

Lean Distribution resolves the forecasting dilemma and provides an actionable road map to transform the supply chain with specific recommendations to implement improvements. Lean embraces the variation and inaccuracy inherent in forecasts and customer orders to focus on reducing lead time, reducing lot sizes, and increasing reliability, yielding the flexibility and simplicity required to achieve consistent results. This book goes beyond describing the principles and a foundation to provide a comprehensive, real-world framework and specific recommendations for customizing a Lean approach to transform distribution in any business.

Derived from the author’s experiences assessing product flow and implementing Lean principles in diverse companies and industries, Lean Distribution presents a proven, real-world approach to distribution – an approach that saves money and improves customer services.

About the Author

Kirk D. Zylstra is an independent consultant specializing in supply chain and manufacturing operations transformation. He teaches operations management and supply chain part-time at the University of Washington Business School in Seattle, Washington. He is a retired partner of a major international consulting firm, where he served major manufacturing, distribution, and retail companies during his more than twenty years with the firm. He has been a featured speaker at the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) and other conferences on supply chain and Lean manufacturing

In this Book

  • Lean Distribution—Applying Lean Manufacturing to Distribution, Logistics, and Supply Chain
  • Taking the Lean Approach
  • Distribution Challenges
  • Optimizing Distribution
  • IT Transforms Distribution Processes
  • Lean Operating Capabilities
  • Customer Service Policy
  • Buffer Strategy
  • Replenishment Cycles
  • Pull Approach
  • Conclusion