Lean manufacturing takes into account waste created through overburden and waste created through unevenness in workloads. Working from the perspective of the client who consumes a product or service, value is any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for.
The basic goals of lean manufacturing and waste reduction were derived from Benjamin Franklin through documented examples. Franklin’s The Way to Wealth speaks to the waste carrying unnecessary inventory. Henry Ford cited Franklin as a major influence on his own business practices, which included Just-in-time manufacturing.
Lean Manufacturing Leaders
Some of the best lean manufacturing organizations that using the methodology are outlined below:
1. Nike – An American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. It is one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of $24.1 billion dollars.
2. Kimberly-Clark – An American multinational personal care corporation that produces mostly paper-based consumer products. Kimberly-Clark brand name products include Kleenex facial tissue, Kotex feminine hygiene products, Cottonelle, Scott and Andrex toilet paper, Wypall utility wipes, Kimwipes scientific cleaning wipes, and Huggies disposable diapers. Founded in Neenah, Wisconsin, in 1872 and based in Irving, Texas, since 1985, it has approximately 43,000 employees. Kimberly-Clark UK holds Royal Warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and from the Prince of Wales in the United Kingdom. Kimberly-Clark is also listed among the Fortune 500.
3. Caterpillar – A corporation which designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, markets and sells machinery, engines, financial products and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. Caterpillar is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. With more than $89 billion in assets, Caterpillar was ranked number 1 in its industry.
4. Intel – Is a multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California that was founded by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce. It is the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip makers based on revenue, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors.
5. Illinois Tool Works – A Fortune 500 company that produces engineered fasteners and components, equipment and consumable systems, and specialty products. It was founded in 1912 by Byron L. Smith. Today, it employs nearly 48,000 people in hundreds of businesses across 57 countries, and is based in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. In 2011, ITW had more than 20,000 unexpired patents and pending patent applications worldwide, including 2,900 U.S. patents and 1,116 pending U.S. applications. The company typically ranks in the top 100 of patent issuers in the U.S.
6. Textron – Is a global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies industrial conglomerate. Textron includes Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Beechcraft, and other components. It was founded by Royal Little in 1923 as the Special Yarns Company, and is now headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. Textron employs over 35,000 people worldwide.
7. Parker Hannifin – Originally Parker Appliance Company, usually referred to as just Parker, is an American corporation specializing in motion and control technologies. Its corporate headquarters are in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, in Greater Cleveland. The company was founded in 1917 and has been publicly traded on the NYSE since December 9, 1964. Parker Hannifin is one of the largest companies in the world in motion control technologies, including aerospace, climate control, electromechanical, filtration, fluid and gas handling, hydraulics, pneumatics, process control, and sealing and shielding. Parker employs about 58,000 people globally.
8. John Deere – A corporation that manufactures agricultural, construction, and forestry machinery, diesel engines, drivetrains (axles, transmissions, gearboxes) used in heavy equipment, and lawn care equipment. In 2016, it was listed as 97th in the Fortune 500 America’s ranking and was ranked 364th in the global ranking in 2016.
9. Ford – A multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer, Troller, and Australian performance car manufacturer FPV. In the past, it has also produced tractors and automotive components.
10. Toyota – Is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. In March 2014, Toyota’s corporate structure consisted of 338,875 employees worldwide and, as of October 2016, was the ninth-largest company in the world by revenue. As of 2016, Toyota is the world’s second-largest automotive manufacturer behind German Volkswagen Group. Toyota was the world’s first automobile manufacturer to produce more than 10 million vehicles per year, which it has done since 2012.